Patti Palmer's untold story: What happened to Jerry Lewis' first wife?

Patti Palmer's untold story: What happened to Jerry Lewis' first wife?

Patti Palmer, born Esther Grace Calonico, was an American singer and actress best known for starring in The Wayne and Shuster Hour. In addition, she was an ex-celebrity spouse widely recognized as Jerry Lewis' first wife. Jerry, a renowned comedian, actor, singer, filmmaker and humanitarian, was nicknamed The King of Comedy for his natural talent.

Jerry Lewis's first wife
Comedian Jerry Lewis at a congressional hearing in Washington, USA. Photo: Harry Hamburg
Source: UGC

What happened to Patti Palmer? Palmer died of natural causes on 15 January 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Her death was confirmed by her eldest son, American singer Gary Lewis, who described her as a loving and supportive parent.

Patti Palmer's profile summary and bio

Full namePatti Palmer
Date of birth20 November 1921
Date of death15 January 2021
Age at death100 years old (2023)
Zodiac signScorpio
BirthplaceCambria, Wyoming, USA
Hair colourBrown
Eye colourBrown
Marital statusDivorced
Ex-spouseJerry Lewis
ParentsAngelo Colonico and Mary Rotellini Farino
ProfessionSinger and actress
Famous forBeing an ex-celebrity wife

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How old was Patti when she died?

Jerry Lewis’ age
Actor Jerry Lewis at the Foundation Gala Dinner in New York City. Photo: Brad Barket
Source: UGC

Patti Palmer (aged 100 at the time of death) was born on 20 November 1921 in Cambria, Wyoming, USA. Her zodiac sign was Scorpio. Palmer’s parents were Angelo Colonico and Mary Rotellini Farino.

What did Patti Palmer do for a living?

As a singer, Patti performed with talented composer, orchestra leader and keyboardist Ted Fio Rito. In addition, she starred in The Colgate Comedy Hour (1950) and The Ed Sullivan Show (1948).

Patti Palmer’s profiles

The Cambria native was not active on social media. She did not have Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Who was Jerry Lewis?

Lewis debuted in the mid-1940s and had become the world’s highest-paid movie star by the late 1950s. He was an early user of video assist, which allows real-time review of how a scene looks on camera. Some of his acting credits include:

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  • The Caddy (1953)
  • The Geisha Boy (1958)
  • The Bellboy (1960)
  • Cinderfella (1960)
  • The Errand Boy (1961)
What did Patti Palmer do for a living?
Jerry Lewis at the InterContinental Hotel in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Mike Flokis
Source: UGC
  • Ben Casey (1965)
  • Brothers (1987)
  • Good Grief (1991)
  • Arizona Dream (1993)
  • The Nutty Professor (2008)
  • Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey (2009)
  • Till Luck Do Us Part 2 (2013)
  • The King of Comedy: Deleted and Extended Scenes (2014)
  • The Trust (2016)
  • Max Rose (2016)

Jerry received a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for focusing on muscular dystrophy activism.

Jerry Lewis’ age

Jerry Lewis (aged 91 at the time of death) was born on 16 March 1926 in Newark, New Jersey, USA. His zodiac sign was Pisces. Jerry’s parents were Racheal Levitch, a radio pianist and Daniel Levitch, a master of ceremonies and vaudevillian.

Who are Jerry Lewis’ children?

Jerry Lewis’ children
Comedian Jerry Lewis, his wife SanDee Pitnick and daughter Daniele at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium. Photo: Kevin Winter
Source: UGC

Lewis wed Patti Palmer on 3 October 1944. It was an interfaith marriage, as Jerry was Jewish and Patti was Catholic. However, Palmer filed for divorce from Lewis in 1980, after 35 years of marriage, citing Jerry’s infidelity and extravagant spending.

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Their divorce was finalized in 1983. The ex-couple shared six sons, five biological Gary (born in 1945), Scott (born in 1956), Christopher (born in 1957), Anthony (born in 1959) and Joseph (born in 1964), and one adopted, Ronald (born in 1949). Sadly, Joseph died of drug intoxication in 2009.

Jerry met his second wife, Sandra Pitnick, after she won a bit part in a dancing scene in his film Hardly Working. They tied the knot on 13 February 1983 and adopted a daughter, Danielle (born in 1992). The duo was married for 34 years until Lewi’s death.

Jerry Lewis’ death

The on-screen star died on 20 August 2017 at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. The cause was end-stage cardiac disease and peripheral artery disease.

How much is Jerry Lewis’ net worth?

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Lewis has an estimated net worth of $50 million in 2023. He has amassed this wealth from his successful career in the entertainment industry.

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What happened to Jerry Lewis's first wife?
Jerry Lewis' zodiac sign was Pisces. Photo: Bettmann, Yvonne Hemsey via Getty Images (modified by author)
Source: UGC

So, who inherited Lewis’ wealth? Jerry left his estate to Sandra Pitnick and their daughter in his will. He explicitly disinherited Patti and their children.

Patti Palmer was popularly known as Jerry Lewis's first wife. She was also a singer and an actress who starred in several films.

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Briefly published lesser-known facts about Wandile Bozwana, a South African business mogul who built his fortune acquiring government contracts.

Sadly, news about his death made headlines on 2 October 2015, shocking Mzansi to its core. He was shot nine times while travelling from Johannesburg to Pretoria with his business associate, Mpho Baloyi.

Source: Briefly News

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Ruth Gitonga (Lifestyle writer) Ruth Gitonga has a background experience in Mass Communication for over six years. She graduated from the University of Nairobi with a degree in Mass Communication in December 2014. In 2023, Ruth finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. She has worked for for five years now. She specializes in topics like lifestyle, entertainment, travel, technology, and sports. Email:

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