Irish American star Jim Carrey pays tribute to late great Jerry Lewis.Flickr / Jean-François Gornet

Funny man Jim Carrey paid tribute to Hollywood legend saying “I am because he was!”

Jim Carrey has paid tribute to the late actor and comic genius Jerry Lewis who passed away over the weekend.

Carrey, whose own work is heavily influenced by Lewis’ won career, wrote on Twitter that the 91-year-old had been “an undeniable genius” and “an unfathomable blessing”, adding that “I am because he was!”

Born in New Jersey in 1926 to Russian Jewish parents, the young Joey Lewis first came to prominence after as one half of The Martin and Lewis Show in the late 1940s.  From that point on it was as it rocket fuel was propelling his career and he starred in countless movies and comedic sketches. He also worked as a film director and screen write, all whilst garnered plaudits for his work as chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

The comedian had a number of health issues since June 2006 when he suffered a heart attack. He died at his home in Los Vegas.

Online there was an outpouring of emotion. Here are just some of the messages on Twitter:

Carrey’s career has over his many decades in public life earned similar praise; however a dark shadow currently hangs over the life of one of Hollywood’s greatest funny men as he awaits trial for the wrongful death of his former Irish girlfriend, Cathríona White.

White family say that Carrey used his “wealth, influence and celebrity status” to obtain prescription pills for her that ultimately led to her untimely demise. Carrey for his part denies the charge and has labelled them “malicious” and “predatory.” The trial is scheduled to take place in spring 2018 in Los Angeles.