Richard Lewis' Wife Joyce Lapinsky Thanks Fans for 'Loving Tributes' in First Statement After His Death

On Wednesday, PEOPLE confirmed that the 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' star died peacefully in his home after suffering a heart attack the day before

<p>Emma McIntyre/Getty </p> Richard Lewis and Joyce Lapinsky

Emma McIntyre/Getty

Richard Lewis and Joyce Lapinsky

Richard Lewis' wife, Joyce Lapinsky, is grateful for the heartfelt sentiments from fans, friends and admirers around the world in honor of the comedian.

In a statement shared to the late actor's X (formerly Twitter) account on Friday, Lapinsky expressed her gratitude for the touching messages she's received from fans following the news of his death earlier this week.

"This is Joyce, Richard’s wife," she began. "Thank you for your loving tributes. He would be beyond thrilled and so touched, as am I."

<p>FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty</p> Richard Lewis and Joyce Lapinsky


Richard Lewis and Joyce Lapinsky

Lapinsky also responded to the "many queries" she'd received about how to best honor the Curb Your Enthusiasm alum and his legacy.

"I know Richard would appreciate donations in his memory to the Los Angeles based charity or the charity of your choice," she concluded.

Related: Comedian and Curb Your Enthusiasm Star Richard Lewis Dead at 76

On Wednesday, Lewis' rep Jeff Abraham confirmed the news of his passing in a statement shared with PEOPLE. He was 76.

"Comedian/Actor Richard Lewis passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles last night after suffering a heart attack," the statement read. "His wife, Joyce Lapinsky, thanks everyone for all the love, friendship and support and asks for privacy at this time."

A spokesperson for HBO also reacted to the news in a statement to PEOPLE, saying: "We are heartbroken to learn that Richard Lewis has passed away. His comedic brilliance, wit and talent were unmatched. Richard will always be a cherished member of the HBO and Curb Your Enthusiasm families, our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and all the fans who could count on Richard to brighten their days with laughter."

Bennett Raglin/WireImage Richard Lewis
Bennett Raglin/WireImage Richard Lewis

Related: Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm Castmates and More Remember Richard Lewis: 'Like a Brother'

The late stand-up comedian and Lapinsky met in 1998 while attending Ringo Starr's album release party. After seven years of dating, the couple got engaged in 2004 and got married the following year.

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Lewis was best known for his trademark self-deprecating humor, which he showed in countless standup performances and TV and film roles. He held a long-standing role on Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm, appearing in more than 40 episodes between 2000 and 2021. He was also known for being a regular guest on The Late Show with David Letterman and The Howard Stern Show.

Lewis' acting career also saw him in TV shows with a starring role opposite Jamie Lee Curtis in the sitcom Anything but Love from 1989 to 1992, in later small-screen appearances on 7th HeavenRude Awakening, Bojack Horseman and Blunt Talk. He also appeared in films like 1993's Robin Hood: Men in Tights and 1995's Leaving Las Vegas.

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