A family statement said he died of natural causes at his home in Las Vegas on Sunday morning.
Lewis’s 10-year partnership with Dean Martin saw them star in 16 films and achieve huge box office success.
He became the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, chalking up hits such as The Bell Boy, Cinderfella and The Nutty Professor.
Other notable successes included The King of Comedy in 1983, in which he played a talk show host stalked by Robert de Niro.
Fellow celebrities paid tribute as news of his death broke. Whoopi Goldberg called it “a gain for heaven, but big loss for comedy”.
Star Trek actor William Shatner tweeted that the world was “a lot less funnier today”.
Actor Jim Carrey, whose comedy style was strongly influenced by Jerry Lewis, said: “That fool was no dummy. Jerry Lewis was an undeniable genius an unfathomable blessing, comedy’s absolute. I am because he was!”
There were also tributes from the daughters of Lewis’s longtime associates Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
“Dear Jerry, Dad will be as happy to see you as I’m sad to see you go. Give him one of your bear hugs for me. I’ll always love you,” tweeted Nancy Sinatra.
Deana Martin also wrote on Twitter: “I’m heartbroken at the loss of our life-long friend (Uncle) Jerry Lewis. I’ve loved him all my life and will miss him greatly.”
If You Want You Can Submit a Message To Me About This Post: