Tampa woman shares friendship with Jerry Lewis

Posted at 7:21 PM, Aug 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-21 19:21:42-04

Barbara Vaka fondly looked through pictures of her dear friend Jerry Lewis.

'We have so many albums filled with pictures," said Vaka. "He was a wonderful person."

She and her husband met Lewis when they owned a camera store in Pompano Beach. What started as a business relationship turned into decades of friendship.

"We first me him in the 1970s and then our friendship continued to grow. We even had Thanksgiving together one year," said Vaka.

Vaka even shared a letter he wrote to the couple.

"He wrote us many times. The letters were always so heartfelt," said Vaka.

Lewis helped Barbara score a small role in one of his films.

"He was so wonderful to work with and it was just such a pleasure. He said he thought my look fit the part, my ponytails and all," laughed Vaka.

She said Lewis deserves all the accolades of a fine actor and a man who dedicated much of his time to charitable work but she also wants people to know he was just a great person.

"He was so kind and dedicated to the people he knew. It was an adventure knowing him," said Vaka.