Larry King conducted over 50,000 interviews with celebrities, world leaders, athletes, and average citizens caught up in extraordinary situations with a career that spans a half-century. Because of his fame as a radio and television broadcaster, King often appeared as himself in movies like Ghostbusters, The Contender, Enemy of the State, Bulworth, Contact and more. Unfortunately, the legendary television personality’s career has come to an end, because Larry King has died at 87.
Larry King’s son Chance confirmed the passing of the man who hosted his own Larry King Live on CNN for over 25 years, resulting in over 6,000 episodes that aired until 2010 when he retired from television. An official statement was also posted on Larry King’s Facebook page:
“With profound sadness, Ora Media announces the death of our co-founder, host and friend Larry King, who passed away this morning at age 87 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry’s many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster.”
CNN says a cause of death was not provided, but they reminded us King has struggled with a number of health issues over the years. In addition to suffering several heart attacks, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017 and also underwent a procedure to for angina in 2019. More recently, King contracted COVID-19 and was receiving supplemental oxygen, but he’d been moved out of intensive care.
Throughout his career, King received plenty of accolades, including several Daytime Emmys and News & Documentary Emmys for his interviews and news discussions. Even after retiring from Larry King Live and television broadcasting, he took his talents online with Larry King Now on YouTube, Ora TV, Hulu and RT America, where he continued to conduct interviews with newsmakers, celebrities, world leaders, and Internet stars.
Even if you never watched King’s programs, you likely saw him in the many appearances he made as himself over the years. Ghostbusters marked his first major feature film appearance as a radio broadcaster chronicling the rise in fame of the paranormal exterminators, and he would appear in more movies like Dave, The Long Kiss Good Night, Contact, The Jackal, Bulworth, Primary Colors, Enemy of the State, The Contender, John Q, The Stepford Wives, and Bee Movie, in which he played a bee version of himself. The animated Shrek franchise also used King, not as a broadcaster, but as the ugly stepsister Doris.
King also appeared as himself in a variety of TV shows, including The Simpsons, The Larry Sanders Show, Murphy Brown, Spin City, The Practice, Boston Legal, Ugly Betty, and American Crime Story. But perhaps my favorite appearance of his came in a series of scenes from the NBC comedy 30 Rock:
Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of Larry King during this difficult time. He leaves behind a plethora of inspiring work for future generations of broadcasters, and his legacy will live on for many years. Rest in peace.
If you’d like to see some of the recent work Larry King had done, including an outstanding interview with Ben Schwartz about Sonic the Hedgehog and more, head over to his YouTube channel.
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