The host of CNN’s “Larry King Live” and a broadcast pioneer died Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his production company Ora Media announced.
“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,” a statement reads.
It continues: “Additionally, while it was his name appearing in the shows’ titles, Larry always viewed his interview subjects as the true stars of his programs, and himself as merely an unbiased conduit between the guest and audience. Whether he was interviewing a U.S. president, foreign leader, celebrity, scandal-ridden personage, or an everyman, Larry liked to ask short, direct, and uncomplicated questions. He believed concise questions usually provided the best answers, and he was not wrong in that belief.”
British broadcaster Piers Morgan simply tweeted: “RIP Larry King, 87. A television legend.”
Morgan went on to call King a “brilliant broadcaster & masterful TV interviewer” in a second tweet.
“RIP Larry King.. one of the only talk show hosts who let you talk. Lengendary,” actress Kirstie Alley said.
“Star Trek” actor George Takei thanked King for the “countless interviews” over the years.
“You understood human triumph and frailty equally well, and that is no easy feat. There was no one else like you, and you shall be missed. Rest with the heavens now,” Takei said on Twitter.
“We losing legends R.I.P #LarryKin,” wrote DJ Scream.
KFC, also known as Kevin Clancy, of Barstool Sports tweeted: “RIP to Larry King. One of the best to ever talk into a microphone. The most prolific Marriage Guy on the planet earth. Stayed young right up until his demise at the age of 1,000. A true king. Rest easy sir.”
WWE broadcaster Kayla Braxton called King a “true legend.”
Atiku Abubakar, former vice president of Nigeria, said: “Larry King was indeed the king of broadcasting. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. May his soul rest in peace.”
King, with his trademark suspenders and iconic voice, spent more than 60 years in the spotlight. He hosted CNN’s “Larry King Live” for 25 years, interviewing everyone from world leaders and icons to criminals and conspiracy theorists during 6,000-plus episodes of the show from 1985 to 2010.
“Instead of goodbye, how about so long,” King told viewers when signing off from his final CNN show in 2010.
King’s historic career began on local radio back in Miami back in 1957 as a talk show host and disk jockey. His passion for free-flowing interviews began in 1958 when he an on-location interview program from Miami’s Pumpernik Restaurant, where he literally spoke to whoever entered the door. He eventually added to his skill set by providing color commentator for Miami Dolphins’ broadcasts and landed on television by 1964. Around the same time, King started writing columns for newspapers including The Miami Herald, The Miami News, and The Miami Beach Sun-Reporter.
Legal and financial issues nearly derailed his career in the 1970s but recovered to launch the Larry King Show” on Mutual Broadcasting Network in 1978, which paved the way for his highly successful CNN program.
King wrote “Taking on Heart Disease” to help educate victims of heart disease. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989, has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, won a pair of Peabody Awards for Excellence in broadcasting, 10 Cable ACE awards and was honored in 2008 by the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California, among many other awards and milestones.
The longtime Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers fan was regularly seen at Dodger Stadium cheering on his favorite team. He was married eight times, to seven different women, but had been single since filing for divorce from actress Shawn King in 2019.
King made cameos in a variety of movies and TV programs, including “Ghostbusters, Enemy of the State,” “30 Rock,” “Boston Legal,” The Stepford Wives,” “Primary Colors,” Fraiser,” “Spin City,” Murphy Brown,” “Dave,” The Simpsons” and “The Larry Sanders Show.”
King is survived by three living children, Larry Jr. Chance and Cannon. King lost two of his five adult children when Andy, 65, and Chaia, 51, died within weeks of each other in 2020. Andy had a heart attack while Chaina had been battling lung cancer.
The veteran talk show host was moved to the ICU on New Year’s Eve and was receiving oxygen but is now breathing on his own, said David Theall, a spokesman for Ora Media, a production company formed by King.
The broadcaster has had numerous health issues in recent years, including heart trouble, diabetes and lung cancer, the Associated Press reported.
Ora Media plans to announce a memorial service later in coordination with the King family.
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.