in , ,

Larry King’s Death Left These Celebrities Heartbroken

Larry King was a highly respected broadcaster who dominated the talk shows of US television for many years. In his career he interviewed many of the great and the good – and a few not so good too! Politicians, celebrities, sports stars and musicians all sat opposite him to be gently but incisively interrogated.

Now that he has died, tributes are pouring in from those same people, plus many that had not had the privilege of an interview with him. In this video, we will chart his life and career and then see what is being said in praise of this remarkable man.

Larry King’s early life and career

Larry King’s parents were Orthodox Jews who came from Eastern Europe. They arrived in the United States from Byelorussia (now Belarus) in the early 1930s. Larry was born in Brooklyn in 1933.

When he was 9 his father suffered a fatal heart attack. The young Larry was much affected by this loss. He did, however, determine to be a success himself, and set his heart on a career in broadcasting.

In his early twenties Larry was advised to go to Florida where there was a burgeoning media industry. Larry followed this advice and after some disappointments he managed to get a job as a dogsbody on WAHR in Miami Beach. By being in the right place at the right time Larry was able to get his first break when an announcer quit and he was asked to stand in. This was 1957 and Larry worked as a morning disc jockey with afternoon news broadcasts plus some sports reporting.

Larry had been born Lawrence Zeiger, but the station manager suggested he change it to a snappier name. He chose King and became Larry King. It wasn’t long before he legally adopted this name.

Larry moved to another radio station in Miami Beach called WIOD. He began a series of morning shows where he interviewed people at Pumperniks, a local restaurant. It was here that he interviewed his first celebrity when Bobby Darin walked in one morning.

In 1960 he began hosting Miami Undercover chairing debates on local issues. This show went out on a Sunday on WPST-TV Channel 10. His TV career was boosted by his friendship with Jackie Gleeson a respected comedian whose national variety show was recorded in Miami Beach.

WIOD also appointed Larry as color commentator (analyst) during Miami Dolphins games in the NFL. However, he lost all his jobs at the end of 1971 when he was fired by WIOD and the TV station WTVJ. In December of that year he was arrested. The charge against him was made by the financier Louis Wolfson who claimed that Larry had failed to return money that had been advanced to him. The charges were eventually dropped and WIOD re-hired Larry. He hosted a sports talk-show during the mid-1970s before launching his national talk show in 1978.

The Larry King Show

The Mutual Broadcasting System had a talk show slot each evening that had been launched by Herb Jepko in 1975. Other hosts included Candy Jones and �Long John’ Nebel. Larry King took over the show after Nebel had died. It became The Larry King Show.

The show ran from 1978 to 1994. During that time Larry built up a devoted audience. The format of the show consisted of a guest coming on to be interviewed by Larry and then listeners would phone in with questions that would form the basis of the rest of the interview. He would wind up the show taking some calls on any topic from listeners.

This last segment was called �Open Phone America’ and was timed to allow callers to phone in from all over the country. Larry got into the habit of giving regular callers nicknames like “The Todd Cruz Caller”, “The Numbers Guy”, “The Scandal Scooper”, and “Mr Radio”. The shows were often peppered with humorous anecdotes or little segments devoted to an alien from the future who would predict the coming year’s events.

In 1993 Larry decided he needed to reduce his workload, as he was also hosting the TV show Larry King Live. Mutual Broadcasting moved Larry’s show to an afternoon slot, but this meant he lost a substantial part of his late night and overnight audience. In 1994 Larry left Mutual and devoted his time to his CNN show.

Larry King Live

Larry began his TV talk show Larry King Live on CNN in 1985. It proved to be CNN’s longest running program and also their most watched with over a million viewers tuning in for every show. CNN also broadcast the show on CNN International, so it gathered an audience across the world.

Larry’s interviewing style was sometimes criticized for being �soft’. It is true that he preferred questions that were open-ended and not tough or too challenging. He certainly attracted guests who normally avoided the more rigorous interviewers. He never claimed that what he did was journalism, preferring to call the format �infotainment’.

He would allow a limited number of call-ins from viewers during some shows. On a few occasions he received calls from celebrities or political figures. Larry also had to field prank calls on a small number of occasions.

Larry’s first guest in 1985 was Mario Cuomo, who was Governor of New York at the time. His final show aired on December 16 2010. It featured the former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. In the years between Larry had interviewed many political figures and celebrities from entertainment and sport. One notable interviewee was Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2000 and in 2006 Oprah Winfrey used the show to announce her endorsement of presidential candidate Barack Obama. It is thought that without that endorsement Obama would have struggled to get the Democratic nomination.

Some topics occurred frequently during the 25 years the show was on air. At election times politics would come to the fore and there would be some coverage of results as they came in on election night. Larry was interested in the paranormal and this was evident by the frequency that experts in the field appeared on the show. Crossing Over with John Edward was a popular show on TV that dealt with the afterlife. John Edward appeared often on Larry King Live as did psychics James van Praagh and Sylvia Brown. Those who were skeptical about the issue were also allowed time on the show.

Larry also featured topics like UFOs and extraterrestrial life. He was on occasions accused of giving too much time to sensationalist current news items. Sometimes serious topics were pushed to one side to allow time for such stories.

Over the years numerous guest hosts took charge of the show. Given recent events perhaps the most notable was on June 5th 2010 when Donald Trump hosted the 25th anniversary edition. He turned the tables on Larry, who became the interviewee.

Larry King Now

Following his retirement from Larry King Live he founded Ora TV in association with Mexican businessman Carlos Slim. This was the vehicle for his new talk show Larry King Now which was a web-based project that kept Larry in the limelight.

In 2013 Ora TV negotiated a deal with RT America, a Russian owned TV network. They aired Politicking with Larry King from June 2013. Larry was criticized for having links with a Russian owned network but he dismissed the criticisms.

Other activities

Between 2013 and 2015 Larry hosted an educational TV series called In View with Larry King. This was available on the cable networks Discovery and Fox Business Network. He also made guest appearances in a range of films and TV shows. These included Ghostbusters, and he voiced one of the ugly stepsisters in Shrek 2 and its sequels. He appeared in over 20 movies during his career.

On TV he appeared in episodes of Gravity Falls, Arthur, and 30 Rock. Additionally he made a number of infomercials that were based on his popular interviewing techniques.

Like Donald Trump, Larry became an avid user of Twitter. He often said how much he loved tweeting and he felt that communication was changing and everyone needed to accept that. He loved being able to express his own opinions and thoughts.

In 1987 Larry suffered a heart attack and after his recovery he founded the Larry King Cardiac Foundation. This charity concentrates on covering the cost of cardiac procedures for those who could not afford them. Many lives have been saved through the generosity of this charity.

Larry also contributed to the 9/11 Memorial Garden in Beverly Hills. This features a steel beam rescued from the World Trade Center.

Personal Life

Larry King was married to seven different women, one of whom he married twice. His first marriage was at the age of 19 when he wed his sweetheart from high school, Freda Miller. Her parents, however, were unhappy about the union and had the marriage annulled.

Larry went on to marry Annette Kaye, but this was short-lived, although after they had parted Annette gave birth to Larry’s son, Larry Jnr. It was more than thirty years before Larry met his first-born son.

Alene Akins became Larry’s third wife in 1961. Alene had a son, Andy, and Larry adopted him in 1962. Alene and Larry divorced in 1963. Larry married Mary Sulphin the same year. She divorced Larry who then remarried Alene Akins, and had a child named Chaia with her. Their second divorce came in 1972.

In 1976 Larry married his fifth wife. Sharon Lepore was a teacher of mathematics and a production assistant. They divorced after almost seven years together.

Wife number six was Julie Alexander, a businesswoman, who he proposed to on their very first date. They married in 1989 and divorced in 1992 after two years of separation. In 1995 Larry got engaged to Deanne Lund who was an actress. She, however, did not become his seventh wife and they never married.

Shawn Southwick had the honor of being Larry’s seventh wife, when they married in 1997. The wedding took place three days before Larry had a heart procedure. Larry and Shawn had two children together, Chance and Cannon. The couple almost divorced in 2010 but achieved a reconciliation and did not divorce until 2019.

Larry was destined to suffer ill-health in the latter part of his life. He survived a heart attack in 1987 and had a tumor on his lung removed in 2017. Regular check-ups had spotted the tumor before it could become a problem.

In the spring of 2019 had stents inserted in his heart during a routine angioplasty. It seems he had suffered a stroke around the same time, but that did not become public knowledge until November.

In December 2020 Larry King tested positive for Covid-19 and was hospitalized. He died on 22 January 2021.

Celebrity reactions to Larry King’s Death

Larry’s death has brought an outpouring of grief from his friends and colleagues as well as many of the celebrities that he interviewed over the years. Piers Morgan, who took over the talk show slot on CNN paid tribute by calling him a �brilliant broadcaster and TV interviewer’.

Actor George Takei said �there was no one else like you’. Andy Cohen tweeted a comment about �his amazing voice’ while Nancy Grace wrote �you did so much for me’. Craig Ferguson acknowledged how much he had helped other TV hosts by saying �he taught me so much’. Meghan McCain felt that �the world is far less interesting’ and Dame Joan Collins commented that he was a �great interviewer’. Kayla Braxton of WWE called Larry a �true legend’ while Yusuf Cat Stevens summed up everyone’s feelings by saying �God rest his soul’.

Suzanne Somers was one of Larry’s great friends and credits her success to his support. She added that he was filled with ‘pure curiosity’ and that he ‘could talk about anything’.

Larry King enjoyed a remarkable career and we feel privileged here on Facts Verse to be able to bring his story alive for you. It seems he was yet another victim of Covid 19, but he will be remembered with fondness by everyone who knew him. The manner of his death does not detract from the legendary status that he had acquired during a life devoted to broadcasting.

There are many more videos just like this on Facts Verse. Just subscribe to get access to them all. Please �like’ this video and give us your comments about it.

Garth Brooks Just Pissed Everyone Off

Ellen Degeneres Is Getting Replaced by This Star