Ed McMahon Dies At 86 - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Ed McMahon Dies At 86

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    Ed McMahon Dies At 86

    Television legend Ed McMahon has died, Access Hollywood has confirmed.

    McMahon died at Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, Calif., on Monday morning. He was 86.

    VIEW THE PHOTOS: A Look Back: Life & Times Of Ed McMahon

    McMahon was best known as the sidekick of Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show." He played Carson's right hand comedy man for 30 years and made "H-e-e-e-e-e-ere's Johnny!" an iconic phrase.

    According to McMahon publicist Howard Bragman, the 86-year-old was surrounded by his family and wife, Pamela, when he passed away.

    VIEW THE PHOTOS: Hollywood Legends

    A cause of death was not given, but Bragman said the TV legend had a "multitude of health problems the last few months."

    According to an Associated Press source, McMahon suffered from a variety of illnesses, including bone cancer and had been in the hospital for weeks.

    In 1949, McMahon lent his voice talents to the game show "Who Do You Trust?," hosted by Carson and then headed to "The Tonight Show" in 1954 when Carson took over hosting duties of NBC's late-night show from Jack Paar

    VIEW THE PHOTOS: The Men & Women Of Late Night Television

    "You can't imagine hooking up with a guy like Carson," McMahon said an interview with the AP in 1993. "There's the old phrase, hook your wagon to a star. I hitched my wagon to a great star."

    Over the years, McMahon kept his role on "The Tonight Show" in perspective.

    "It's like a pitcher who has a favorite catcher," he said of Carson. "The pitcher gets a little help from the catcher, but the pitcher's got to throw the ball. Well, Johnny Carson had to throw the ball, but I could give him a little help."

    "He trusted me and a good second banana gets in and gets out without causing any damage," McMahon also once told reporters of working alongside Carson, who passed away in 2005.

    The TV legend also hosted "Star Search" and "TV Bloopers And Practical Jokes," and also co-hosted the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon for four decades.

    In 2007, McMahon fell and broke his neck and suffered a series of financial setbacks related to his inability to work.

    The star's house was reportedly scheduled to be put on the auction block later this month after McMahon reportedly fell $644,000 behind on a $4.8 million mortgage.

    In addition to his wife, the TV legend is survived by six adult children — three sons and three daughters.

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