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Former 'Tonight Show' Sidekick Ed McMahon Dead at 86

Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson's sidekick for thirty years on the 'Tonight Show', has died at a Los Angeles hospital. He was 86.

McMahon's publicist says he died early Tuesday morning at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center surrounded by his family, after suffering through a "multitude of health problems the last few months."

McMahon was hospitalized in February with pneumonia and other medical problems.

However, a source close to the television personality tells AP McMahon "had bone cancer, among other illnesses, and had been hospitalized for several weeks."

A former radio announcer, McMahon enjoyed a long and prosperous partnership with Carson, starting in the 1950s when they worked together on the game show, 'Who Do You Trust?'

McMahon then served as Carson's sidekick on the 'Tonight Show' from 1962 until Carson retired in 1992. He provided a human laugh track for the host, and announced the host each night with his trademark "Heeeere's Johnny!".

The former 'Star Search' host was most recently in the news for his financial troubles which almost led to the foreclosure of his California mansion.

June 23, 2009 |

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