Ed McMahon, who was best known as Johnny Carson's sidekick on "The Tonight Show," died at age 86 early Tuesday morning (June 23).
McMahon died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, his publicist, Howard Bragman, confirmed to The Associated Press. The announcer had been battling cancer for some time and was recently hospitalized for pneumonia. Although no cause of death was given, Bragman did say that McMahon suffered from a "multitude of health problems the last few months."
The Massachusetts native spent 30 years, from 1962 to 1992, on "The Tonight Show," where he became known for his catchphrase "H-e-e-e-e-e-ere's Johnny!" Before achieving fame in Hollywood, however, McMahon served as a colonel in the U.S. Marines Corps and a fighter pilot during the late 1940s and 1950s.
In addition to his legendary work on "Tonight," he later went on to host "Star Search" and co-hosted "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes" alongside Dick Clark. He also appeared in numerous TV commercials and was the face of the American Family Publishers sweepstakes.
He later assumed his role as TV announcer on the short-lived TV Land show "Alf's Hit Talk Show" in 2004. McMahon broke his neck in 2007 and was unable to work, leading him to become more known for his financial problems in recent years than for his work as a television personality. As he struggled with bankruptcy, he gained the support of the Hollywood community, who rallied around him during his time of need.