Beloved U.S. TV personality Ed McMahon has died at the age of 86.
The former Tonight Show sidekick passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning (23Jun09) at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.
The veteran star had been battling ill health for some time. He was diagnosed with systemic bone cancer and spent time in hospital in February (09) suffering from pneumonia.
His publicist, Howard Bragman, has confirmed the sad news, but did not give a cause of death, stating the comic had had "a multitude of health problems (in) the last few months".
MCMahon began his career as a fighter pilot during World War II, serving in Korea throughout the 1950s.
He went on to work with legendary star Johnny Carson on daytime game show Who Do You Trust? and in 1962 the pair landed the job of hosting The Tonight Show.
MCMahon spent 30 years working alongside Carson on the popular entertainment programme and was famed for his trademark opening catchphrase, "Heeeeeeeere's Johnny!". He went on to host hit 1980s talent show Star Search, and his other TV projects included presenting NBC series TV Bloopers And Practical Jokes alongside DICk Clark.
His final years were plagued by legal troubles and financial difficulties. He struggled with a neck condition caused by a 2007 fall at a friend's house and subsequently sued the homeowners and doctors at an L.A. hospital, who he claimed misdiagnosed his neck fracture.
His recent legal woes included various lawsuits relating to mold at his Californian mansion and financial difficulties which saw him come close to losing his home after falling behind on mortgage payments.
MCMahon is survived by his third wife Pam Hurn and five children from his previous marriages.