‘A True Legend’: Larry King Remembered as Sharp Interviewer Who Was ‘Gracious and Fun’

Cynthia Littleton
·9 min read

In the 1980s and ’90s, for celebrities, politicians, lawyers, activists and many others, an appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live” was a sign that you’d made it on the national stage.

King, who died Saturday at the age of 87, was remembered as a tough but fair interviewer who had a strong sense of humor and was unfailingly gracious to his guests. His 25-year tenure on CNN, and more recently as a the host of a show for the Ora.TV streaming platform, ensured that King interacted with most of the major newsmakers of his time.

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Fellow talk show host Craig Ferguson hailed King as a role model behind the mic. “He taught me so much,” Ferguson wrote on Twitter.

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Author Anne Rice remembered King warmly even though she only knew him from appearances on his show. “He was always interesting, gracious and fun,” she wrote on Twitter.

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King’s CNN show was a big source of breaking news during the O.J. Simpson murder trial saga of the mid-1990s. King worked with the writers and producers of FX’s “The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” to help them capture that era. Scribe Larry Karaszewski praised him for his insights, calling him “a true legend.”

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From his early days in Miami radio to being part of the CNN revolution, King was hugely influential and incredibly kind. “I’ve never known anybody who made a bigger deal out of the slightest kindness afforded him,” fellow broadcaster Keith Olbermann wrote on Twitter.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted King’s Brooklyn roots and his skill at talking to people “in a clear and plain way.”

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King was renown for his love of baseball. Ben Sherwood, former Disney/ABC Television chief who is now heading the digital youth sports service Mojo, noted King’s regular presence at Little League games “as a devoted sports dad” in the Los Angeles area in recent years.

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Emmy-winning journalist Christiane Amanpour remembered King as a “giant” of broadcast whose name is “synonymous with CNN.”

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Filmmaker and author Kevin Smith reflected on the honor of being on “Larry King Live” and what he meant to his father.

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Fellow broadcaster Wendy Williams offered condolences for the TV great.

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Radio personality and host Ryan Seacrest lamented the loss of a “dear friend and mentor,” whom he regarded as an “American treasure.”

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Television talk show host Andy Cohen noted his admiration for “Larry King Live:” “I loved the easy breezy format of his CNN show, and his amazing voice.”

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Powerhouse singer Celine Dion offered her condolences to King’s family and remembered him as kind-hearted: “There will never be anyone like him, and he will be missed by many.”

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See more tributes below.

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