Frank Avruch, who gained fame playing the character, Bozo the Clown, becoming the character’s first nationally-syndicated incarnation, passed away at the age of 89 after a long battle with heart disease this past Tuesday, as confirmed by his family. Over the years, Avruch had a career in television that lasted around 40 years.
As mentioned, Avruch’s passing had been confirmed by his family; Avruch is believed to be survived by his wife, Betty, two sons, Matthew and Steven, and several grandchildren.
Most famously, Avruch played Bozo the Clown from 1959 until 1970. In addition, a longtime WCVB-TV personality, he had been a fixture on television for over 40 years, serving as a contributor for Good Day and a host for The Great Entertainment and Man About Town; added to that, he also worked in radio.
According to TMZ, after Avruch left the role, the character was taken over by performer Larry Harmon, who passed away in 2008. According to Newsweek, international incarnations of the character also came to be in countries like Mexico, Greece and Brazil. According to KTVL, the character was originally portrayed by his creator, Pinto Colvig, in 1949. As the Associated Press confirmed, however, Avruch’s incarnation of the character became the first nationally-syndicated Bozo the Clown.
In a statement with the Associated Press, manager Stuart Hersh issued the following condolences:
“He had a heart of gold…He brought the Bozo the Clown character to life better than anyone else’s portrayal of Bozo the Clown.”
“He touched so many people with his portrayal.”
What was Frank Avruch’s official cause of death?
At this time, an official cause of death for Avruch has not been released.
As this story is developing, more information will be updated as made available.