NEW YORK (AP) — Pioneering radio and TV host Joe Franklin, who gave breaks to the likes of Al Pacino and Bill Cosby on his variety show long before they became famous and who boasted he never missed a broadcast in decades, has died at age 88.
He died Saturday of cancer, which he had had for a few years, longtime producer and friend Steven Garrin said.
Franklin often is credited with developing the standard TV talk show format, sitting behind a desk while interviewing wanna-be celebrities, minor celebrities and the occasional bona fide celebrity.
The host of “The Joe Franklin Show” started in TV in 1950. By the early 1990s, he often said, he had chatted with more than 300,000 guests, including Marilyn Monroe, Liza Minnelli and Madonna. But the notables often had to share air time on his low-budget show with a tap-dancing dentist or a man who…
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