BOSTON (CelebrityAccess) Frank Avruch, 89, who played Bozo The Clown from 1959 to 1970, died at his home from heart disease March 20, his family said in a statement.
Bozo became popular throughout the U.S. in the 1960s because of widespread franchising in television, with Avruch becoming the first nationally syndicated Bozo the Clown.
“He had a heart of gold,” his manager, Stuart Hersh, told the Associated Press. “He brought the Bozo the Clow character to life better than anyone else’s portrayal of Bozo the Clown.”
Avruch was known as a philanthropist and a board member of UNICEF’s New England chapter, and toured the world as Bozo for UNICEF.
“While it’s hard to say goodbye, we celebrate the legacy of joy and laughter he brought to millions of children around the world as Bozo the Clown on TV and as a UNICEF Ambassador and later as host of Channel 5’s Great Entertainment and Boston’s Man About Town,” Avruch’s family said in a statement to WCVB-TV. “Our dad loved the children of all ages who remembered being on his show and was always grateful for their kind words. We will miss him greatly.”