LOS ANGELES – Art Linkletter, who as the gently mischievous host of TV's "People
Are Funny" and "House
Party" in the 1950s and '60s delighted viewers with his ability
to get kids — and grownups — to say the darndest things on national
television, died Wednesday. He was 97.
Linkletter died at his home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles, said his son-in-law, Art Hershey, the husband of Sharon Linkletter.
"He lived a long, full, pure life, and the Lord had need for him," Hershey said.
Linkletter had been ill "in the last few weeks time, but bear in mind he was 97 years old. He wasn't eating well, and the aging process took him," Hershey said.
Linkletter hadn't been diagnosed with any life-threatening disease, he said.
Linkletter was known on TV for his funny interviews with children and ordinary folks. He also collected their comments in a number of best-selling books.
"Because of Art Linkletter, adults found themselves enjoying children," said Bill
Cosby, whose style interviewing kids on his own show in the late
'90s was often compared to Linkletter's.
"An amazing fellow, a terrific broadcast talent, a brilliant businessman. An all-around good guy," CNN's Larry King added about his longtime friend and frequent guest.
Asked what made Linkletter so appealing to audiences, King said, "He had an unusual voice, a twang to his voice that was immediately recognizable. And he looked like your favorite uncle.""Art Linkletter's House Party," one of television's
One of my first and most fondest memories of TV.....he made kids look good....:-)