Frank Avruch, best known for playing Bozo the Clown in the children's TV program of the same name, died on Tuesday. He was 89.
According to CBS News, the entertainer died at his home in Boston from heart disease.
"I'm Anita Pollak, Frank's Webmaster for over 20 years," a post on his website read. "Through all that time, he and his lovely wife Betty have been very dear friends, both to me and to my husband Rick. It is with great sadness that I share the news that Frank Avruch passed away Tuesday, March 20, 2018."
Though Bozo the Clown has been played by a number of actors over the years, Avruch was the first to portray the character on nationally-syndicated TV. He portrayed Bozo the Clown from 1959-1970.
"He had a heart of gold," Avruch's manager, Stuart Hersh, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "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."
Additionally, Avruch was a longtime contributor to WCVB-TV as a host of Man About Town and The Great Entertainment. He was also a board member of UNICEF's New England chapter.
Avruch is survived by his wife Betty, his two children, Matthew and Steven, and several grandchildren.