Larry King Dies at 87: Here, 5 Top Interviews, from Madonna and LeBron James to Gaddafi

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Larry King, the broadcaster who spent some 63 years interviewing famous guests from Bill Clinton and Vladimir Putin to actors and athletes, has passed away at 87, according to a Twitter statement from Ora Media, the production studio and on-demand digital TV network he launched in 2012.

Multiple outlets have reported that King, who died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, had been hospitalized with COVID-19.

King began his career as a DJ in Miami, and then turned to radio, where he had a late-night call-in show on Mutual Broadcasting System. His longest-running program, Larry King Live, debuted on a fledgling CNN in 1985, where he stayed for 25 years. His first guest was the late former governor of New York, Mario Cuomo. Larry King Now launched in 2012 on Ora TV; the streaming video show could also be seen on Hulu and RT America.

The host, who was rarely seen without suspenders, was curious about everyone and everything. His guest list was far ranging and included, controversially, no small number of paranormal enthusiasts. Below, 5 top interviews during his time on Larry King Live.

Don Rickles, 1985

Rickles was an old friend of King’s from when they hung out together in Miami Beach, and the comedian made the host laugh until he cried.

Madonna, 1999

King spoke Madonna the year she won a Grammy for Best Pop Album for Ray of Light. When he asked about her use of a single name, she explained the reason was pretty much practical: “It means so many things, I thought it was a good stage name.”

Chris Rock, 2001

King loved having on comedians, and the discussion with a young Chris Rock centered a lot around politics.

Donald & Melania Trump, 2005

The newlywed couple went on King to talk about their relationship. King introduced Melania as “the international cover girl,” and Trump uses the word ‘supermodel’ more times than was necessary.

Muammar Gaddafi, 2009

King talked to a long list of world leaders, including the Libyan strongman, who insisted he was the leader of a revolution, not a country. In his folksy way, King went there: “What’s your biggest mistake, no one’s perfect,” he asked him. “A number of mistakes,” he answered, including being overly enthusiastic about having a nuclear bomb.

LeBron James, 2010

King also loved speaking with athletes, and he had on James, who at the time was deciding which team he’d be moving to, several times.