Legendary TV host Johnny Carson died this morning (23JAN05) in his Malibu home after a three-year battle with respiratory disease emphysema. He was 79.

Carson shot to fame in 1962 when he replaced JACK PAAR as the host of NBC's TONIGHT SHOW, which he left in May 1992 after three decades as one of America's best-loved presenters and four consecutive EMMY Awards.

The Nebraska native made his first TV appearance when he was just 14-years-old, as a magician on THE GREAT CARSONI, and returned to the small screen with comedy show CARSON'S CELLAR after Navy service in World War II.

He went on to host numerous TV quizzes and variety shows, most notably THE JOHNNY CARSON SHOW, before hosting daytime game show WHO DO YOU TRUST, where he was joined by Ed McMahon, who became his Tonight Show sidekick.

Carson's nephew, JEFF SOTZING says, "Mr Carson passed away peacefully early Sunday morning.

"He was surrounded by his family, whose loss will be immeasurable. There will be no memorial service."

Carson leaves behind his fourth wife ALEXIS MASS and two sons.

23/01/2005 21:36