BOZO THE CLOWN star LARRY HARMON has died at the age of 83.
Harmon, who first portrayed the beloved children's character in the 1950s, suffered heart failure and passed away at his Los Angeles home on Thursday (03Jul08), according to his publicist Jerry Digney.
Harmon, real name Lawrence Weiss, became famed as Bozo the Clown after buying the licensing rights to the franchise from creator Alan W. Livingston and executives at Capitol Records in 1956.
His entrepreneurship led to the creation of a series of cartoons, which he voiced, and the comic book character was later portrayed by other actors on local TV stations across the U.S.
Paying tribute to the star, his wife of 29 years, Susan Harmon, says, "(He was) the love of my life.
"He was the most optimistic man I ever met. He always saw a bright side; he always had something good to say about everybody."
Harmon is also survived by his son Jeff Harmon, and daughters Lori Harmon, Marci Breth-Carabet and Leslie Breth.