LOS ANGELES “" In the city of angels, where the lifespan of dreams of those bent on making it onscreen or on stage and being adored by the public is rather short, Edward Leo Peter McMahon, Jr. took his final breath at the age of 86 at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center on Tuesday. Although the cause of death remains unclear, the legendary star’s failing health has caused concern for some time among his fans, family, and friends.
McMahon has survived decades in an industry that eats its own young. Yet it is no surprise that the Detroit born and Massachusetts raised entertainer made it far. The star not only had a unique ability to charm audiences on television with his humor, but his down to earth demeanor made him likable. Mr. McMahon’s appeal is definitive of an era driven less by sensationalism and more by wholesome images; a fantasy, untarnished by scandal.
He earned loyal friendships like that of Johnny Carson. At the end of the day with his famous pearly white smile, he never resorted to pretentiousness or snobbery “" a stark contrast to the current trend where twittering and blog posts of hate toward celebrities and their bad behavior are all the rage. Mr. McMahon has lived scandal-free as a consummate television personality for decades.
For decades, Mr. McMahon entered homes late at night with the famous words “Heeeeeeeere’s Johnny!” the catch phrase announcement for his long-time friend Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show.” The duo was not only an iconic fixture of television, but their rapport and sketches set the standard for late night television. Children of the 80s will also remember him fondly as the host of “Star Search,” in which a legion of current pop stars like Christina Aguilera and Usher made their debut.
It seemed Mr. McMahon’s name would always be associated with the industry of dreams. In recent news, he fell on hard times with the pending foreclosure of his estate after a serious injury. Fortunately, an undisclosed benefactor stepped into to help him.
Mr. McMahon had this to say about success: “Honesty is the single most important factor in having a direct bearing on the final success of an individual, corporation, or product.” And there is no greater proof as viewers all over still remember him as an honest, wholesome entertainer.
On Twitter and social networks, where celebrities are vilified and ridiculed, news of his death remains a top trending topic. And, fitting for his career, television stations all over memorialized him after his death.
In the end, Mr. McMahon was the good, honest guy whose persona was rooted in a warm smile and those infamous large-framed glasses. He will be much missed, and most certainly unforgotten.
Farewell, Ed McMahon. The stage you take tonight is among the best and most exclusive one; for it is one reserved for icons.