Frank Avruch, longtime Boston TV personality and entertainer known for playing Bozo the Clown, has died. Avruch died Tuesday at his Boston home from heart disease, WCVB TV reported. He was 89.
Avruch starred as the fictional character from 1959 to 1970 on Boston’s version of the show which aired on WCVB, going on to become the first nationally syndicated Bozo the Clown, according to The Associated Press.
Avruch also was a longtime contributor to WCVB-TV, hosting Man About Town and The Great Entertainment and he toured the world playing Bozo The Clown for Unicef.
The character Bozo the Clown first appeared on television in 1949 played by Pinto Colvig. Larry Harmon purchased the rights in 1956 and franchised it out. Performers to have played Bozo, aside from Colvig, Harmon and Avruch include Willard Scott (1959–1962), Bob Bell (1960–1984), and Joey D’Auria (1984–2001).
WCVB-TV anchor Maria Stephanos paid tribute to Avruch in a tweet Wednesday.