Comic David Frye, whose impressions of presidents Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson as well as other prominent political figures vaulted him to popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, died in Las Vegas on Monday of cardiopulmonary arrest. He was 77.
Frye performed at colleges and nightclubs as well as on television programs such as “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”
He reached the height of his popularity doing impressions of Nixon, with his shoulders hunched and face bowed down. He also devoted several albums to Nixon before the president’s resignation in 1974 amid the Watergate scandal.
Born David Shapiro in 1934 in Brooklyn, Frye also imitated such political and entertainment figures as Hubert Humphrey, George Wallace, William F. Buckley, Walter Cronkite, Kirk Douglas and Howard Cosell.
He recorded the albums “David Frye Presents the Great Debate” in 1980 and “Clinton: An Oral History” in 1998 but never again saw the level of fame he achieved in the Nixon years.
He is survived by a sister, Ruth.