SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Roy Clark, 'Hee Haw' host, dies at 85

Roy Clark, a country music star and former host of the long-running TV series "Hee Haw," died Thursday, his ...

Posted: Nov 16, 2018 6:05 AM
Updated: Nov 16, 2018 6:05 AM

Roy Clark, a country music star and former host of the long-running TV series "Hee Haw," died Thursday, his representative told CNN.

He was 85.

Deaths and fatalities

Society

Clark died of complications from pneumonia at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to publicist Sandy Brokaw.

Raised in Washington D.C., the guitarist and banjo player began his musical career as a young teen. He made his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry at age 17.

Band gigs led to television appearances on "The Tonight Show" and "American Bandstand."

In 1969, Clark and Buck Owens were tapped to co-host "Hee Haw." The country music and comedy show aired in syndication for more than two decades, with Clark as host or co-host its entire run.

In a tribute to Clark sent by his representatives, they shared some quotes from the country star about his career.

"A TV camera goes right through your soul," Clark said of his screen work. "If you're a bad person, people pick that up. I'm a firm believer in smiles. I used to believe that everything had to be a belly laugh. But I've come to realize that a real sincere smile is mighty powerful."

With hits like "The Tips of My Fingers" and "Yesterday, When I Was Young," Clark was one of the first cross-over artists to land singles on both the country and pop charts.

In 1982, Clark won a Grammy for best country instrumental performance for "Alabama Jubilee." He was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.

"Soon as you hit the edge of the stage and see people smiling and know they're there to hear you, it's time to have fun," Clark once said about performing. "I keep a band of great young people around me, and we're not musically restrained. It's not about 'let's do it correct' but 'let's do it right.'"

Clark ended each of his performances with a humorous note of appreciation: "We had to come, but you had a choice. Thanks for being here."

He is survived by extensive family and his wife of 61 years, Barbara.

A memorial celebration is planned in Tulsa in the coming days, according to Clark's representative.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1973308

Reported Deaths: 51350
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings2611819909
Queens2604189526
Suffolk1913793303
Nassau1753923102
Bronx1731096365
New York1303844306
Westchester1245352236
Erie805561689
Richmond698671740
Monroe599441033
Orange45583782
Rockland45345941
Onondaga35576660
Dutchess27616433
Albany23409343
Oneida21291497
Niagara17888332
Broome17175348
Saratoga14222160
Ulster12835241
Schenectady12289192
Rensselaer10526136
Putnam1007991
Chautauqua8256132
Chemung7068133
Oswego690990
Ontario676591
Steuben6212141
St. Lawrence613794
Sullivan603268
Cayuga581090
Jefferson540863
Wayne515467
Cattaraugus506880
Genesee5014121
Herkimer4883107
Clinton447232
Madison425785
Tompkins401949
Fulton399786
Livingston394358
Montgomery3842114
Columbia380399
Cortland351560
Warren333756
Tioga333358
Wyoming321751
Allegany314183
Otsego313646
Greene308174
Chenango303173
Washington281355
Orleans271683
Lewis242333
Franklin237512
Delaware211936
Seneca185356
Schoharie152015
Essex148926
Yates109826
Schuyler97913
Hamilton3002
Unassigned184111
Out of NY0216
Rome
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 37°
Binghamton
Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 49° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 36°
Rome
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 37°
Rome
Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 37°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Enter the Rock Your Body Giveaway from Alivana Aesthetics
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!