Frye died at his home Monday of cardiopulmonary arrest, Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy said.
Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy said Saturday that Frye died of cardiopulmonary arrest at his home on Monday.
Frye’s sister, Ruth Welch of Boynton Beach, Fla., says he was a genius who began by imitating neighbors in Brooklyn, N.Y., where they grew up.
She says her brother had an “ear for people’s voices” and an “eye for their movements” that made his impressions very accurate.
Among others, Frye appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and the “Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.”
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.
In a 1986 interview while playing the Riviera Hotel and Casino, Frye told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he rarely made television appearances anymore and therefore hardly ever worked nightclubs.
“I haven’t worked on a nightclub stage in years,” Frye said. “TV gives you exposure and in turn, drawing power. There aren’t too many shows left on TV where a guy like me can perform. So with no drawing power, I’m not in demand on the nightclub circuit.”
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.
Welch said Frye was a “wonderful” brother who moved to Las Vegas about eight years ago from Beverly Hills, Calif.
“He was a generous person and a very good brother in time of need,” she said. “He was very much loved by the whole family, and he’ll be terribly missed.”