Country music veteran Roy Clark, the Grammy-winning co-host of TV's long-running "Hew-Haw" show, died Thursday at his home in Tulsa, Okla.
The cause was complications of pneumonia, according to a statement from his publicists, Sandy Brokaw and Jeremy Westby.
Clark was best known for his comedy and country music show Hee Haw, which he hosted for its entire 24-year run until the show ended in 1993.
A skilled guitar and banjo player, Clark first found notoriety as an opening act for Hank Williams and Wanda Jackson.
Clark played with the Boston Pops and other top orchestras.
In the 1950s, Clark played in bands in the Washington, D.C., area.
Clark also frequently guest-hosted The Tonight Show for Jonny Carson in the '70s, a rare opportunity for a country performer. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009. He started playing guitar at age 14, and a year later was performing in his father's square dance band.
He toured the Soviet Union in 1976, bringing country behind the Iron Curtain, and in 1983 opened the Roy Clark Celebrity Theatre in Branson, Missouri, helping turn the Ozark town into a country music destination. In the mid-'50s, Clark honed his television chops as a regular on Country Style, the D.C. -based television show hosted by Jimmy Dean, eventually taking over as host after Dean relocated to NY. He got his first recording contract, with Capitol Records, in 1962. Owens, who left the show in 1986, later referred to it as a "cartoon donkey", one he endured for "that big paycheck".
"We became a part of the family".