Beloved Borscht Belt comic and actor Freddie Roman, best known for his roasts as part of New York City’s Friars Club and later Comedy Central, died at the age of 85 on Saturday, his family said.
Roman suffered a heart attack in Boynton Beach, Florida, his daughter confirmed to Deadline.
The comic had spent most of his life in show business after he was given the opportunity to emcee at his uncle and grandfather’s Crystal Spring Hotel in the Catskills when he was just 15.
Roman, born Fred Kirschenbaum, and his old-timey jokes were a fixture at nightclub venues in cities like New York and Las Vegas.
He served as the dean, or president, of The Friar’s Club and took shots at celebrities like Jerry Stiller, Hugh Hefner, Drew Carey, Rob Reiner and Chevy Chase on Comedy Central’s Roasts.
He appeared in numerous films, including the award-winning documentary “Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort” (2012), “Bittersweet Place” (2005), “Christ in the City” (2005), “Finding North” (1998) and “Sweet Lorraine” (1987), according to IMDB.
He more recently co-starred in Amazon’s hit comedy series “Red Oaks,” playing a curmudgeon member of a Jewish country club in New Jersey. He also made guest appearances on shows “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “The Tonight Show.”
Roman is survived by his wife, Ethel, and daughter, Judi Levin, Deadline reported.