Sir David Frost, a veteran British broadcaster and writer, has passed away Saturday, August 31 at the age of 74. The legendary journalist's family confirmed that he died of an apparent heart attack aboard the Queen Elizabeth sailing from England to the Mediterranean.
He was scheduled to give a shipboard speech and died en route to Portugal. "His family are devastated and ask for privacy at this difficult time. A family funeral will be held in the near future and details of a memorial service will be announced in due course," a statement said.
Frost became famous in 1977 after his nearly 29 hours of taped conversation with President Richard M. Nixon was broadcast. It was Nixon's first interview after he resigned in 1974, and Frost successfully coaxed an apology from the former president for his role in the Watergate scandal.
The interview became so famous that it was turned into a stage production in London in 2006 and later on Broadway in 2007. A year later, it was adapted into a movie "Frost/Nixon" with Michael Sheen as Frost and Frank Langella as Nixon. It was nominated for five Academy Awards and five Golden Globes, including Best Picture for both.
During his long career, Frost had interviewed six American Presidents, eight British Prime Ministers, several members of the Royal family, and a large number of celebrities. He was knighted by the British monarch in 1993.
"My heart goes out to David Frost's family," British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted in the wake of Frost's passing. The PM said the journalist had a knack for getting his guests to relax and open up, "He could be - and certainly was with me - both a friend and a fearsome interviewer."
Playwright Peter Morgan who wrote the original "Frost/Nixon" play remembered the late broadcaster as a pioneer. "He combined being a satirist and someone who one satirized. It was an extraordinary, four-dimensional, vivid career...and he was a great lunch," he said.