Freeman King, 59; Actor, Comic Was a Regular on ‘Sonny & Cher’ TV Show

From a Times Staff Writer

Freeman King, an actor and comedian best known for his appearances on “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour” in the 1970s, has died. He was 59.

King, who fashioned a career as a character actor in films and television, died of a heart attack in Los Angeles on his birthday, Saturday.

Born on a farm in Pelahatchie, Miss., King moved to California in the early 1960s and graduated from Compton High School in 1962. He studied drama at Los Angeles City College.


While doing stand-up comedy at Redd Foxx’s club in Los Angeles, Foxx suggested that King team up with Canadian comedian Murray Langston, who was also working there. This led to a role on the weekly “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour” from 1971 to 1974. He later appeared as disc jockey “Dr. D” on the popular program “Dance Fever.”

Over the years, King appeared in television shows such as “Hunter,” “Moonlighting,” “Hill Street Blues,” “The Incredible Hulk” and “Starsky & Hutch.” He also showed up as a panelist on shows including “The Match Game,” “The Gong Show” and “The $1.98 Beauty Show.”

King is survived by his wife, Fe King; a son from a previous marriage, John Freeman King; two sisters and two brothers.

Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Utter-McKinley San Fernando Mission Mortuary, 11071 Columbus Avenue, Mission Hills.