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Former ’20/20′ host Hugh Downs dead at 99

Steve Fenn/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images
Steve Fenn/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

(ARIZONA) — Hugh Downs, who had a broadcast career that spanned more than 50 years, has died, his family has confirmed.

Downs, who was perhaps best known as the co-host of ABC’s 20/20 with Barbara Walters, died of a heart-related condition at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, notes The Hollywood Reporter.

He was 99. 

In addition to his time at ABC News, two-time Emmy winner Downs hosted NBC’s Today show, which is where he discovered Walters as a writer, and later saw her promoted to co-host. He was also Jack Paar’s sidekick on The Tonight Show, and hosted the game show Concentration.

For years, Hugh Downs held the record for the most-ever hours on broadcast TV with 10,000, until Regis Philbin bested the record in 2004. 

In fact, one of Downs’ books was a memoir called On Camera: My 10,000 Hours on Television.

By Stephen Iervolino
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