Former President Richard M. Nixon, right, with broadcaster David Frost in California in 1977. (AP / March 9, 2010)
LONDON — Veteran British journalist and broadcaster David Frost, who won fame around the world for his TV interviews with former President Richard Nixon, has died, his family told the BBC. He was 74.
Frost died of a suspected heart attack on Saturday night aboard the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship, where he was due to give a speech, the family said. The cruise company Cunard said its vessel left the English port of Southampton on Saturday for a 10-day cruise in the Mediterranean.
Known for incisive interviews of leading public figures, Frost spent more than 50 years as a television star.
Prime Minister David Cameron was quick to send his condolences, praising Frost for being an “extraordinary man with charm, wit, talent, intelligence and warmth in equal measure.”
“The Nixon interviews were among the great broadcast moments — but there were many other brilliant interviews,” Cameron said. “He could be — and certainly was with me — both a friend and a fearsome interviewer.”
The BBC said it received a statement from Frost's family saying it was devastated and asking “for privacy at this difficult time.”
Frost's career on television news and entertainment spanned almost half a century. He interviewed many world leaders and celebrities, including Henry Kissinger and the Beatles.
But Frost is best remembered for his interviews with Nixon in 1977. Recorded after the Watergate scandal and the president's resignation, they achieved the largest audience for a TV news interview in history.