David Frost, veteran broadcaster, dies at 74
(CNN) — Veteran British broadcaster David Frost, best known for his series of interviews with disgraced U.S. President Richard Nixon, has died. He was 74.
His death was reported by the BBC, which aired many of his shows, and by Al Jazeera English, where he also worked.
“My heart goes out to David Frost’s family,” British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted Sunday morning. “He could be — and certainly was with me — both a friend and a fearsome interviewer.”
Frost’s interviews with Nixon, and the story behind them, were portrayed in the play and film “Frost/Nixon,” written by Peter Morgan.
In a 2009 interview, Frost told CNN he did not see the interviews as “an intellectual ‘Rocky,’” as Morgan called them.
Nixon at one point let down his guard, telling Frost, “I’m saying when the president does it, that means it’s not illegal.” For many viewers, that moment cemented Nixon’s infamy.
More than 30 years later, Frost remembered Nixon as a surprisingly awkward figure who, while once discussing what they’d done the previous evening, asked the host, “Did you do any fornicating?”
“It was amazing to discover how … hopeless he was at small talk,” Frost told CNN. “I mean, here was this incredible professional politician, a great pro. And he’d never learned small talk.”
In a 2011 interview with CNN, Frost praised former U.S. President George H.W. Bush. “He was wise,” Frost said. “He was cautious, he knew what he was determined to do.”