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Tuesday 16 September 2014

Grease co-star Sid Caesar dies

Published 13/02/2014 | 00:17

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Sid Caesar, a US comedian with a career covering six decades, has died in Los Angeles (AP)

Sid Caesar, a pioneer of TV comedy in the US who was well-known for playing Coach Calhoun in the film Grease, has died aged 91.

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Family spokesman Eddy Friedfeld said Sid died at his home in the Los Angeles area after a brief illness.

"He had not been well for a while. He was getting weak," said Eddy, who wrote the 2003 biography Caesar's Hour.

Carl Reiner, who worked as a writer-performer with Sid on his breakthrough Your Show of Shows comedy programmre said he had an ability to "connect with an audience and make them roar with laughter".

"Sid Caesar set the template for everybody," Reiner told KNX-AM in Los Angeles. "He was without a doubt, inarguably, the greatest sketch comedian-monologist that television ever produced. He could ad-lib. He could do anything that was necessary to make an audience laugh."

In his early TV work, Sid gathered a stable of young writers who went on to worldwide fame in their own right - including Neil Simon and Woody Allen.

"He was one of the truly great comedians of my time and one of the finest privileges I've had in my entire career was that I was able to work for him," Woody said in a statement.

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