Roy Clark, ‘Hee Haw’ host and country music legend, dies at 85

Roy Clark, the country music singer and co-host of “Heehaw,” the country-infused variety show, has died at the age of 85 on Thursday at the age of 85. He died from complications of pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, according to a representative.

Though success didn’t come early for Clark, he became one of the people to popularize country music for a wider audience. Starting in 1969, Clark was either a host or co-host — with Buck Owens — of “Heehaw,” which was on the air for 24 years.

As for his solo career, Clark’s hit songs include “Yesterday, When I Was Young” and “Thank God and Greyhound.”

24 PHOTOS
Roy Clark through the years
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Roy Clark through the years
CIRCA 1973: Country artist Roy Clark poses for a portrait circa 1973. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
circa 1975: American country musician Roy Clark sings and plays banjo at a microphone on stage during a concert performance. Clark was co-host of the country music variety television series, 'Hee-Haw.' (Photo by Fotos International/Getty Images)
RENO, NV - APRIL 1970: Country artist Roy Clark poses for a portrait in April 1970 in Reno, Nevada. (Photo by Ken Kim/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
circa 1975: American country singer and television host Roy Clark poses with his hand on his hip in a promotional portrait for the CBS-TV series 'Hee Haw'. He wears an iridescent gray suit with a pink shirt and printed silk tie. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)
Country musician Roy Clark and his wife Barbara Joyce Rupard pose for a portrait with champagne and a Rolls Royce in April 1970. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
American country music singer and guitarist Roy Clark poses with his guitar, 1970s. (Photo by Hope Powell/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - APRIL 25: Roy Clark, banjo player and host of the CBS television country music and variety show, 'Hee Haw.' Image dated April 25, 1969. Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - CIRCA 1965: Country artist Roy Clark poses for a portrait circa 1965 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Country musician Roy Clark poses for a portrait as he is inducted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 12, 1970 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Country musician Roy Clark poses for a portrait in 1977. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
American country music singer and guiatrist Roy Clark answers questions at the International Music Festival, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1978. (Photo by Bob Grant/Fotos International/Getty Images)
Roy Clark, US country music singer and musician, playing the guitar on stage during a live concert performance, in 1979. (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images)
BUENA PARK, CA - MARCH 21: Roy Clark and Roger Miller attend 23rd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on March 21, 1988 at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Country music singer Roy Clark performing at his Roy Clark Celebrity Theater located in town known as Broadway of country music. (Photo by William F. Campbell/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - 2000: Grand Ole Opry member and veteran country music performer Roy Clark talks with reporters at a 2000 press conference in Nashville, Tennessee, launching the start of the Opry's 75th anniversary year. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 04: Roy Clark attends the 2009 Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees announcement at the Ford Theater at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on February 4, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Tom Burns/Getty Images)
Roy Clark attends the 2009 Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees announcement at the Ford Theater at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on February 4, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Tony R. Phipps/WireImage)
NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 17: Roy Clark attends the 2009 Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on May 17, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Ed Rode/WireImage)
NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 17: Roy Clark attends the 2009 Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony on May 17, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Ed Rode/WireImage)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 29: Musician Roy Clark performs onstage during the Stagecoach Country Music Festival held at the Empire Polo Field on April 29, 2012 in Indio, California. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images for Stagecoach)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 25: General Chuck Yeager and Singer/Songwriter Roy Clark attend The Country Music Hall of Fame 2015 Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on October 25, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMHOF)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 25: Singers/Songwriters Roy Clark and Jan Howard attend The Country Music Hall of Fame 2015 Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on October 25, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMHOF)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 25: Roy Clark performs during the 33rd Annual American Eagle Awards at Music City Center on June 25, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 16: Roy Clark arrives at The 2016 Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on October 16, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum)
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In the 1970s, due to the popularity of “Heehaw,” Clark would fill in for Johnny Carson as “Tonight Show” host.

Born in 1933 in Virginia, Clark was inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2009. He won seven CMA Awards and named Entertainer of the Year in 1973.

Clark is survived by Barbara, his wife of sixty-one years, his sons Roy Clark II and wife Karen, Dr. Michael Meyer and wife Robin, Terry Lee Meyer, Susan Mosier and Diane Stewart, and his grandchildren: Brittany Meyer, Michael Meyer, Caleb Clark, Josiah Clark and his sister, Susan Coryell.

Read original story Roy Clark, ‘Hee Haw’ Host and Country Music Legend, Dies at 85 At TheWrap

70 PHOTOS
CMA Awards 2018: Red carpet arrivals
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CMA Awards 2018: Red carpet arrivals
Maren Morris attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Carrie Underwood attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Carrie Underwood attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Garth Brooks and singer Trisha Yearwood attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/FilmMagic)
Kacey Musgraves attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Kelsea Ballerini attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/FilmMagic)
Lauren Akins and Thomas Rhett attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Gretchen Wilson attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Martina McBride attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/FilmMagic)
Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Jennifer Nettles attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Kristian Bush and Jennifer Nettles of musical duo Sugarland attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Scotty McCreery attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Lauren Alaina attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Luke Bryan attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Olivia Culpo attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Brittney Marie Kelley, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard of musical duo Florida Georiga Line and Hayley Hubbard attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Cassidy Black and singer-songwriter Dierks Bentley attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
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Kane Brown attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Kimberly Williams-Paisley attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney of Dan + Shay attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
Rita Wilson attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Lionel Richie attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/FilmMagic)
Kellie Pickler attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
RaeLynn attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Chris Lane and Lauren Bushnell attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Cassadee Pope attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Jess Carson (2nd from L), Mark Wystrach (3rd from L) and Cameron Duddy (R) of Midland pose with Camille Carson, Tyler Haney and Harper Smith attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Dustin Lynch attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Danielle Bradbery attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Eric Steedly, Tripp Howell, Jared Hampton, Brandon Lancaster and Chandler Baldwin of LANCO attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Carly Pearce attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Caleb Lee Hutchinson attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line and Hayley Hubbard attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Walker Hayes attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
CMT hosts Cody Alan and Katie Cook attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Singer-songwriter Justin Moore attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Lauren Alaina (R) and Alex Hopkins attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Brantley Gilbert and Amber Cochran attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/FilmMagic)
Maddie Marlow and Taylor Dye of musical duo Maddie and Tae attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Christina Murphy and singer-songwriter Frankie Ballard attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Ben Aaron and Kellie Pickler of tv show Pickler & Ben attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Hillary Scott of musical group Lady Antebellum attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Luke Bryan (R) and Caroline Boyer attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Mason Ramsey attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Alicia Witt attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Katie Stevens attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Rodney Atkins and Rose Falcon attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
Lauren Akins attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Katelyn Jae and singer-songwriter Kane Brown attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Mackenzie Foy attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Meghan Linsey attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Chris Lucas and Preston Brust of LOCASH attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Devin Dawson and Leah Sykes attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Sharna Burgess attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Morgan Evans attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Jordan Davis attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Aaron Watson attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Mitchell Tenpenny attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
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Sharon White and singer Ricky Skaggs attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Nicolle Galyon attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Brett Young and Taylor Mills attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Kristian Bush of musical duo Sugarland attends the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
Christina Murphy (L) and Frankie Ballard attend the 52nd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 14, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
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