June 5, 2008 / 4:10 AM / 10 years ago

Ed McMahon fights foreclosure on Beverly Hills home

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Ed McMahon, the longtime sidekick to U.S. talk show host Johnny Carson, is fighting to save his multimillion dollar Beverly Hills home from foreclosure, McMahon’s spokesman said on Wednesday.

Ed McMahon and his wife Pamela attend the premiere of "The Simpsons Movie" at the Mann Village theatre in Westwood, California July 24, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

McMahon, 85, most famous for his “Heeeeeeeeere’s Johnny” introduction to “The Tonight Show” for 30 years, is one of the most high-profile people to be caught up in the U.S. housing downturn and credit squeeze. Beyond his “Tonight Show” duties, McMahon also hosted popular U.S. TV talent show “Star Search.”

Spokesman Howard Bragman said the jovial TV personality was having “very fruitful discussions” with his mortgage lenders after a notice of default was filed in February.

According to public records, McMahon was then about $644,000 in arrears on the mortgage for the six-bedroom, five-bathroom home in an exclusive area of Beverly Hills. The house has been on the market for about two years and the current asking price is $5.75 million.

Bragman said McMahon fell and broke his neck about 18 months ago, preventing him from working. His health problems and the weak housing market forced him into foreclosure proceedings.

McMahon and his wife Pamela “understand that they are in the same situation as hundreds of thousands of other hard-working Americans, and their hearts go out to them,” Bragman said.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 14.5 percent or one in seven homes for sale across the nation in April were the result of foreclosure.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by David Wiessler

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