Morton Downey Jr. Interview

The biggest compliment you can ever give someone is to say they're original.

Morton Downey Jr. was an original. A singer. An actor. An author. And, oh yeah, a Talk Show Host. Morton Downey Jr. did it all.

On March 12, 2001 Morton Downey Jr. died of Lung Cancer. He was 67 years old.

Back on February 22, 1999 we spoke with Morton Downey Jr. about his career, his health, some of the people he knew over the years, and his time as a disc jockey in Syracuse.

This is the first time this interview has been published anywhere.

Q: Back in the days of the Morton Downey Jr. Show, you told the Enquirer the pressures of doing that show almost drove you to suicide. Is that true?
A: It sure is.

Q: Since you were the star of the show, couldn't you control the schedule and slow the work pace?
A: No, because in those days, I was supposed to have a contract like Oprah's, but the reality was, I was receiving $125,000 a year for doing that show. When they had me living in New York and living the high life, that was less money than I was making as a disc jockey. I wasn't making enough dough, so I'd fly out from the station every night. A helicopter would pick me up and I'd go make personal appearances. What I was doing was traveling hundreds of thousands of miles and working five, six, seven days a week to make enough money to live the lifestyle that had been set up, and I just burned out.

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