Frank Avruch, a legendary Boston broadcaster and performer for more than 40 years on WCVB Boston, died March 20 at his home in Boston. He was 89. “Frank Avruch was one of the most influential and beloved personalities on Boston television and a cherished member of the Channel 5 family,” said Bill Fine, WCVB president-GM. “Frank’s talent […]
Frank Avruch, a legendary Boston broadcaster and performer for more than 40 years on WCVB Boston, died March 20 at his home in Boston. He was 89.
“Frank Avruch was one of the most influential and beloved personalities on Boston television and a cherished member of the Channel 5 family,” said Bill Fine, WCVB president-GM. “Frank’s talent was limitless, whether as host of The Great Entertainment, Boston’s Man About Town or Bozo the Clown; he could do it all. His kindness and enthusiasm were contagious, his style elegant, with an unmistakable voice to match. He loved this television station and city, dedicating a lifetime to entertaining us all. We send our love and deepest sympathy to his beloved wife Betty and the Avruch family. He truly was the Man Around Town and we will always be grateful to Frank for his friendship and many contributions to our industry and community.”
Avruch’s son, Steven Avruch, said: “My brother and I lost our dad last night after a long battle with heart disease. He was a devoted husband to our surviving mom Betty, and a loving father, grandfather uncle and friend to many. While it’s hard to say goodbye, we celebrate the legacy of joy and laughter he brought to millions of children around the world as Bozo the Clown on TV and as a UNICEF Ambassador and later as host of Channel 5’s Great Entertainment and Boston’s Man About Town. Our dad loved the children of all ages who remembered being on his show and was always grateful for their kind words. We will miss him greatly.”
For 18 years, Avruch was host of the classic film series The Great Entertainment on WCVB. Avruch also served as Boston’s “Man About Town” and “Goodwill Ambassador,” representing the station at numerous cultural and community events.
His familiar voice was frequently heard on the stations’s promotional announcements. Perhaps most famously, Avruch played “Bozo the Clown,” entertaining a generation of kids throughout the 1960s.
During his storied career, Avruch hosted the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s “Salute to Symphony” and a number of locally produced series including Sunday Open House, Good Day,” and Sunday Live!
Avruch was inducted into National Association of Television Arts and Sciences Gold Circle in 2010 and the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2007. He served three terms as New England President of the American Federation of Television and Performing Arts and was a Trustee of the Wang Center for the Performing Arts.
In addition, Avruch’s work with many nonprofit agencies was recognized with numerous awards, including a United Nations Award for his work with children, two Emmy awards and “Man of the Year” citing his tireless work for charities of all kinds. Under the auspices of the United Nations Children’s Fund, Avruch traveled the globe for UNICEF. His performances as “Bozo the Clown” at UNICEF projects in Asia and South America resulted in a series of documentary films viewed throughout the world.
A native of the Boston suburb of Winthrop, Avruch started on radio before making the transition to television. He attended the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism and completed his bachelor’s degree in communication at Boston University in 1949.
He is survived by his wife, Betty, his two sons Matthew and Steven, son-in-law Ed MacLean, and two grandchildren, Robert and Max.