Comedian Jackie Mason has passed away at the age of 93, a close friend of the star has confirmed.
Mason, who was a Rabbi before his controversial comedy made him a household name, died in a Manhattan, New York City hospital according to his lawyer and friend Raoul Felder.
Felder reportedly told The Hollywood Reporter that the comic experienced trouble breathing prior to passing away in his sleep.
Mason was famed for his Borscht Belt style and issue-oriented comedy after becoming a full-time comedian in 1959. while his acts were also often controversial.
His style was undeniably Jewish and this helped him to become established as a cultural touchstone for famous acts that would follow, such as Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld.
He held many one-man shows throughout his long career, including The World According to Me!, which was a Broadway hit in the late 1980s. selling out at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre for more than a year.
His efforts earned him a special Tony Award, while he also received an Emmy and a Grammy nomination after adapting the show into Jackie Mason on Broadway.
He featured in Mel Brooks’ 1981 film History of the World: Part I as well as the 1988 flop Caddyshack II.
On the small screen he made dozens of appearances on The Dean Martin Show.
Mason later starred on his own ABC sitcom called Chicken Soup in 1989. He played a Jewish pyjamas salesman who embarked on a love affair with an Irish Catholic social worker.
He also provided the voice of Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky on eight episodes of The Simpsons between 1991 and 2016.
Fans and famous faces took to social media on Saturday to pay their tributes to the star.
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried wrote on Twitter : “One of the best. RIP Jackie Mason.”
Al Jean, who wrote for The Simpsons, put: “. @TheSimpsons I feel like Krusty. We will very much miss Jackie Mason.”
And TV host Sean Hannity penned: “Love and prayers for our friend Jackie. Irreverent, iconoclastic, Funny, smart, and a great American Patriot. He will be missed by so many.
“God Speed Jackie. Love and prayers to him and his wonderful family.”
Mason was born in Wisconsin and originally called Yacov Moshe Maza. His parents were originally from Belarus.
He married Jyll Rosenfeld in 1991, who was a co-writer on Stiffs, which was a comedy Mason starred in in 1985 about about a funeral home.
As well as his wife, Mason is survived by his daughter, comedian Sheba Mason, from a previous relationship with Ginger Reiter.