Author Bill Zehme, the last person to interview Johnny Carson and biographer of Frank Sinatra and Andy Kaufman, has died. He was 65 and passed in Chicago after a long battle with colorectal cancer.

Zehme was known for his ability to land interviews with hard-to-reach celebrities. His works included Intimate Strangers: Comic Profiles and Indiscretions of the Very Famous, as well as the biographies of Frank Sinatra, Andy Kaufman, Jay Leno, Hugh Hefner, and Regis Philbin, among others.

In addition to his books, Zehme wrote for Playboy, Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, among other magazines. He also served as supervising producer of the network television retrospective Taxi: A Celebration and was a consulting producer of the NBC-TV special A Comedy Salute to Andy Kaufman.

He also won a 2004 National Magazine Award for Profile Writing. He graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 1980.

Details on survivors or memorial plans were not immediately available.


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