Dick Martin

NBCU Photo Bank

Funnyman Dick Martin, best known as the cohost of the 1960s television hit Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, died Saturday in Santa Monica from respiratory complications. He was 86.

"He had had some pretty severe respiratory problems for many years, and he had pretty much stopped breathing a week ago," said Martin family spokesman Barry Greenberg.

On the pioneering sketch show Laugh-In, which mined humor out of hippie culture and other topical issues of the late 1960s, goofball Martin and his straight-man other half, Dan Rowan, helped launch the careers of, among others, Lily Tomlin and Goldie Hawn.

Martin also starred as Lucille Ball's neighbor and love interest in her comeback sitcom The Lucy Show and, after Laugh-In's run ended in 1973, went on to direct several television shows, including Newhart and Family Ties. He also appeared on The Love Boat and Diagnosis Murder.

He is survived by his wife, Dolly Read, and sons Cary and Richard. Rowan died in 1987.

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