Hollywood reacts to the death of Merv Griffin


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Reaction to Sunday's death of entertainer-businessman Merv Griffin:

"The loss of a dear friend has made it difficult to focus on Merv's enormous contribution to the world of entertainment. That will come in time; for now, like his family and so many of his close friends, I'm dealing with deep sadness and the realization that I will never hear that wonderful laugh of his again. He meant so much to my life, and it's hard to imagine it without him."

Pat Sajak, host of Griffin's "Wheel of Fortune"

"This is heartbreaking, not just for those of us who loved Merv personally, but for everyone around the world who has known Merv through his music, his television shows and his business. Ronnie and I knew Merv for more years than I can even remember; more than 50, I'm sure.

"He was a dear, dear friend, and we became even closer in the last 15 years. He was there for me on some of the hardest days when Ronnie was fighting Alzheimer's, and he was there for me every day after Ronnie died."

Former first lady Nancy Reagan

"Merv was an extraordinary guy. Merv was a singer, interviewer, emcee, producer, creator, business impresario -- he could do it all, and do it like no one else. Merv was one of the best interviewers in the business because he was a great listener. He really cared about what you were saying. He wasn't busy thinking of what his next question was going to be."

Pianist Roger Williams, a frequent guest on "The Merv Griffin Show"

"Working with Merv will always be the highlight of my career. He was the ultimate entertainer, businessman and teacher. Merv was a legend who could make you smile with a song, a joke or his infectious laugh. He touched so many lives and will be deeply missed."

Ty Treadway (host of "Merv Griffin's Crosswords")

"To say that working with Merv Griffin has been a highlight of our careers is an understatement. A true renaissance man, Merv never ceased to impress us with his creativity, vision and amazing sense of humor. He has literally touched generations of people both in our business and beyond with his contributions and generosity. That Merv was a genius in his work is beyond dispute. His work ethic was remarkable, as we observed in his contributions to 'Crosswords' even in the very last days. But Merv also had a special gift for discovering and encouraging young talent, and there are innumerable people who credit him with the essential boost that propelled their careers in entertainment. That legion of the grateful will be his legacy; we count ourselves among them. We will remember Merv with love and appreciation always."

Ritch Colbert and Josh Raphaelson (Program Partners, which handles distribution for "Merv Griffin's Crosswords")