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Comedian, author George Carlin dead at 71

Comedian, author George Carlin dead at 71
George Carlin seen in this October 2004 file photo. (UPI Photo/Laura Cavanaugh) | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, June 23 (UPI) -- U.S. comedian and social commentator George Carlin has died from heart failure in California, his publicist said.

"Entertainment Tonight" reported Carlin, 71, died Sunday night at Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica.

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He had been the victim of several heart attacks and had a history of heart disease, "ET" online reported. He went to the hospital Sunday afternoon complaining of heart problems.

Carlin was famous for his controversial comedy routine "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television."

Carlin was the host of the premiere episode of "Saturday Night Live" in 1975 and later starred in numerous HBO comedy specials. He also appeared in the big-screen comedies "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure," "Dogma" and "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back."

Carlin, the author of the bestselling book "Brain Droppings," was to receive the John F. Kennedy Center's Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this fall.

"The world is a big theater-in-the round as far as I'm concerned, and I'd love to watch it spin itself into oblivion," Carlin told Playboy magazine in 2005. "Tune in and watch the human adventure.... That's what I want heaven to be."

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People.com said Carlin is survived by his wife, Sally Wade, and daughter, Kelly Carlin McCall.

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