Ron Sweed, a TV personality from Cleveland who found fame as the late-night variety show character “The Ghoul,” has died. He was 70.
Sweed’s ex-wife Barbara J. King posted on Facebook that the comedian died on Monday after suffering a heart attack five months earlier. Sweed underwent triple-bypass surgery on Nov. 7, 2018, according to Cleveland19.
“Many of you told me stories of meeting Ron or how watching his TV show cheered you up; that all meant a lot to me,” King said. “My heart goes out to Mary Therese, his wife, who was steadfastly at his side throughout all of this. I lost my best friend but she has lost her partner in life.”
The couple met when they were 17 and were married for 14 years, she wrote.
Sweed’s character “The Ghoul” followed in the tradition of other late-night horror hosts such as Ernie Anderson, who rose to fame as “Ghoulardi” — which also became the name of the production company of Ernie’s award-winning filmmaker son, Paul Thomas Anderson.
Sweed was first invited on stage with Anderson in 1963 when the then-13-year-old showed up in a gorilla suit. He went on to become a production assistant for the WJW-TV show and, with Anderson’s blessing, started hosting his own show in 1970, which became a hit in the Cleveland and Detroit markets.
He is survived by his second wife, Mary Therese.