Freddie Roman, a stalwart of the Borscht Belt whose comedy was a mainstay of the Friars Club roasts and a fixture in large nightclubs, died at the age of 85. His daughter reported that he suffered a heart attack this morning in Boynton Beach, Florida.

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Roman worked several rooms in Las Vegas and other major cities over the course of his lengthy career as a comedian.

Additionally, he frequently participated in Comedy Central roasts where he poked fun at people like Jerry Stiller, Hugh Hefner, Drew Carey, Rob Reiner, and Chevy Chase, among others.

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Roman was born and raised in New York City, and at the age of 15, he was offered the opportunity to emcee at the uncle and grandfather-owned Crystal Spring Hotel in the Catskills.

He briefly worked in the region before quitting show business to work in his father’s shoe company. That didn’t last very long, and Roman eventually went back to comedy.

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Roman made appearances in the movies The Last Laugh, Bittersweet Place, Christ in the City, Finding North, Sweet Lorraine, and Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort. 

His guest spots on television were on shows including The Tonight Show, Red Oaks on Amazon, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, among others.

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Roman was able to continue serving as the Friars Club’s dean after the club’s bylaw restricting deans to two terms. He was later succeeded by Larry King, who served as The Friars Club’s subsequent dean.

He also appeared in the 2003 production of Catskills, a hit Broadway production.

His son, television producer Alan Kirschenbaum, died by suicide in 2012. Roman is survived by his wife Ethel and daughter Judi Levin.