Freddie Roman, a Borscht Belt staple whose comedy was long a part of the Friars Club roasts and was a fixture in big nightclubs, has died at 85. He had a heart attack this morning in Boynton Beach, Florida, his daughter said.
Roman had a long career in comedy, a reliable old-time joke teller who worked countless rooms in Las Vegas and other big cities.
He was also part of frequent Comedy Central roasts, taking a few wacks at the likes of Jerry Stiller, Hugh Hefner, Drew Carey, Rob Reiner and Chevy Chase, among others.
Roman grew up in New York City, and was given a chance to emcee at the Crystal Spring Hotel in the Catskills at age 15, a venue owned by his uncle and grandfather.
He worked the area for a time, then left show business to work for his father’s shoe store. That didn’t last long, and Roman returned to comedy.
Roman appeared in the films Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort (2012), The Last Laugh (2006), Bittersweet Place (2005), Christ in the City (2005), Finding North (1998) and Sweet Lorraine (1987)