New York Daily News
‘Friendly’ guy will be missed in his old home
The death of broadcast legend Larry King in a Los Angeles hospital really hit home for a Brooklyn man.
Michael Marra, 43, spent his entire life inside the Bensonhurst residence where King grew up for a time as a child, with the renowned talk show host returning to visit repeatedly over the years.
“He’s been here so many times,” said Marra at his home on 83rd St. “He’s always been so nice and friendly. There always is that little connection. I’ve always been proud of it.”
Marra recalled that King lived with his family in a two-bedroom apartment on the top floor, noting his own family knew nothing of the connection until the legendary talk show host appeared out of nowhere one day.
“We didn’t even know,” he explained, adding his family members were fans. “We always knew about him and we watched him. We knew he was a Brooklyn boy. He was the face of interviews on TV back then.”
Marra said King turned up “pretty often” in the mid- to late ’90s, when he was a national figure hosting CNN’s “Larry King Live.” He recalled the two-time Peabody Award winner and Radio Hall of Famer as a regular guy who even included his parents in a show done from the site.
“They would set up a tent, and my mom and my father would chitchat [with him],” he recalled. “They appeared in one of the specials.”
Marra recalled learning that a young King spent summer nights on the fire escape when the apartment became too hot.
King’s visits ended in recent years, although St. Regis Hotel chef Marra recalled a near-miss at work about five years ago when King arrived there for dinner.
“I knew he was there because everyone was like ’Larry King is here!’” he recalled.
The bad news reached Marra on Saturday morning via his cell phone, and it felt like he lost a friend.
“It popped up on my phone as an alert,” he recalled. “I was like, ’Oh, man.’”