Born David Shapiro, Frye is best known for his impressions of Richard Nixon. His impersonation genius was discovered at an early age by imitating his neighbors.
“He had an eye for people’s movements and an ear for their voices,” Frye’s sister Ruth Welch told The Associated Press. “He could really get down people’s mannerisms and intonations.”
After attending the University of Miami and serving in the army, Frye decided to pursue his dream of becoming a comedian. He performed in comedy clubs and on college campuses across the country making a name for himself, and eventually landed spots on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
He quickly rose to fame nailing his dead-on impression of Nixon and making his two earliest comedy albums I Am The President (1969) and Radio Free Nixon (1971) best selling. Frye’s career quickly declined shortly after Nixon’s resignation. He attempted in vain to revive it with impressions of Bill Clinton and both of the Bush presidents in 1990s. In early 2000s Frye moved from Los Angeles to Las Vegas where he stayed till the end.
Frye will be missed but not forgotten.