The host of the eponymous Morton Downey, Jr. Show, which popularized the trash TV format with brawling, scandalizing guests.
His show started on local New York stations and later gained national syndication - with many stations appending disclaimers and warnings to the audience.
A film about his career entitled Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie showed that there was a deeper side to Downey, and premiered at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.
He grew up in Los Angels, California.
Although his show declined in popularity in the late 1980's its format lived on through highly popular 90's shows hosted by Jerry Springer and Phil Donahue.