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“I counsel, encourage, meet them when they come in for their operations, and after,” he said in 1996. “I try to offer some solace, like `Don’t be afraid, it will be a little uncomfortable for a brief time, but you’ll be OK.’ “

He also was an anti-smoking activist who took part in “Great American Smoke-Out” campaigns.

Funeral plans had not been announced as of Saturday morning.

“I can honestly say that we’ve lost not just a great actor, not just a television icon, but an element of pure Americana,” Eden said in her statement Friday night. “Goodbye, Larry. There was no one like you before and there will never be anyone like you again.”

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Associated Press writers Erin Gartner in Chicago and Shaya Mohajer in Los Angeles, and AP Television Writer Frazier Moore in New York contributed to this report.