Comedy star Jackie Mason dies aged 93

Jackie Mason credit:Bang Showbiz
Jackie Mason credit:Bang Showbiz

Jackie Mason has died at the age of 93.

The comedian and actor passed away in his sleep at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, New York, where he'd spent the last two weeks after complaining of breathing difficulties.

Raoul Felder, his friend and lawyer, told NBC News: "He died peacefully in his sleep with his wife and a few friends by his side."

Mason was ordained as a rabbi before turning to showbiz in the 50s and subsequently won a host of accolades during his career, including a Tony Award and an Emmy for playing the part of Krusty the Clown's father - Rabbi Hyman Krustofski - on 'The Simpsons'. The comedy star last appeared in the long-running sitcom in 2014.

Mason began leading congregations in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, after his father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather had all been rabbis before him.

Mason's sermons attracted a lot of non-Jewish people who loved his sense of humour, which was characterised by puns and innuendos. Political incorrectness was also a big part of comedy act, which would often divide opinion among fans and critics.

However, following his dad's death, he decided to switch his attention towards a career in stand-up comedy.

Mason won a Tony award for 'The World According to Me!', which ran for 573 performances in New York, while he also starred in 'Politically Incorrect' and 'Love Thy Neighbour' in the 90s.

He starred in 'Freshly Squeezed' in 2005 and his final show 'The Ultimate Jew'.

In recent years, Mason turned his focus towards YouTube, where he uploaded more than 200 videos to the platform, and offered his opinion on various issues, including politics in the US.

The stand-up star is survived by his wife Jyll Rosenfeld and daughter Sheba.