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He sang on a few records and then began to write songs, several of which were popular in the 1950s and 1960s. which he sang on national television on a set that resembled a dark street with one street light.
Downey's fans became known as "Loudmouths," patterned after the studio lecterns decorated with gaping cartoon mouths, from which Downey's guests would go head-to-head against each other on their respective issues.On January 22, 1980, Downey, a devoted pro-life activist, hosted the California State Rally for Life at the invitation of the California Pro Life Council and United Students for Life.At that time, he was also running for President of the United States, as a Democrat.Even Downey's affiliates, many of which were low-rated independent television stations in small to medium markets, were so fearful of advertiser and viewer backlash that they would air one or even two local disclaimers during the broadcast.During one controversial episode Downey introduced his gay brother, Tony Downey, to his studio audience and informed them Tony was HIV positive.Sean Morton Downey (December 9, 1932 – March 12, 2001), known more commonly by his stage name Morton Downey Jr., was an American singer, songwriter and later a television talk show host of the late 1980s who pioneered the "trash TV" format on his program The Morton Downey Jr. Downey's parents were also in show business; his father, Morton Downey, was a popular singer, and his mother, Barbara Bennett, was a singer and dancer.
Downey did not use his legal first name (Sean) in his stage name.
During the episode Downey stated he was afraid his audience would abandon him if they knew he had a gay brother, but then said he did not care.
The Washington Post wrote about him, "Suppose a maniac got hold of a talk show. " David Letterman said, "I'm always amazed at what people will fall for.
His aunts included Hollywood film stars Constance and Joan Bennett, from whom he was estranged, and his maternal grandfather was the celebrated matinée idol Richard Bennett.
Born into a wealthy family, he was raised during the summers next door to the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
In 1990, Downey resurfaced on CNBC with an interview program called Showdown, which was followed by three attempted talk radio comebacks: first in 1992 on Washington, D. radio station WWRC; then in 1993 on Dallas radio station KGBS, where he would scream insults at his callers. This stint came shortly after the surgery for lung cancer that removed one of his lungs.