The AP reports

that legendary Johnny Carson sidekick Ed McMahon passed away shortly after midnight this morning at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, surrounded by his wife, Pam, and other family members. The entertainer, a Marine who served in WWII and Korea, was 86. Though his publicist declined to divulge the exact cause of death, it's known that McMahon suffered from multiple illnesses, including bone cancer, and sustained a neck injury caused by a 2007 fall. Recent years had been financially difficult for McMahon, whose Beverly Hills home was nearly foreclosed upon last year after he defaulted on a $4.8 million loan. But he didn't seem bitter while explaining his problems to Larry King (video), and still had fond memories of his 30-plus years on The Tonight Show. Other co-hosting gigs during his long career included Star Search, TV Bloopers And Practical Jokes, and, who could forget, Alf's Hit Talk Show.