Legacy Of Morton Downey Jr. Lives In New Documentary
He was the king of confrontation TV, an in-your-face host who always seemed seconds away from a fist-fight with his own guests.
Morton Downey Jr.'s explosive on-air style and ever-present cigarette made him a pop-culture phenomenon back in the 1980's.
Now, a whole new generation can catch his act.
A just-released documentary movie, called Évocateur, traces Morton Downey Jr.'s rise to fame.
Seth Kramer is one of the movie's producers. He told INSIDE EDITION, "It was like giving a psycho maniac their own television show.”
He and his colleagues Daniel Miller and Jeremy Newberger scoured some 400 hours of old show tapes to find moments like Downey screaming, “Isn't that typical of a left-wing pabulum puking liberal."
Miller said, "Mort would spit on you when he disagreed with you."
Kramer said, "Downey would never be allowed to do on TV today what he did back in the day"
Downey could erupt outside the TV studio too, as INSIDE EDITION found out while we were investigating a gold-mining company he was involved with.
"He just flips out into a tyraid. He uses language I cannot even say on TV," said Newberger.
Downey came late to TV. For most of his career, he had been a radio host, songwriter and C-list singer. But the TV show turned him into a national star whose every move made headlines.
Not everyone is thrilled about the new movie. Downey’s widow, Lori, for one.
INSIDE EDITION's Diane McInerney asked Lori, "You had a chance to see the film, what did you think of the film?"
She said, "Oh, I was horrified."
Lori says there was much more to her husband than the wild man on TV.
McInerney asked, "Was he anything like his public persona?"
She said, "Not at all. He was the sweetest, kindest person I think I ever met in my life. He was sincere, he cared about people."
Downey died of lung cancer in 2001. But his fiery TV show lives again, on the big screen this time.
Morton Downey Jr., the man, the mouth, the movie.