TAMPA, Fla. — An autopsy shows that cocaine use contributed to the heart disease that suddenly killed boisterous TV pitchman Billy Mays in June, officials announced Friday.
The 50-year bearded TV personality died of a heart attack in his sleep after going to bed at his Tampa condo the night of June 27.
His wife found him unresponsive the next morning.
The Hillsborough County medical examiner’s office Friday said Mays had last used cocaine days before his death.
The report said that although Mays died from heart disease, cocaine use was a contributing cause of death.
Mays was a pop-culture fixture with his energetic commercials pitching gadgets and cleaning products like Orange Glo and OxiClean.
The McKees Rocks, Pa., native developed his style demonstrating knives, mops and other “As Seen on TV” gadgets on Atlantic City’s boardwalk.
For years he worked as a hired gun on the state fair and home show circuits, attracting crowds with his booming voice and genial manner.
He got his start on TV on the Home Shopping Network and then branched out into commercials and infomercials.
He developed such a strong following that he became the subject of a reality TV series, Discovery Channel’s “Pitchmen.”