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A glimpse of some memorable interviews

Vladimir Putin (right), then acting Russian president, told David Frost in 2000 that he expected his country to be treated as an equal by NATO, adding that joining the alliance was a possibility.

BBC via AP/file

Vladimir Putin (right), then acting Russian president, told David Frost in 2000 that he expected his country to be treated as an equal by NATO, adding that joining the alliance was a possibility.

Some highlights from Mr. Frost’s most prominent interviews:

RICHARD NIXON, 1977

In 30 hours of interviews with Nixon, he pressed the ex-president to acknowledge and apologize for his wrongdoing in office.

Frost: ‘‘I think people need to hear it, and I think unless you say it, you’re going to be haunted for the rest of your life.’’

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Nixon: ‘‘I let down my friends. I let down the country. I let down our system of government and the dreams of all those young people that ought to get into government but will think it is all too corrupt and the rest. . . . And I have to carry that burden with me for the rest of my life.’’

Frost: ‘‘So what you are saying is that there are certain situations . . . where the president can decide that it’s in the best interest of the nation or something, and do something illegal?’’

Nixon: ‘‘Well when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.’’

Frost: ‘‘By definition?’’

Nixon: ‘‘Exactly.’’

MUHAMMAD ALI, 1974

Mr. Frost interviewed the legendary boxer, then 32, inside a boxing ring, before his landmark fight with George Foreman, when most people wrongly thought Ali would lose. Ali was animated and brimming with confidence.

Ali: ‘‘It is befitting that I go out of boxing just like I came in, defeating a big, bad monster that nobody could destroy . . . Listen David, when I meet this man, if you think the world was surprised when Nixon resigned, wait till I whip Foreman’s behind.’’

The boxer continued, partly talking directly to the camera, then standing up to caricature Foreman: ‘‘Listen, George Foreman, people are afraid of George Foreman. They talk about how hard he hits. The world has been deceived. You listen to me. You listen to me now, I never told you wrong. The man don’t hit hard.’’

MARGARET THATCHER, 1985

In 1985, Mr. Frost grilled the prime minister about the sinking of the Argentine ship Belgrano by a British submarine, which killed 323 sailors during the Falklands conflict.

As Frost pressed on about what had happened, a visibly ruffled Thatcher sternly defended her decision to attack the ship. After being confronted with a barrage of questions, Thatcher finally said in frustration: ‘‘Do you think, Mr. Frost, that I spend my days prowling around the pigeon holes of the Ministry of Defense to look at the chart of each and every ship? If you do you must be bonkers.’’

BILL CLINTON

In an undated clip shown by the BBC, Mr. Frost was seen interviewing the former US president about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

Frost: ‘‘Did you love her?’’

Clinton responded: ‘‘No. I don’t think that’s what that was about. On either side. But I liked her very much.’’

MIKHAIL GORBACHEV, 1993

In an interview with the former Soviet Union leader, Frost asked about communism, his legacy, and his relationship with, and views of, Thatcher.

Gorbachev: ‘‘It was not too easy to begin with ... but I felt from the start I could deal with her. I regarded her as an outstanding woman and a major political force. I was far from sharing all her opinions. ... Many sharp words were exchanged. I could never agree to the way she felt about nuclear weapons. She was too attracted to nuclear weapons.’’

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