ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Tom Keith, a longtime sound effects man for "A Prairie Home Companion," has died suddenly after collapsing at his home. He was 64.

His death was announced Monday by Jon McTaggart, chief executive of Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media, which produces "A Prairie Home Companion."

Minnesota Public Radio first reported Keith's death. The cause wasn't immediately known.

Keith had performed with "Prairie Home" host Garrison Keillor since 1976, when Keillor hosted an early version of MPR's Morning Show. Keith worked as a board operator but began appearing more and more in skits Keillor produced.

When Keillor moved to "A Prairie Home Companion" full time, Keith co-hosted "The Morning Show." He retired in 2008.

Keith hosted that show as his alter ego, Jim Ed Poole, a character Keillor created.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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