His manager confirmed the news that the comic had been found dead at his home in Spain.
Fellow comedians Bobby Davro and Jim Davidson were among the first to pay tribute to Freddie on social media.
Bobby hailed him as “the funniest man I have ever seen”, while Jim described him as “the greatest”.
Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden also posted on Twitter: “His style may have fallen out of comedy fashion & favour-but it’s important to recognise his once huge popularity& fame.”
Lord Sugar, Paddy McGuinness and Vicki Michelle were among other stars who shared their condolences.
Meanwhile, The Sun courted controversy as they reported news of Freddie’s death, after he was the subject of one of their most famous front pages.
Back in 1986, they splashed with the headline “Freddie Starr ate my hamster”, with the story claiming Freddie placed the small creature between two slices of bread and ate it at a friend’s home after returning from a performance in Manchester.
While Freddie said the incident never took place in his 2001 autobiography, Unwrapped, The Sun ran the headline on Friday: “Freddie Starr joins his hamster.”
The headline immediately attracted criticism for being disrespectful:
Merseyside-born Freddie was the lead singer of the Merseybeat group the Midniters during the 1960s and rose to national prominence in the early 1970s after appearing on Opportunity Knocks.
He was known by fans for his eccentric and often unpredictable behaviour.
During the 1990s, he starred in several TV shows including Freddie Starr (1993–94), The Freddie Starr Show (1996–98) and An Audience with Freddie Starr in 1996.
He took part in the 2011 series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! but dropped out due to ill health.
Police investigated an allegation of historical sexual abuse against the star in 2012, which he said left him “suicidal”.
In 2014 he was told he would not be prosecuted after spending 18 months on bail.
He lost a damages claim against his accuser in the High Court in 2015.
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, he revealed he moved to Spain following the ruling, which left him facing a bill unofficially estimated at about £1 million.