The former Top of the Pops presenter passed away at his home in Leeds, England.
The U.K.'s Sky News reports police were called to the property on Saturday (29Oct11). The cause of Savile's death is currently not known but officers are not treating it as suspicious.
The news comes just two days before what would have been Savile's 85th birthday on Monday (31Oct11).
His DJ friend Dave Lee Travis paid tribute to the star, telling Sky News, "It's a shock. I guess you get to a certain age and you watch people getting older, but with Jim, you couldn't anticipate that he wasn't going to be around... He was one of the first DJs that actually became a personality... He was a slightly tormented soul; he had a lot on his plate. He was outrageously fit for his age... going running and stuff, doing what he did for charity."
Savile started his career working in a coal mine as a teenager, but went on to become a successful DJ and TV presenter.
He was the first host of legendary British music show Top of the Pops and had a long career in radio, but he will perhaps be best remembered for his beloved TV programme Jim'll Fix It, which saw him make viewers' wishes come true.
He was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal by Queen Elizabeth II in 1971, and he received a knighthood in 1990.
A number of other stars have also paid their respects to Savile.
Comedian Ricky Gervais writes on his Twitter.com page, "RIP Jimmy Saville My first guest on my first TV Show. A proper British eccentric."
Opera singer Katherine Jenkins adds, "Sad news Jimmy Saville has passed away. My sis & I always wanted a Jim'll Fix it Badge/Medal. Loved that show. Great memories."
A spokesperson for British royal Charles, Prince Of Wales and his wife Camilla says, "The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall were saddened to hear of Jimmy Savile's death and their thoughts are with his family at this time."