Jack Klugman, 90 in Northridge, CA.
Jack Klugman, 90 in Northridge, CA.
I always feel guilty with these for thinking so, but I thought that Charles Durning (89) had already died. :(
Retired General "Stormin" Norman Schwarzkopf has died at age 78. R.I.P.
Huell Howser, 67.
This announcement will probably mean more to us Californians. Journalist-turned-travel guide, Howser was a mainstay on California PBS airwaves for decades.
Although originally from Tennessee, he knew more about California than a lot of natives.
I know of several places I visited in CA purely because of his shows on them. My mom got to meet him. I heard he donated his library of shows, memorabilia, and other items to a university. A nice, positive man.
Sad news about Huell Howser. His passing hits especially close to home for me, my grandfather passed away in October at 99, he couldn't get enough of California Gold with Huell Howser so the show resonated for me, and the show really was the man, Huell Howser came to this state and immediately fell in love with it, writing and eventually hosting and creating his amazing show that spoke so nicely and without airs or fancification at the world around us. Howser seemed like a really plain-spoken and passionate guy, his unexpected retirement last November was worrisome and now we know why. Too soon.
My friends at work and I love imitating Huell's voice and enthusiasm. His show is pure educational fun. I always hoped he'd do a Comic Con episode just to see him in that environment. A true loss for for learning...
I was surprised to find out that Howser was an ex-Marine. It now makes sense seeing how buff he always seemed to be (especially in his early broadcasting days)...not to mention the hair cut, too!
Howser graced our area (Kern County) four times as near as I can remember for his show. Our local paper interviewed those with whom Hoswer contacted for stories and there was nothing but wonderful things said about the man.
Last night just before bed KCET aired an episode of Visiting with Huell Howser, he was in a donut shop I think in OC and absolutely enthralled in watching some teenager flip chocolate twist donuts, and he was entirely genuine about it. Check out this article that Tom Lennon (The State, Reno 911) wrote for KCET about Huell's passing, it's really good: http://www.kcet.org/shows/tvtalk/tv-...-internet.html There's several more articles there which are also moving in their own way.
I keep forgetting how talented a mind Andy Richter really is, he doesn't get nearly enough chance to shine, but reading this article he wrote about Huell actually brought a tear to my eye:
Oh, and check out this event, apparently the city of LA will be putting all flags at half mast on the 15th during a sunset salute to honor Huell Howser, that's an amazing deal when you consider how big and varied the city is, I may go to this event, I'm free on Tuesday.
Anyway, Huell Howser is an amazing and tragically unique person - we could surely use more like him. I had looked up his history for my grandparents a few years ago and they enjoyed hearing about who he was, but ultimately no matter how fascinating his story it was more important that who he was made it possible for him to do what he did that mattered most to them. Apparently Huell passed away from cancer, he didn't want a memorial or funeral or anything of that nature. He left his papers and the entirety of his show to Orange County's Chapman University, I read Huell did so not because he had a personal connection of any sort with the school but because when he went to the school's city of Orange to shoot an episode of the show on Orange, the president of the college wasn't able to meet with him for the show and sent a personally written letter of apology to Huell which impressed the man so much that an important university president would take the time to send a personal letter over something so trivial that he felt it was a place of character, so he started cutting at their studio and then donated his works including the shows to the school a year and a half ago. Chapman now has the Huell Howser Archive.