The beloved California public TV host died on Jan. 6 in his Los Angeles home. He retired in November after 25 influential years on the Southern California TV station KCET.
Huell Howser, the California TV icon who was best known as the host of California Gold on the public TV station KCET, died in his home on Jan. 6, his station announced. “Huell elevated the simple joys and undiscovered nuggets of living in our great state,” KCET said in a statement. “… Most importantly, he reminded us to find the magic and wonderment in our lives every day.”
Huell grew up in Tennessee, and graduated from the University of Tennessee, according to the biography posted on the website for Huell Howser Productions, his company. After college, he worked on a U.S. senator’s staff and served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
He began his TV career at WSM-TV in Nashville, and later moved to WCBS-TV in New York City to host a magazine-style series. After his job in New York, Huell moved to Los Angeles in 1981 to take a job as a reporter for KCBS-TV.
In 1987, Huell joined KCET to produce the short series Videolog, which featured segments profiling various people from “all walks of life,” according to his website. That series led to his hit show California’s Gold, which captivated audiences and made Huell a household name in California.
He also produced several other television series for the station, including Visiting with Huell Howser, Road Trip with Huell Howser, California’s Golden Parks, California’s Green, California’s Water and Downtown.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of Huell’s passing. This is a tremendous personal and professional loss to his friends and colleagues as well as his legions of fans,” Al Jerome, president and chief executive of KCET, said. “Throughout his more than two decades with KCET, Huell inspired everyone at the station with his enthusiasm and storytelling about this great state in which we live.”
Such a tragedy. Our thoughts are with Huell’s family during this difficult time.
– Christina Stiehl
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