'California Gold' host Huell Howser dies at 68
Folksy TV host had been in hospice care prior to passing
Huell Howser, the gregarious TV host who shared his love of the Golden State with the series "California Gold" has passed away at the age of 68. His staff said that Howser had decided to retire six weeks ago, and he had been in hospice care prior to his passing.
Howser moved to Los Angeles in 1981 from his native Tennessee to become a reporter for KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. It was there he developed his longstanding love affair with the Golden State, sharing stories on the "California Gold" TV series.
"We operate on the premise that TV isn't brain surgery. People's stories are what it's all about," Howser said. "If you have a good story, it doesn't have to be overproduced. I want our stories to reveal the wonders of the human spirit and the richness of life in California, including its history, people, culture and natural wonders."
Beginning his television career at WSM-TV in Nashville after receiving his B.A. degree from the University of Tennessee, he served on the staff of a United States Senator and had a stint in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Huell joined public television station KCET/Los Angeles in 1987 to produce "Videolog," a series of short programs featuring the stories of people from all walks of life. This series directly led to "California Gold," with Howser recording the treasures and travails of California life.
"California's Gold" after 19 years is one of the longest running and most beloved series about California ever produced. The program helped to launch six additional series about life in California, "Visiting with Huell Howser," "Road Trip with Huell Howser," "California's Golden Parks," "California's Green," "California's Water" and his newest series, "Downtown."
He said historical re-enactments were his favorite kind of program because you can re-connect with history.
Howser's work in television has also taken him on travels worldwide, including Egypt, Israel, Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, Australia, Europe and twice to the former Soviet Union.
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