Local News

Monday, Jan 07 2013 01:50 PM

"California's Gold" host Huell Howser dies

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Huell Howser, the homespun host of public television’s popular "California’s Gold" travelogues, has died at age 67.

Howser died at his home Sunday night from natural causes, said Ayn Allen, corporate communications manager for KCET. No other details were available.

For years, "California’s Gold" took viewers to many parts of the Golden State, with Howser doing folksy, highly enthusiastic interviews and narration in a distinctive twang he brought with him from his native Tennessee.

Howser was a fan of Kern County, having done shows featuring the Kern County Museum, Oildorado Days in Taft and Bakersfield's Basque food and culture.

Howser also appeared in such other series about California as "Visiting with Huell Howser" and "Road Trip with Huell Howser."

"Huell elevated the simple joys and undiscovered nuggets of living in our great state," a KCET statement said. "He made the magnificence and power of nature seem accessible by bringing it into our living rooms.  Most importantly, he reminded us to find the magic and wonderment in our lives every day.

Huell was able to brilliantly capture the wonder in obscurity. From pastrami sandwiches and artwork woven from lint to the exoticism of cactus gardens and the splendor of Yosemite — he brought us the magic, the humor and poignancy of our region."

Howser received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and began his TV career at WSM-TV in Nashville, according to the Huell Howser

Productions website. He hosted a magazine-style series at WCBS-TV in New York City and then went to Los Angeles in 1981 to work as a reporter for KCBS-TV.

In 1987, he moved to KCET to produce a program called "Videolog," the predecessor to "California’s Gold."

KCET planned to air special on Howser Monday night.KCET corporate communications manager Ayn Allen says the station will be airing a special on Howser Monday night.

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