Huell Howser

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Huell Howser
Huell Howser Nisei Week Grand Parade 2007.jpg
Howser in Los Angeles, California in August 2007
Born Huell Burnley Howser
(1945-10-18)October 18, 1945
Gallatin, Tennessee, U.S.
Died January 7, 2013(2013-01-07) (aged 67)
Palm Springs, California, U.S.
Cause of death Prostate cancer
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Tennessee
Occupation Travel show host, video chronicler, actor
Years active 1985-2012
Huell Howser signature.jpg

Huell Burnley Howser (October 18, 1945 – January 7, 2013) was an American actor, comedian, and television personality who is best known for the travel television show California's Gold.

Early life[change | change source]

Howser was born Huell Burnley Howser in Gallatin, Tennessee on October 18, 1945. He studied at University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was raised in both Knoxville, Tennessee and in Los Angeles, California.[1]

Career[change | change source]

After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and on the staff of U.S. Senator Howard Baker, Howser began his television career at WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tennessee, where he produced shows focused on human interest stories, such as Happy Features[2] and The Happy World of Huell Howser.[3] Howser was also a television personality working for the University of Tennessee.[4]

After working in New York City as the host of WCBS-TV's "Real Life" show,[5] Howser moved to Los Angeles, California in 1981 to work as a reporter for KCBS-TV. During 1982 and 1983, he served as weekend host and correspondent for Entertainment Tonight. In 1985, he joined KCET (then a PBS affiliate) as a producer of Videolog, a series covering short topics including lint artist Slater Barron[6] among other topics relevant to Los Angeles and adjacent communities.

California's Gold[change | change source]

California's Gold highlights small towns, landmarks, events, or places of interest throughout California that are not well known to the general public. Howser conducted informal, often impromptu, interviews with locals involved with the sites he visits. He also produced California's Communities, California's Golden Fairs, Downtown, California's Water, California's Green, California's Golden Coast, California's Golden Parks, Road Trip, Visiting... with Huell Howser, California Missions, Palm Springs, Our Neighborhoods, The Bench, and various specials.

Other work[change | change source]

Articles written by Howser have appeared in Westways, the magazine of the Automobile Club of Southern California.[7]

In 1997, he featured prominently as himself alongside Tracey Ullman in character as Ruby Romaine in the Tracey Takes On... episode "Hollywood."[source?]

Howser spearheaded an unsuccessful effort to stop the demolition of buildings designed by Paul Williams at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard.[8]

Howser riding in a tandem INDYCAR race car at the 2009 Long Beach Grand Prix

Howser appeared in Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006) in his capacity as a reporter, witnessing the demolition and shredding of a Honda EV Plus.[9]

In 2011, Howser voiced the Backson in the post-credits scene of Walt Disney Animation Studios's feature film Winnie the Pooh.[10]

Death[change | change source]

On January 7, 2013, at 1:11 AM,[source?] Howser died in Palm Springs, California of prostate cancer at the age of 67.[11]

References[change | change source]

  1. Lindelof, Bill. "Huell Howser, maker of PBS shows about California, retiring". Sacramento Bee.
  2. Dorman, Lee (2009). Images of America: Nashville Broadcasting. Arcadia Publishing. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-7385-6829-4.
  3. William-Ross, Lindsay (15 January 2013). "Vintage Video: 1973's 'The Happy World of Huell Howser'". LAist. Retrieved 9 April 2013. Episode aired February 23, 1973
  4. Howser travels to Hawaii with U. of Tennessee football team
  5. Hevesi, Dennis (11 January 2013). "Huell Howser, Folksy Public TV Host, Is Dead at 67". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  6. Sources:
  7. Road Trip with Huell Howser articles in Westways Magazine (outside Southern California: enter zip code 90210 to access articles)
  8. Williams, Amy (July 7, 1998). "Long Beach Naval Station Falls: Court throws-out celebrity appeal". The Daily Republican. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  9. Chris Paine (2006). "Who Killed the Electric Car?". Plinyminor / Sony Pictures Classics.
  10. " Winnie the Pooh". Disney Movies. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  11. Braxton, Greg (January 7, 2013). "Huell Howser dies at 67; TV host profiled California people and places".,0,1021100.story.

Other websites[change | change source]