One of Southern California's most familiar faces and voices has died.
Huell Howser, host of the enduring documentary TV show California's Gold and others about California's parks and history, died early Monday at his home in Palm Springs. He was 67.
Watch the above video to see Howser's visit to Benicia.
Amid rumors of failing health, Howser's retirement was announced in November. At that time, Howser's assistant confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that Howser was "retiring from filming new shows or making appearances (or interviews) but the show will continue to air in reruns for awhile."
California's Gold ran for 19 years, according to the website. The show was an ode to the people, places and landmarks that made California unique. Howser's interviewing style and outbursts ("This is amazing!"), and the show's low-maintenance production style, made the series memorable.
His shows continue to air on KCET, which released this statement:
"We are deeply saddened by the news of Huell's passing. This is a tremendous personal and professional loss to his friends and colleagues, as well as his legions of fans. Huell elevated the simple joys and undiscovered nuggets of living in our great state. 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. We will miss him very much."
A native of Tennessee, Howser moved to California in 1981 to work as a reporter for KCBS-TV in L.A, according to his website. In 1987, he began to produce Videolog on KCET, which profiled people and local stories. The show later took on a California focus.
Gustavo Arellano, editor of OCWeekly and author of several books, posted on Facebook: "RIP to one of the greatest Californians ever..."
This article was compiled with information from City News Service.