California-based TV travel journalist and host Huell Howser has just died of natural causes on Sunday night, January 6, 2012, per California Public Broadcasting channel KCET at age 67!
KCET Communication Manager Ayn Allen said that Howser's death was “a complete surprise” and that their station was planning a special to celebrate his life on show “SoCal Connected” at 5:30 p.m.
Californians knew him for his lively Southern accent and blonde buzz cut as he pointed out the wonders of their dynamic state since 1991, focusing on less-known areas and back roads as well as relics of its historic past.
Howser is best known for his TV series “California’s Gold,” and “Visiting… with Huell Howser,” but the former US Marine, who was born in Gallatin, Tennessee, also starred in several documentary films.
Other shows included California’s Green, Road Trip, California’s Missions, California’s Golden Coast and California’s Golden Parks.
Huell even starred in “Beverly Hills, 90210” in 1997 and lent his voice to “The Simpsons” in 2009 (as himself) and as “Backson” in “Winnie the Pooh” in 2011.
Retiring in November, Howser reportedly raised some speculation that he might be ill. However, he did not provide any details as to his sudden decision at that time.
Happy Trails, Huell Howser – you will me missed!