By Michael P. Neufeld
Mountain Communities – Long-time California Gold host Huell Howser has died at the age of 67.
Howser, who recorded at least three shows in the mountain communities over the past two decades, halted production of new shows in November but many public television stations have continued to air his popular programs. California’s Gold aired for at least 19 years.
In 2000, Howser came to Lake Arrowhead to record show #2011 called “Under Lake Arrowhead.”
In 2003, California’s Gold aired two shows shot in Bear Valley — show #123 Big Bear and show #5011 Holcomb Valley.
In 1998, Howser also shot show #911 “Arrowhead Springs” at the old Arrowhead Springs Hotel at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains.
Howser began his Southern California television career in 1981 on Los Angeles’ KCBS Channel 5 and eventually joined the staff at KCET. It was there he began production of a show named Videolog that eventually was renamed California’s Gold.
California’s Gold, according to the Huell Howser Productions’ website — celebrates the nature, history and culture of California.
KCET issued the following 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. (1189)