Remembering A Piece of Gold, Huell Howser
Geek Smash remembers TV personality Huell Howser, his Tennessee twang and his “golden” personality that lead to his success
With his prominent accent, it was obvious Huell Howser was no native to California. But for nearly 20 years, Huell took west coast viewers on journeys to California’s hidden “gems” on his show, California’s Gold. On Monday, Californians and people nationwide were taken back as news broke that the 67-year-old television personality had passed Sunday, January 6 of natural causes.
Born in Gallatin, Tennessee, Huell got his name from a combination of his parents’ names, Harold and Jewell. He began his television career in Nashville after earning a B.A. in history from University of Tennessee, Knoxville and serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 1981, Huell followed his dreams to Los Angeles as an ambitious reporter for KCBS-TV.
While Huell is best known for his show, California’s Gold, broadcast on California PBS station, KCET, he made quite the name and fan base for himself among the entertainment industry. He was featured in two episodes of The Simpsons; “There’s Something About Marrying” and “O Brother, Where Bart Thou?” Huell’s twangy accent was an easy target and impersonated among many comedians, and in 1997 worked with English comedian, Tracey Ullman in Tracey Takes on Hollywood. Recently, Huell was credited for the voiceover to Backson in Disney’s 2011, Winnie the Pooh.
Huell was a passionate about California, a man of “pure gold” some would call him. Huell’s love for California flourished in his travels to new adventures within California and his ambition to get people’s opinion or statement never dwindled. His compassion and whole-hearted enthusiasm will be remembered.