In Memory

Bill Harris

Bill Harris

Bill Harris, Former 'At the Movies' Co-Host, Dies at 75
on September 5, 2019
The reviewer and broadcast journalist also did interviews for Showtime and worked for 'Entertainment Tonight' and Rona Barrett.

Bill Harris, the veteran Hollywood broadcast journalist who served as a co-host on the syndicated program At the Movies, has died. He was 75.

Harris died Thursday at the City of Hope hospital after a short bout with cancer, family spokesman Rusty Citron announced.

Harris was hired as one of the first reporters for Entertainment Tonight, which premiered in 1981, and he served as head writer/reviewer on Rona Barrett's gossip segments for the Today show and Good Morning America.

In 1986, Harris and New York critic Rex Reed assumed the aisle seats occupied by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert on Tribune Broadcasting's nationally syndicated At the Movies program after the original pair had left for a similar Disney-produced show.

Harris started his showbiz career as a writer on The Ralph Story Morning Show on KABC-TV in Los Angeles.

He went on to review movies for the syndicated show PM Magazine; spend 14 years doing interviews for Showtime/The Movie Channel that aired in conjunction with movies airing on the networks; do radio reports about Hollywood; and write for the Victor Awards and the Mrs. America and Mrs. World pageants.

More recently, he went on the road with actresses Barbara Eden and Sophia Loren to host Q&A events with their fans.

For a hobby, Harris collected checks written out by such stars as Marilyn Monroe ($10.12 to Schwab's Pharmacy), Judy Garland ($228.58 to Colony House Liquors) and Marvin Gaye ($1,000 to cash).

Survivors include his sisters, Nancy and Susan, and his partner of 43 years, Gregg Barnette.

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09/06/19 09:33 AM #2    

Janet R. Pearson

To Bill's Family and Friends,

Prayers to everyone who had the special privilege of knowing a great man.  He made is mark in life and will always be loved by his classmates from the Class of '61.

Peace to all,

Janet R. Pearson





09/06/19 11:02 AM #3    

Stan Burwell

How very sad !   I had no idea Bill was having health issues.  He was a significant part of our class and will be missed and remembered by all.   My best wishes to his family..

09/06/19 01:46 PM #4    

Ron Werner

R.I.P. Bill. 

09/06/19 07:38 PM #5    

Bill Kieselhorst

Bill was a good friend, brilliant, searingly perceptive, genuinely witty, and a compassionate man. A loss to the fabric of our class.

09/07/19 08:33 AM #6    

Sue Clanton (Holtz)

When I think of our class, Bill always is a front-runner.  The class has lost a great man.  RIP, Bill.  We'll miss you.

09/07/19 09:11 AM #7    

Bob Bush

A life well lived. RIP Bill 😢

09/08/19 12:12 PM #8    

Diane Neill

So sorry that the class of '61 has lost another great friend. My condolences to his family.

09/10/19 08:59 AM #9    

Bill Steiner

You started our friendship by sending me the wing of a dead seagull you found on the beach in Hyannis Port. You sent Harlon a dead fish that the post office made Harlon pick up, they refused to deliver it, due to the smell. You brazenly hustled my wife whenever we were together. We will miss that; you were the best.

09/10/19 05:18 PM #10    

Judy Samson (Smith)

...You were the twinkle in our eyes, the person that made each of us feel like a pal, and someone to always be proud of, one way or another.  Life always seems to take our treasures first.....

09/12/19 12:38 PM #11    

James Larson

Bill, John Stephenson, Richard Lewis and I wrote for the the WolfPacket --the schoool newspaper-- during our senior year.  We adopted the moniker -- LewSte LarHar. Our first project -- set up by Bill -- was to inteview Mae West, the famous wise-cracking femme fatale of movies in the '30's. We drove out to Santa Monica and met with her at her house on the beach.  We were ushered in by an assistant, who I think was wearing tails, and Bill took over. Rather -- tried to. Ms West was more than a match for us. The room was dimly lit. She appeared in a billowing, flowing, altogether overwhelming outfit better suited for an evening event and proceeded to utterly dazzle us. Bill -- who loved to puncture the pompous and flatter the famous -- chose the latter course on this occasion. It was a jaw-dropping experience. At the end we were graciously dismissed and politely ushered out. We were speechless. Bill's career had commenced.

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