Longtime U.S. broadcaster Hugh Downs dead at 99

Hugh Downs, whose congeniality and authoritative fashion authorized him to transfer between the world of games displays and U.S. community news, has died at the age of 99.

Downs died of all-natural brings about Wednesday night time at home in Scottsdale, Ariz., said his fantastic-niece, Molly Shaheen.

The U.S. broadcaster hosted the recreation demonstrate Concentration and the ABC News demonstrate twenty/twenty during a radio and television vocation of extra than sixty decades.

His television get the job done ranged from Nowadays, NBC’s early morning news demonstrate, to Tonight, working with Jack Paar. In 1985, the Guinness Ebook of Globe Data said he experienced been on commercial television a file fifteen,188 hrs — a mark that stood until eventually Regis Philbin surpassed it in 2004.

More than extra than six decades as a broadcaster, Downs’ television get the job done ranged from Nowadays, NBC’s early morning news demonstrate, to Tonight, with Jack Paar. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Illustrations or photos)

“I considered Television was a gimmick like 3D flicks and it would just go away,” Downs, who experienced a friendly, minimal-crucial fashion on the air, said in an interview with the Archive of American Television.

“I experienced no concept that the tail would inevitably wag the canine and handle me a lot kinder than radio did.”

Downs’ broadcasting vocation began at age 18 when he auditioned for a radio announcer occupation on a whim in his hometown of Lima, Ohio.

Right after serving in the Army during the Next Globe War, he joined the NBC radio community in Chicago and that led to television asserting employment, like get the job done on the Kukla, Fran and Ollie children’s demonstrate and a soap opera.

I considered Television was a gimmick like 3D flicks and it would just go away … I experienced no concept that the tail would inevitably wag the canine.– Hugh Downs

Bigger television assignments lay forward in New York in the late 1950s: announcer on Sid Caesar’s Caesar’s Hour and announcer-sidekick to host Paar on The Tonight Show from 1957 until eventually 1962.

Downs experienced a co-starring role in one of television’s most spectacular times of the sixties when the psychological Paar walked off the phase during taping in protest of NBC censoring one of his jokes.

Downs, who experienced recognized that Paar was heading to quit but did not anticipate a walkout, was termed on to fill in for the rest of the demonstrate.

In 1958, Downs grew to become the host of Concentration, a new daytime NBC recreation demonstrate that examined contestants’ memory and potential to remedy a picture puzzle.

The demonstrate was a brief success and Downs was host for 10 decades, continuing with the occupation even immediately after he grew to become an anchor on NBC’s Nowadays morning demonstrate in 1962.

In 1958, Downs grew to become the host of the recreation demonstrate Concentration and ongoing as host for 10 decades, like immediately after getting an anchor for Nowadays. (Hulton Archive/Getty Illustrations or photos)

Downs invested eleven decades on Nowadays, several as co-anchor with Barbara Walters, and interviewed scores of celebs, politicians and other newsmakers. 

Various Emmy wins 

He joined ABC’s twenty/twenty in its second week on the air in 1978 and was reunited with Walters, who grew to become his co-anchor.

He also contributed distinctive reviews to the demonstrate, like one on his double knee replacement surgery and some others on drugs and geriatrics, a discipline in which he experienced a extensive-functioning interest.

Each week he signed off the demonstrate by declaring, “We’re in touch, so you be in touch,” in advance of leaving the demonstrate and community television in 1999.

In his later on decades, Downs was witnessed on television in an infomercial for a reserve advertising and marketing overall health techniques.

Downs gained Emmys for his get the job done on Nowadays in 1970, for internet hosting PBS sequence on growing older, More than Straightforward, in 1981 and Dwell From Lincoln Center in 1991.

Downs’ interests included tunes composition, aviation, astronomy and area exploration. He served as chairman of the Countrywide Area Society, a non-financial gain group that encourages area exploration.

Among the the a number of books that he wrote ended up an autobiography, Yours Actually, Hugh Downs A Shoal of Stars, his account of sailing a 65-foot ketch throughout the Pacific and Thirty Soiled Lies About Aged Age.

Downs was predeceased by his wife, Ruth. They had two children.

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