Daily Bruin Alumni News

News Update
Joel Siegel, 1943-2007
WCBS-TV New York reports that UCLA alum and film critic Joel Siegel died Friday in New York at the age of 63.

He was editor of the UCLA humor magazine Satyr in the early 1960s and wrote for other campus publications.

Siegel, best known as the resident movie critic on ABC's "Good Morning America" for 25 years, was surrounded by family and friends as he passed away after a long battle with colon cancer.

He continued working almost until the end of his life without losing his cheerful personality and trademark wit, a colleague writes on the network's Web site.

"Still at work only two weeks before his death," writes Bill Blakemore of ABC News, "he had this reporter and several others chortling in an elevator over a line he was about to broadcast about there being so many new penguin movies lately that soon they would outnumber the penguins themselves."

Siegel was born on July 7, 1943 in Los Angeles where he grew up and graduated cum laude from UCLA. He started his career as a radio newscaster and reviewed books for the Los Angeles Times. He also worked as a freelance writer for Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated and as a joke writer for Senator Robert Kennedy. Siegel worked as a copywriter for an advertising agency where he actually invented ice cream flavors for Baskin-Robbins.

He moved to New York in 1972 where he was a feature reporter for WCBS-TV. He also hosted "Joel Siegel's New York" on WCBS Radio.

Siegel began working as a film and theater critic on WABC-TV in 1976. He joined "Good Morning America" in 1981.

Funeral arrangements are currently being planned by his family.

Some takes on Joel Siegel: TheaterHopper

(PS: Under the circumstances, we've compiled this from online news sources. We'll apologize for borrowing their copy another time. First things first. RC)
rees - Jun 29, 2007, 9:28 PM
When I arrived on campus as a transferring junior in September of 1962 I followed the crowd down to the Health Center for the obligatory physical. Step One was, of course, to fill out forms. As with most such procedures, there was someone there to read back all the same questions aloud. I assumed this person in the white coat was a hospital orderly or a med student. "Have you ever had polio?" No. "Have you ever had tuberculosis?" No. "Measles? Mumps? Hearing loss? Malaria?" And so on. "Do you wear glasses?" No. "Do you have sideburns?" What?! Naturally as a 20 year old man in a new environment I was experimenting with nature's gifts. The sideburns were enormous, and bright red. "Yes!" I answered, and Joel Siegel of Intro and Satyr duly made a check mark on the form. (Which box he checked I'll never know.) Point made, eccentricity (mine) noted, no harm done, mutual enjoyment of the moment shared. Kerckhoff Hall's denizens engendered a lifetime of bragging rights as one's colleagues found their way in and out of journalism. Just being in such company made one want to be a better writer, a better person. Thanks, Joel. I'm proud to have known you.

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