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Huell Howser Has Died; See a Map of Communities He Visited

| January 7, 2013
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Huell Howser. Photo via KCET.

Huell Howser. Photo via KCET.

To learn more about Huell Howser and to watch videos picked by some of his fans, click here.

California television legend Huell Howser has died. From the Pasadena Star News:

Howser, who hosted several public television programs including California Gold, was 67. He died Sunday night of natural causes, said Ayan Allen, communication manager for KCET, which produces California Gold.

Howser is known for touring California with his handheld microphone and profiling the state’s communities and attractions for programs like “California’s Gold” and “Road Trip with Huell Howser” on KQED 9 and other public television stations. He retired late last year. From the website for Howser’s production company:

Huell had a simple idea: if he traveled the state with an open heart and an open mind, a microphone and a camera, he would uncover a treasure of California stories.

“We operate on the premise that TV isn’t brain surgery. People’s stories are what it’s all about,” says Howser. “If you have a good story, it doesn’t have to be overproduced. I want our stories to reveal the wonders of the human spirit and the richness of life in California, including its history, people, culture and natural wonders.”


A native of Tennessee, Howser worked in Nashville and New York City before coming to Los Angeles in 1981. He began working at KCET in 1987.

TV and movie personality Andy Richter is among those who’ve Tweeted about Howser’s death; Matt Groening, creator of “The Simpsons,” praised him when he retired last year. Fans also are sharing their condolences on KCET’s Facebook page.


Below are other Tweets memorializing Howser, as well as videos from his YouTube channel. At the bottom of this post is a map from KCET with details about the communities Howser visited.

Do you have a favorite Huell Howser moment? Share it in a comment at the bottom of this post.

Click on any pin in the map to learn more about Howser’s visit to that community.


View Where’s Huell? in a larger map

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  • livefromhollywood

    The amazing Huell Howser had a great run !

  • http://www.facebook.com/jaymi.gottfried Jaymi Gottfried

    Such an engaging person, with the rare gift of making you feel as if he’d known you forever although you’d just met. Thank you for sharing California with us Huell, you will be missed.

  • http://twitter.com/Kell909 Kelly Westover

    Oh this is so sad. I didn’t even know he retired till now. I will miss his childlike curiousity and wonder at all things great and small, with his big voice and wide smile. Thank you for sharing some of the best of California with the world, Huell.

  • Nancy Karl

    So sad. What a huge loss. He was our friend, brought joy to millions, and launched so many businesses with his visits, ours included. We are forever grateful. Shine on Huell… you touched our hearts, blessed our lives and we wish you only peace and joy as your journey continues.

  • Brent Butler

    Everywhere I went, everyone knew Huell, everyone had a great memony of his work and of him. My favorite was in Corona CA. They stagged out of my friends’s Fire Station. What a great person…

  • http://www.facebook.com/brianjosephkenny Brian J. Kenny

    Huell was a great guy with whom to work. I throughly enjoyed his company and every conversation we had. Huell was a one-off and he will be sorely missed. The world was so much more interesting when viewed through Huell’s filters. Requiescat in Pacem, Huell.

  • weshallovercomb

    He was in a hospice when he passed – maybe he and Truman Capote can share a glass of fine wine together ; )

  • Ter’

    Thank you Huell for your great contribution to Californians! Your show took me to places that I should have known about! may you RIP

  • Linda Brooks

    First time I saw Huell Hoswer, he was at the Carlsbad Gardens and fell in love with his shows. Got to see and learn about California History. He will be missed. RIP Huell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/adriana.patti Adriana Agostinelli

    My favorite is him standing on the border between Cali and Arizona, big open desert – saying how much more beautiful California is – it all looked the same lol.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenneth.loayza Kenneth Lo

    Send us an episode from Heaven! Paradises Gold!!! R.IP.Huell u were Californias Gold!!!

  • Caroline H Hanna

    My mother LOVED Hewell Houser and his TV show. She would insist that I sit down and watch, and I will admit to being a reluctant viewer at first. But, you know, the shows grew on me, even his repeated exclamations of disbelief in what he was seeing! I thank him for helping me learn about my native state, and to finding joy in some of the seemingly ordinary things in our world. He was a master of his craft! Rest in Peace…gone far too soon.

  • Linda Marten

    I so enjoyed Huell’s simplicity of spirit. One show in Death Valley made me laugh so hard. Huell went into a lake & responded to the temp by saying, “It’s not cold & it’s not hot. It’s just WATER!!!” He was funny without trying to be!

  • Flunking_retirement

    Now this is really something! Im here with St. Peter from where was it? Galilee, and you’ve been here keeping this beautiful pearl inlaid gate for how many years now?

  • JeffB

    He actually visited all four corners of California. I didn’t see them pinned on the map.

    • sjvalleydave

      Absolutely correct. I remember him with the GPS device going to all 4 corners and discovering the Oregon/CA border is off..LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/carrier.jorgenson Carrie Jorgenson

    I watched Huell growing up. My Mom absolutely LOVED him. I once did a “Huell Howser” imitation video of my hometown of Lompoc, CA with a little microphone I made to look like his, and a few years after that he actually came and did a show there.

  • Triza

    You’ve given me such joy and an education I’d have gotten no where else, dear Huell! I was fascinated at the down home simplicity to the majesty, the beauty, and great diversity of my adopted state of California – a perspective I owe to you. As I finish writing this little tribute, there is the most lovely peach-pink and yellow sunset radiating across the sky…. “California’s Gold” Peace to you and your family.

  • Dave

    A California Park should be named after Huell Howser.

    • http://twitter.com/Optofonik MD

      Again, +1

  • Joe

    It’s odd that my initial reaction to Heull’s death is to be pissed off.

  • Dave

    Let’s name a California State Park after Huell Howser!

    • http://twitter.com/Optofonik MD

      +1

    • Jay Schroeder

      Rename the state. Howserfornia.

  • Billy Carmen

    One of the most amazing, wonderful and enchanting people that ever stood in front of a TV camera. A hero for certain. Such a loss. Rest in peace Huell…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=640090255 facebook-640090255

    I am so sad to hear this news. He will be missed!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.ely.900 Mike Ely

    Gone but not forgotten, your show on the boat car.

  • Fun4suz

    Wow! I just saw & recorded his show about Bodega Bay and thoroughly enjoyed it and him! So shocked to hear if his death at only 67. He should definitely have a special spot in California named after him!

  • Stuart Simmons

    Huell Howser was California’s cheer leader. His enthusiasm for all the places he visited was infectious. The rain over the weekend was the tears being shed by the state of California upon learning of his death.

  • http://twitter.com/Optofonik MD

    Thanks so much for posting this. I’ve been looking for something like it for a long time and can’t think of a better tribute to his memory than putting it to good use.

  • caligold

    Oh the flies at Mono Lake! RIP Mr. Howser

  • leftcoastghost

    Huell taught us that sincerity and simpleness are still the most profound means of communication. It took a backwoods enthusiast from Tennessee to teach us how wonderful California really is. That part of Huell will never die but will live on in all Californians.

  • Huell Fan

    The greatest “People Magnet” this state ever had! Please add Ferndale to the map since he’s the reason we visited there in 2011. There are some other placement errors on the map, but it’s really insignificant compared to his wonderful personality and all he brought to California. His spirit will shine bright with all the shows that will remain with us forever.

  • Kerry

    I am English and my brother who lives in California has sent me DVDs of his AMAZING programme. I love to watch them which brings back happy memories of two holidays I have had in that beautiful state. He was unique in his style of presentation and I would describe him as ‘California’s Gold’..

  • L Goodwin

    Rest in peace, Huell

  • Scott Sanders

    Hearing of the passing of Huell Howser leaves me feeling as though I have lost a good friend. Goodbye friend and may you rest in peace and comfort in the California Poppy fields in Heaven.

  • Jay Schroeder

    I think the interactive map is missing the Hot Dog on a Stick show. Wasn’t that in Santa Monica? Hard to believe there won’t be any new shows. Can’t replace Huell.

  • dogbytes

    I never really gave him much thought but if I heard his distinctive voice on the tube, I would always stop and watch his show. I think he must have had a great life and he will be missed by many. Not a bad legacy for one individual in this universe.

  • TEEJATE

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share a Huell story. Here’s mine.

    A few years ago I was put in charge of securing speakers for a large event. I contacted Huell’s team and extended the invitation. Out of all the celebs he was the only one I really wanted to attend just so I could spend some time with him.

    One day in the midst of craziness at my desk I got a call.

    “Hi. This is Huell Howser.”

    Well, I just knew it was one of my buddies doing a Huell impression. They did it all the time. They knew I was a groupie. Or better yet, a “Huellpie.”

    “Looks man, I’m really smoked I’ll call you later” was my reply.

    “No. Really. This is Huell Howser.”

    Knowing that the number of celebs that would take the time to personally respond to an invitation would add up to zero I flew off the handle a bit at my buddy.

    “Dude. Seriously. I’m [freaking] crazed right now. I’ll [freaking] call you later!” (That’s how buddies talk to each other so you know).

    There was a pause on the other end and then, very politely, I heard, “You’ll need to call my producer” and he gave me my contact’s name.

    Oh no.

    I quickly called my buddy and asked if he had just called me. Nope. Oh no! Oh no no NO!

    I called his producer, gave him my name and he started cracking up. “Guess who just called me?” he said. “He told me I should be expecting your call.”

    Yep. My all-time TV idol hung up on me. And it was TOTALLY my fault!

    His producer went on to say that it happens all the time given the fact that practically everyone who ever watched Huell did an impression. Turns out Huell was calling me to personally let me know he wouldn’t be able to attend but appreciated the invitation.

    Talk about class.

    So while I never got the chance to pick the brain of my TV hero at least I’ll have the memories of the countless adventures he and I went on. Me and millions of other Californians who know for sure that our friend, as Huell would always say, was a “..fine example of California’s Gold.”

  • Rick

    The thought of losing this man never came across my mind. He was invincible, a wall of strength with a passion for bringing out our stories to there fulliest even if we were just the little guy. I will continue to watch his productions forever with an added, more sought after quest, to find California’s Gold. We love you Huell!

  • Ann S.

    The goooollie guy has left us a treasure of history and passion for finding out about the magnificence of this great state and the uniqueness of the characters that inhabit it. I hope future generations get to regularly see these wonderful documentaries.

  • Heidi Sanborn

    That is so sad. I loved watching him and how excited he got sharing California’s gold. Thanks for everything you shared with us Huell – your legacy lives on forever.

  • Bill/Huntington beach

    He was a great guy and passionate about what he did. My God , he was only 67.
    I will be there in three years. I guess a person has to be sure that they spend quality time while here on this Earth. Huell Howser was surely a testiment to quality.
    May he rest in piece in a flowerly field over looking the Ocean on one of the Channel Islands in heaven. I loved his shows.

  • Jon-Edmond

    Actually, I’m shocked. This guy grew on me over the years, pronouncing the word “gold” with two syllables. He and the state he championed became golden to me after all those viewings of his making of “California’s Gold.” Thank you, Hewell for the memories and most affectionately, thank you for you.

  • Geneva Foster

    RIP Huell. You are so missed. The visits you made that are my favorites are. Poppy flowers, LA river and the store that had all the old sodas and candies. Thank you Huell.

  • Paxrail

    Absolutely some special place or a new state park should be named for Huell. How do we get the ball rolling with the State on this?

  • Deed Marsh

    I feel like I’ve lost a best friend!! His enthusiasm is so contagious and has a natural gift of making the ordinary seem extraordinary. My husband and I have been many to many of festivals, parks, events just based on his shows. Thanks for your positive contribution Huell – you will be sorely missed and never forgotten!!! I agree, as much as he loved, and promoted California – a State Park should be named after him♥

  • Jodi

    Huell Howser, I always thought I would meet him in person while her covered a story on the Central Coast. He visited this area many times.
    We have lost a California treasure. “Goll-lly” I am going to miss him.

  • Huell
  • Art

    A wonderful, sweet, and gentle man.