Another iconic TV gossip/interviewer has passed away from cancer in as many as two weeks. Veteran Good Morning America movie critic Joel Siegel, known for his knowledgeable and engaging reviews and his personable reporting style, died Friday afternoon after a long battle with colon cancer, ABC News and WABC-TV announced. He was 63. Siegel passed away in New York surrounded by family and friends, according to his longtime employer. Here's a two shot I got of Joel onMay 8, 2007. In another example of how I didn't want to interupt a conversation, I missed a good shot. It was exciting nonetheless to see one of my favorite movie reviewers in person, especially since I wasn't expecting Chris Cuomo and he to walk out, as the anchors usually come out about 10AM and it was only 9:15AM. I never got the chance to ask him to pose, but I am happy to have seen him in person.
The mustachioed Siegel, who joined "Good Morning America" in 1981, was remembered by his ABC News colleagues for his wit and passion for the arts."Joel was an important part of ABC News, and we will miss him," ABC News President David Westin said in a news release. "He was a brilliant reviewer and a great reporter. But much more, he was our dear friend and colleague."ABC anchor Charles Gibson described Siegel as "brilliant" and "a man of impeccable taste." For his television work, Siegel received five New York-market Emmy Awards. He also co-wrote the book for the 1981 musical "The First," which earned him a Tony nomination.
Siegel was 54 when doctors informed him that he had colon cancer in 1997, shortly after he learned that his third wife, artist Ena Swansea, was pregnant and he was going to be a first-time father. Concerned that he may not live long enough for his young son to get to know him, Siegel wrote the 2003 memoir "Lessons for Dylan: From Father to Son." "I was in my 50s when Dylan was born, so even in the best of times I couldn't expect to spend more than a score or so of years with him," Siegel told the Chicago Jewish News in 2003. "And it hasn't been the best of times, not with three cancer surgeries and chemo and CAT scans and six months of radiation in the past five years."