Join Date: Feb 21, 2002
Location: Southern California
Father of 'Combat TV' Dies
Courtesy of ABC:
FOUNTAIN VALLEY — Wally George, a pioneer of insult television and the father of actress Rebecca De Mornay, has died of pneumonia. He was 71.
George died Sunday at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital and Medical Center, where he had been hospitalized for three months with complications from cancer, according to newspaper reports.
George continued to tape his conservative "Hot Seat" shows until July, completing his 20th year on the air, officials of KDOC-TV Channel 56 told The Times. Since then, the show, which airs at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday, has consisted of reruns.
"Hot Seat" hit its stride in 1983, The L.A. Times reported, when pacifist Blase Bonpane, appearing on the show to oppose the U.S. invasion of Grenada, erupted over George's taunts, flipping over the host's desk before storming off.
"This was before Jerry Springer and those shows," former Assemblyman Gil Ferguson, R-Newport Beach, told the newspaper, adding that "as insane as some of his antics used to be," George "was very strong for moral values and family values."
George, who was born George Walter Pearch in Oakland on Dec. 4, 1931, had an estranged relationship with his famous actress daughter.
He told the newspaper in 1992 that he helped her establish herself as an actress when she moved to Hollywood from England, where she lived with her mother until age 18, and that he gave her "all the love and support I could have," but that his politics and disapproval of her friends led to their estrangement.
Reportedly, he had troubles in other relationships, being married and divorced at least four times.
In 1999, George filed for bankruptcy, claiming assets of $1,900 and $90,000 in bills -- a situation he blamed on poor career management and health problems.
Besides De Mornay, George was the father of a son, Kerry, and a daughter, Holly, who was born in 1989.
No information about funeral services was immediately available.
Courtesy of: CNN/AP
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, California (AP) -- Conservative talk show host Wally George, who sparred with liberal guests for two decades on "Hot Seat," died Sunday of pneumonia. He was 71.
George, the father of actress Rebecca De Mornay, had been at the hospital for three months due to complications from cancer.
George's combative television show, broadcast on KDOC-TV in Anaheim, rose to popularity in the 1980s. He called his approach "combat TV" and was known for interrupting guests by shouting insults at them.
George told the Los Angeles Times in 1984 that fans saw him as a "down-to-earth guy who's speaking not so much from a highly intelligent brain but who's speaking from his heart and gut."
Born George Walter Pearch in Oakland to a former vaudeville actress and the owner of a shipping company, George moved to Hollywood with his mother and at age 14 became a disc jockey with KIEV-AM in Glendale.
He hosted "The Wally George Show" on Inglewood radio and was a producer and co-host of "The Sam Yorty Show" before "Hot Seat" premiered in 1983.
KDOC has been airing reruns of the show since George underwent surgery in June to remove a bone near his spine that had disintegrated because of cancer. He said at the time the problem was discovered by doctors after a fall in his Garden Grove home.
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I feel bad for his family, but this guy was a real nutcase. He was a big homophobe, and called gays the devil, that deserve to rot in hell. He was against anyone who opposed George W. Bush. Throughout his talk show career he was rude to his guests, and ALWAYS kicked them out before they could of make their point.
During the 1980's he had a highly publicized fight with DJ Rick Dees. Many times he questioned the sexuallity of Good Day Live's Steve Edwards, and called him a ****** for working with woman.
Steve Edwards talked about this during his local morning show. And described George as hilarious. Jillian said she respected him for not being "soft" and for sticking to his beliefs, and said she occasionally watched the show on KDOC for laughs.