David Sheehan, Longtime L.A. Entertainment Broadcaster, Dies at 82

David Sheehan
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David Sheehan

He dished at KCBS and KNBC for 30-plus years and hosted and produced celebrity-focused syndicated specials.

David Sheehan, who spent more than three decades covering Hollywood for two Los Angeles TV stations, has died. He was 82.

Sheehan died Tuesday at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center from complications of a stroke he suffered last week, the Los Angeles Times reported. He also had been fighting cancer for several years.

Sheehan became the first entertainment interviewer and reviewer on L.A. television when he joined KCBS-TV in 1970. After 14 years at the station, he spent a decade at KNBC-TV, then another 10 years back at KCBS through 2004.

The Ohio native also produced and hosted syndicated TV specials that were seen throughout the U.S., including The Winners Are …, a preview of the Oscars, Macho Men at the Movies, Hollywood's Leading Ladies and one that featured interviews he had conducted with the likes of Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Clint Eastwood and Jack Nicholson over the years.

"These people allowed me to know them relatively on a kind of verbally intimate level over the years," he told the Times in 2019. "I talked to Clint in '72 when he was on the top of the mountain with the success of Dirty Harry, and I'm saying, 'Don't you worry about glamorizing violence?' And he says, 'No.'"

Sheehan also hosted a monthly series, Backstage in Hollywood, for HBO in the late '70s and collaborated with Bob Fosse on a live 1982 performance of Pippin that played on Showtime.

Survivors include his children, Brian, Shannon and Kelly, and a grandchild.