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Bill Harris, the veteran Hollywood broadcast journalist who served as a co-host on the syndicated program At the Movies, has died. He was 75.
Harris died Thursday at the City of Hope hospital after a short bout with cancer, family spokesman Rusty Citron announced.
Harris was hired as one of the first reporters for Entertainment Tonight, which premiered in 1981, and he served as head writer/reviewer on Rona Barrett’s gossip segments for the Today show and Good Morning America.
In 1986, Harris and New York critic Rex Reed assumed the aisle seats occupied by Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert on Tribune Broadcasting’s nationally syndicated At the Movies program after the original pair had left for a similar Disney-produced show.
Harris started his showbiz career as a writer on The Ralph Story Morning Show on KABC-TV in Los Angeles.
He went on to review movies for the syndicated show PM Magazine; spend 14 years doing interviews for Showtime/The Movie Channel that aired in conjunction with movies airing on the networks; do radio reports about Hollywood; and write for the Victor Awards and the Mrs. America and Mrs. World pageants.
More recently, he went on the road with actresses Barbara Eden and Sophia Loren to host Q&A events with their fans.
For a hobby, Harris collected checks written out by such stars as Marilyn Monroe ($10.12 to Schwab’s Pharmacy), Judy Garland ($228.58 to Colony House Liquors) and Marvin Gaye ($1,000 to cash).
Survivors include his sisters, Nancy and Susan, and his partner of 43 years, Gregg Barnette.
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