Siegel, Joel 1943-2007 (Joel Steven Siegel)

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Siegel, Joel 1943-2007 (Joel Steven Siegel)

OBITUARY NOTICE—

See index for CA sketch: Born July 7, 1943, in Los Angeles, CA; died of colon cancer, June 29, 2007, in New York, NY. Film critic, television personality, entertainment editor, author, and playwright. Siegel's name was linked to the television program Good Morning America for twenty-five years. He began working for the American Broadcasting Companies (ABC) as a correspondent and film critic in 1976 and joined the morning talk show in 1981. As entertainment editor, Siegel interviewed scores of celebrities, and as a film critic he reviewed almost every movie worth mentioning, and probably a few that were not. According to colleagues, such as Dave Davis, president and general manager of the New York City affiliate of ABC, Siegel took special pleasure in panning a really bad movie, but his primary objective was to encourage people to get out and watch. Siegel's ascent to Good Morning America proceeded gradually. Earlier in his career, he worked as an advertising copywriter and producer, a joke writer for politician Robert F. Kennedy, and a radio news anchor in Los Angeles. When he arrived in New York City, he worked first for the Columbia Broadcasting System before moving to ABC. Siegel appeared in several television specials, including his annual broadcast, Joel Siegel's Road to the Academy Awards, which he hosted for several years; and he made a cameo appearance in the 1982 movie Deathtrap. In 1991 Siegel was a cofounder of Gilda's Club, a support organization for cancer patients and their families. Six years later, just days after learning that he was about to become a first-time father, he learned that he himself had cancer. Siegel fought the disease bravely for ten years, during which time he wrote a memoir for the son who would have to grow up without him. Lessons for Dylan: From Father to Son was warmly received by critics as a poignant chronicle of a father's love. Siegel also wrote the script for the Broadway musical The First, for which he earned an Antoinette Perry Award nomination.

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

BOOKS

Siegel, Joel, Lessons for Dylan: From Father to Son, Public Affairs Press (New York, NY), 2003.

PERIODICALS

Chicago Tribune, June 30, 2007, sec. 2, p. 6.

Los Angeles Times, June 30, 2007, Dennis McLellan, p. B10.

New York Times, June 30, 2007, Edward Wyatt, p. B10.

Washington Post, July 1, 2007, Dennis McLellan, p. C7.