On Friday, famed movie critic Joel Siegel succumbed to colon cancer at the age of 63. Siegel was the established movie critic on â€œGood Morning Americaâ€ which won him five New York Emmy Awards. Easily recognized by his thick mustache and glasses, he had a strong sense of humor and wasnâ€™t afraid to shoot down a poor movie or performance and according to his colleagues, enjoyed making fun of them.
Siegel was born in Los Angeles on July 7, 1943 and graduated from UCLA. His first job after college was writing for The Los Angeles Times as a book reviewer. He moved to New York City in 1972 and worked as a reporter for WCBS-TV and hosted â€œJoel Siegelâ€™s New Yorkâ€ on WCBS Radio. After four years, he moved to WABC-TV as a film critic. In 1981 he joined the hosts of â€œGood Morning Americaâ€ as the showâ€™s entertainment editor. Aside from his Emmys, he has won a public service award from the Anti-Defamation League of Bâ€™nai Bâ€™rith and the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association Award for general excellence in individual reporting.
In 1997, Siegel was informed that his wife, Ena Swansea, was pregnant with his first child. A week later, after a routine colonoscopy, he learned that he had colon cancer. He was 54 years old. This was not his first experience with cancer. His second wife, Jane, died from brain cancer at the age of 31. He was a co-founder of Gildaâ€™s Club with actor Gene Wilder who also lost his wife to cancer. After receiving his diagnosis, he began to publicly talk about the importance of routine colonoscopies, even going to Congress to preach about how Colorectal cancer kills over 50,000 people per year.
He lived to see his son Dylanâ€™s first nine years of life. In fact, he lived longer than many people who had this form of cancer. However, treatment was grueling and required years of surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. Although he will be missed by his family, friends, and fans, those painful years are now over.
For related articles visit http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/TV/06/29/siegel.obit.ap/index.html and http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Story?id=3333655&page=2.
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