Joel Siegel, film critic for ABC, has died at the age of 63 following a ten-year battle with colon cancer. I may not have been his biggest fan, but his was a popular and well known voice that many people loved. His death comes as a shock. I did not even know that he had been sick; apparently he was always so upbeat around the office that many co-workers would nearly forget it as well.
My biggest complaint with him was his handling of the Clerks II screening last summer, which he walked out of, loudly. That seems like such a long time ago, and any disgust that may still be buried within my mind is now replaced with sadness for his loved ones. If nothing else, he always offered his unique brand of insight into whatever film he happened to be reviewing — insight that I would not often agree with, but would always respect.
In a statement today, ABC News President David Westin said, "Joel was an important part of ABC News and we will miss him. He was a brilliant reviewer and a great reporter. But much more, he was our dear friend and colleague. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
More than just a critic or a member of the press, he was a man who cared about his family and being able to share life with his son, whom he knew he would not see grow up. He wrote a book for his young son, Lessons to Dylan: From Father to Son, a book that opened up his life to his son, and anyone else who wishes to read it. I have not read the book, but it is such a beautiful and thoughtful concept that I applaud him for doing so, for having the foresight to do such a thing. Joel Siegel was not a man to fall into self pity over his condition, always keeping an upbeat demeanor.
Joel Siegel was born July 7, 1943 in Los Angeles, and was the recipient of five New York Emmys. In 1991 he, along with Gene Wilder, founded Gilda's Club, which offers support for cancer patients.
Again, my prayers go out to Joel Siegel's friends and loved ones.Powered by Sidelines