A well-known conservative polical pundit for CNN, NBC and NPR — who was a child actor on TV in the 1950s — has died at age 63.
The pundit and former child actor, Tony Blankley, had been battling stomach cancer, reports the Washington Times.
Says the article, "Born in London, Mr. Blankley became a naturalized American citizen after his parents moved to California after World War II. As a child, he acted in such television shows as ‘Lassie,’ ‘Highway Patrol’ and ‘Make Room for Daddy,’ and appeared in movies with such stars as Humphrey Bogart and Rod Steiger.
In the Los Angeles area, Blankley was also known for being a regular commentator on public radio station KCRW’s popular political program "Left, Right and Center." Blankley represented the right most weeks.
"Left, Right and Center" moderator Matt Miller is quoted on the show’s website as saying about Blankley that he "was one of a kind. A fierce advocate, a deeply knowledgeable thinker, an experienced political professional with an insider’s understanding of the way the world works, and a true wit. His rare blend of erudition, charm and good humor enlivened our show and the broader public debate for years. He’ll be truly missed."
According to the Washington Times article, "From 1990 to 1997, he served as press secretary and general adviser to House Speaker Newt Gingrich, ultimately earning a reputation among political friends and foes as one of Washington’s most genial, quick-witted and effective operatives. Mr. Gingrich, campaigning in New Hampshire on Sunday for the Republican presidential nomination, called his former press secretary a ‘very dear friend’ and a key part of the team behind the 1994 Contract With America."