A former science teacher who became an L.A. television icon as a weatherman for almost two decades on KABC-TV, Dr. George Fischbeck has died.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Fischbeck died early Wednesday morning at the Motion Picture & Television Fund retirement home in Woodland Hills, Calif. Fischbeck, 92, reportedly died of natural causes.
Trained as a meteorologist, “Dr. George” first signed on with KABC in 1972. His enthusiasm for the weather became a trademark — to the point where he sometimes forgot to deliver the weather report itself, the Times notes.
The report quotes Fischbeck saying during a 1978 broadcast: “I must begin with an apology. Last Friday we got carried away again and we got everything in but the forecast.”
But his folksy image and his love for his work became a hit with viewers.
The Times report notes: “When the rare inclement weather threatened Los Angeles, his newscast’s ratings went up as viewers tuned in to see a seemingly real-life Mr. Wizard — complete with thick black-rimmed glasses, animated mustache and signature bow tie — race around the set.”
Fischbeck signed off from KABC in the early 1990s and later spent a few years doing feature stories on L.A. station KCBS.