Legendary film critic and former entertainment editor of the Los Angeles Times, Charles Champlin has passed away at the age of 88.
Born in New York City in 1926, Champlin served in World War II, earning the Purple Heart for his service there, before returning and graduating from Harvard University. Shortly thereafter, he earned his first print job at LIFE Magazine, working for Time Magazine as well. It was in 1965 that Champlin would get the job for which he will be best remembered, as columnist and entertainment editor at the LA Times. He was their film critic from 1967 to 1980, founding the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and working on PBS on their program "Film Odyssey." He also taught at Loyola Marymount University, USC, UC Irvine and the AFI Conservatory, as well as authored numerous books about film and his life, including "The Flicks: Or, Whatever Became of Andy Hardy" and "George Lucas: The Creative Impulse." Champlin received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007. He dealt with macular degeneration later in life, writing "My Friend, You Are Legally Blind" in 2001, and battled Alzheimer's Disease in the final chapters of his life.
Kenneth Turan, the Los Angeles Times current film critic, said about Charles Champlin on Monday, "Charles Champlin was one of the great gentlemen of American film criticism, and a pioneer in showing that mass-market newspaper reviewing could be smart and well-written as well as accessible."
Our deepest condolences go out to his friends and family.
Image Credit: The Los Angeles Times