Jerry Dunphy, the dean of Los Angeles news anchors, died Monday following
a heart attack last Wednesday.
Although past 80 and already having survived two heart attacks, open-heart
surgery and a shooting during a robbery attempt in 1983, Dunphy was a newsman to
the end and suffered his fatal heart attack on his way to work.
Dunphy was perhaps the best known of Los Angeles' broadcast journalists, and he had
his own star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
His news intro -- "From the desert to the sea to all of Southern California" -- was heard by generations of Southern Californians.
"We are," said a tearful Pat Harvey as she informed the KCAL audience of her
colleague's death, "painfully aware [that Dunphy's refrain] will never be heard
Los Angeles media -- notorious for its aggressiveness on celebrity stories -- had
been uncharacteristically quiet following Dunphy's heart attack and
hospitalization, adhering to the wishes of Dunphy's family.
KCAL itself had barely updated the story between the
time it reported Dunphy's heart attack Thursday until his death, although the
station aired and posted a touching tribute on its Web site
The KCAL story recognized not only Dunphy's accomplishments as a broadcast-news pioneer, but also his career as a decorated Air Force captain in World War
Dunphy had been with KCAL since the mid-1990s, but he also spent years at
KCBS-TV -- including a historic stint in the 1960s with its predecessor, KNXT --
and at KABC-TV.
Dunphy was frequently cast in small movie roles, as well, typecast as a
television newsman or even as himself.
Twice-married, Dunphy had five children from his first marriage and one child with his second wife. He was also
survived by grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A statement from his family called the newsman "a
constant beacon of truth and guidance in our ever-changing