January 1, 2021 (HAPPY NEW YEAR!!)
David Sheehan - a celebrated entertainment reporter in Los Angeles television for three decades -
died on December 1, 2020. He was 82.
David died at UCLA from complications of a stroke he suffered the previous week. He had gone public with his fight against cancer - as the Los Angeles Times details in its obit which you will find at this link:
David attended many News Geezers lunches.
You will find photos at this link:
David spoke at a News Geezers lunch in February 2019... honoring the 50th Anniversary of Eyewitness News... and his remarks can be viewed at this YouTube link:
He was a giant in his field - and will long be remembered, especially by those of us lucky enough to have worked with him. On this page you will find e-mails I've received paying tribute to David.
All are being used with permission.
Send your message to firstname.lastname@example.org with permission to use it online and
I will add it to the page. Thank you, Bob
So sorry to hear about David.
I knew him--not well, but over the years.
First I knew him in l963 when I worked for the Santa Monica Evening Outlook (Outrage was what we called the paper owned by the Funk Family!)
He was an ad salesman, would you believe.
And then over the years when he became famous as the film critic and we would meet at press screenings. One of the funniest stories was the time he covered a press screening, sat in the back row, and spent the whole film nuzzling with an actress. Then he gave the movie a rave review!
He was good looking, like a movie star, had that oozing with charm personality---and as everyone who saw him on the telly was a good interviewer. But above all David seemed to relish his film critic TV personality image--and what was most important, loved what he was doing.
In a separate message, Ivor adds:
He was an ad salesman--would you believe--and his specialty was getting to know the best restaurants in Santa Monica and the Westside---and persuading them to put ads into the Santa Monica Evening Outlook!
I only spent a year working for David, but it changed the whole direction of my career, for better or worse. He was a tough taskmaster but I certainly learned a lot. The last time I saw him was at one of the Geezer lunches, and I hoped I would see him there again but no luck.
Hi Bob: Thanks for being the first to pass on today’s news about david’s passing. I often ran into him at celeb junkets & thought he was a good-natured pro.
I remember having to give his crew a reminder that his interview was running over into our time & he quickly stopped & apologized — not something others did in similar circumstances...
It's a sad loss.
Perdita (Dee Dee) Brown:
Thanks for sharing this clip of David Sheehan.
He had so many wonderful stories to share. He will be missed.
I miss the News Geezers Luncheons. Can’t wait until we return.
Peace & Blessings.
Bob, Sad that David left us, but I sure hope you know how much he enjoyed the Geezers. We exchanged a number of emails after talking at one of the few meetings I have been able to attend and he talked about renewing relationships that he had years ago.
The death of David followed that of a dear friend, Rafer Johnson, who did a short tour as a sportscaster at channel 4 in the 60’s. Rafer and I were founding board members in the late 60’s of what was, at the time, Western Special Olympics and is now Special Olympics Southern California. The UCLA great was one of the finest individuals I ever knew.
A good lesson to enjoy those you truly care about while you can.
David was always energized. Before joining us at Olive & Alameda, he was over in Gower Gulch making his name at KNXT. At that point he OWNED local entertainment reporting.
The first time I met him was at a Golden Mikes night where I saw him and Patty Ecker dancing in the venue lobby on their way to the parking lot door; a high energy display that characterized him. They were having a great time As John Marshall said, in recent weeks he was regaling us on the NBC Friends Zoomgroup with all sorts of plans. He was a great colleague when we were together at KNBC.
My wife never forgot his generosity when we ran into him at the Coliseum wine bar during a Springsteen concert years ago. Our seats weren't so good. Upon hearing that, David invited us to join him and his date in seats that were much better. RIP, friend. You were a class act.
David Sheehan always had a twinkle in his eye a smile on his face , and a plan. When I was a youngster at KNBC in the 80s he was already pretty much of a fixture on the Southern California TV scene ...doing something that nobody else was really doing on TV except maybe Gary Franklin in a much different way. He was easy to watch and easy to understand and really likable… you could tell, and viewers could tell, he loved what he was doing, and the stars loved talking to him . Pretty simple formula. He never really retired, kept his franchise going, worked hard, innovated, and had lots of success later in life. David was just a fun guy to be around with so many admirable qualities...gone way too soon like so many.
Kim Paul Friedman:
I worked with David @KNBC for five years and really enjoyed his vitality not to mention his tremendous knowledge of the entertainment business and the people in it. Some nights between newscasts he would take me with him to screen an upcoming movie. And of course ask me my opinion.
We worked together with many other talented people on the Jacksons victory tour special which he hosted and I directed. The program won an Emmy.
David and his wife Carol also became social friends with my wife and I.
David was a unique talent and while his legacy will live on he will truly be missed.
The only time I got to know David Sheehan was at the News Geezers luncheon marking the 50th anniversary of Eyewitness News. A late arrival, he pulled up a chair next to me. Back in the day, he was our competition, but on this day he couldn’t have been more friendly and supportive of the program we had put together. He clearly had something to say, so Bob Tarlau invited him up to the stage, and his comments were a valuable, unexpected contribution . Watch the video that Bob has posted, and you’ll see why I developed a great deal of respect for David Sheehan.
So sorry to learn about David Sheehan. I got to work with him on many of his nightly entertainment reports and specials and learned even more about editing and writing while watching him work. He was a skillful storyteller with an deft eye to detail. He also understood that he was dealing not just with entertainment, but American culture and how that shaped us. He certainly left his mark on the L.A. television scene.
When I first became a reporter for Santa Monica's Evening Outlook circa '68, Sheehan was there in some form of advertising job. Clearly, it wasn't his cup of tea. But I was quite surprised at how he shined as an enduring entertainment reporter. Of course, his career occurred when times were simpler, safer and saner in this country.
(This is John's e-mail to his NBC Friends group the day after David died)
It brings great sadness to have just learned of the passing of a wonderful man, who led a wonderful life. David Sheehan, a Los Angeles television legend and a friend of many of this list, died of a sudden stroke yesterday at 82.
As we talked to him during our NBC Friends Zoom meeting a couple weeks ago, David's great sense of humor was on full display, and he was looking young and energetic as he described various projects he was still working on. He encouraged us to stream his videos on Amazon, including "And the Winners Are," seen here:
And the Broadway production of "Pippin" he directed with Bob Fosse, seen here:
If you might like to review the details of David's amazing life on Wikipedia, you'll find it here:
Indeed, it was a wonderful life, overcoming the inevitable personal and professional bumps in the road, a full life well-lived until the very end.
David fought and lived furiously and joyously right up to the last days. He never stopped believing in himself and his special gifts. As a singular person in Patty's life and a good friend in ours to his last. His "Uniquely David" drive to assist his favorite charities and to remind us all that he was a dynamo in his field is available to
us at Amazon and provides a slight way for us press the "buy"
button and make him proud. His last years were deeply etched
by his zest for life.
I was a very young reporter when I started at Channel 2 in 1977. David Sheehan was a already a very much established fixture in TV. We hit it off immediately... and he was very good to me. He was a true gentleman, always gracious and I will always value the friendship we had.
I edited a lot of David’s reports at KNBC, and he was always a fun challenge to work with . David had a unique way of making entertainment entertaining!
So sorry to hear this.
May David Rest In Peace.
I’m am just sick to hear about David Sheehan. When I met him at the Geezers, I introduced myself and reminded him of something he had written many, many years before. It was when the movie prices had just increased. He reviewed The Great Gatsby by saying, “Now I know why the ticket was priced at six dollars: Three to get in...and three to get out!” He was amazed that I remembered that line from probably 45 years ago, but we sure had a great laugh!
Looking forward to seeing you as soon as it’s “allowed!”
The people with a passion for great films. Tears and laughter are waiting for your souls to feel. Sheehan had the nick to put in our hearts to enjoy the film moments that stay with you way after a viewing a film. I will miss him because he had heart.
Thank you for letting us know. He kept working to the end. I knew him since he started working at KNXT. When David would review pictures, he would stand outside afterwards and chat and ask us what we thought of it. This was especially great when it was a children’s movie and he would ask the children in the crowd their opinion. Their “review” was more meaningful than the opinion of a “grown up” entertainment reporter.
Erica Gerard Di Bona:
David Sheehan was the colorful entertainment reporter when I was in the KNXT Newsroom (1977 to 1982). He would be called to set when he wasn’t quite ready.
I remember many time when I’d see him dashing up & down the grey-walled corridors, shirt off and a white towel around his neck. His female deep-throated producer would run after him, trying to pin him down.
He’d go to movies or plays and tell anyone who was around about them — the cultural world according to David Sheehan. Later, I realized he was an advance thinker in representing the business that ultimately drives the commerce of Los Angeles.
Bob, Nancy and were recalling seeing David Sheehan on the stage in a production of the Little Murders. He was excellent and when Nancy recalled it to him a few years later, praising his acting skills, he was pleased and proud of his stage work.
Very sorry to hear the news of David’s passing. Spent many an award show with him…wonderful memories. He was always kind and gracious to me.
I worked with him as well at KNBC and here at KCBS always such a nice man. ;-(
David Sheehan….Of course, I knew him. Who among us didn’t. What stays in my mind is his energy and enthusiasm. By and large, David loved what he was doing. I think it is fair to say that many of us in this news business get tired from time to time but not David. His enthusiasm never seemed to flag. There was a time when he was trying to quiz me about some of my good friends in music. He was persistent but not in a bad way. Like many of us Geezers, he enjoyed what he did. His chance to do more simply ended too soon.
I shot some interviews with David and some of the “Geezers” at a couple of Geezer lunches... and had a great time working with him. I told him once “Stick with me kid and you’ll go far." lol..
I worked with David Sheehan for several years at KNXT/KCBS Ch.2. Having many fond memories of David there's one story in particular that shows the amount of kindness and caring from David. The American Film Institute was holding its annual honor event and the honoree was actress Bette Davis. David asked me if I would take his tickets and accompany our newsroom office manager Bette Penny to the event. He knew Bette was a life long fan of Miss Davis, that she would not make the drive to Beverly Hills. Bette and I wore gowns, had our hair done, and really glammed it up. We walked the red carpet at the Beverly Wilshire, entered and
were led to our table, two over from Bette Davis, who was accompanied by Bob Wagner and Natalie Wood. A huge star filled night and when it ended Bette Penny was introduced to Bette Davis. David Sheehan made her night and mine!
Rest in Peace David.
Hi, Bob (and thank you for organizing this tribute to a great guy):
David’s charm got him the interviews. His expertise made him an authority. And his alliteration made him a joy to watch. My favorite, still: "Sylvester Stallone, who Managed Muscles into Millions and Maybe Minor Megalomania….”
I got a kick at a News Geezers meeting when more than once, David would come up to me and facetiously ask, “How many David S. are here today...?!
I’d say, just one who counts...
He’d answer, no you’re here too!
I’d say, I was referring to myself!
He’d always respond, Oh, I forgot...!