Joel had been here, at WABC in New York, since the 70's. He joined ABC network in the early 80's and had been workling for both of us ever since. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1997, the very day he found out his wife was pregnant with their first child, Dylan. He had 3 relapses of cancer, but ultimately it was an infection that his body could not battle that caused his death.
On a different note, I think Joel is another example of old-school TV personality. He came to TV when an anchor or reporter could be seen by 40% of the TV audience. Now you're considered a hit if you can get half of that. TV is not the common language it once was.
I didn't always agree with Joel about each movie, but we always shared a love for movies. And that was a distinction for Joel- movies rather than film. Don't get me wrong, he loved a well-crafted artful film, but he understood the importance of fun shoot-em up or a goofy romantic comedy. He would see the movies he was to review and then spend his "off" days catching other flicks. He sincerely loved the movies.
BTW, the last movie he saw, Ratatouille, he loved it.
WANTED - Solid-Boxed WGSH's, C.8 or better.