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Peter Jennings dies of Lung Cancer

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by faenix, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. faenix


    Jun 21, 2005
    Bayside, NY

    This came as a shock, he still seemed full of life even after he told everyone he had lung cancer on the 5th of April. He was definitely my favorite newsanchor. He was still pretty young too.

    Smoking kills. I hope if you guys do it, you'll quit! :( 
  2. GaryW

    GaryW Guest

    Thanks Chong. I quit this past December 31, after 45 years of smoking (2 packs per day). It's still tough.

    I also liked Jennings the best out of all the anchors.
  3. Lung cancer very often kills quite quickly. I have diagnosed numerous people with lung cancer just like Mr. Jennings. If you present with hoarseness (laryngeal nerve invasion by the cancer), you have advanced cancer. 90% of these patients are dead within 6 months.

  4. Too bad about Jennings. Born in Toronto, he got his feet wet at CBC here and left behind a lot of good friends. CBC has been showing a lot of the original film and it's very interesting. Personable guy, didn't like the term star, or anchor even. Just thought of himself as a reporter, plain and simple.

    Moral of the story: If you have kids and want to see them grow up, and see your grandkids? Quit now. It's going to be difficult, but dying is worse.

    People need to be paying more attention to their bodies, and listening to them. If you do something specific that's dangerous, well then get yourself off to a doctor who specializes in that area at least once a year.

    I'm outside all the time once spring arrives. Hate the indoors. Because I'm exposing my skin all the time, I see a skin specialist and she checks me over, stem to stern, with magnifying spectacles to check for any changes that might be melanoma. I'm olive skinned, dark haired so my chances of skin cancer are far less, and I don't let burns happen, but I still get her to check me over.

    If you smoke, go to your doctor and get checked over at least once a year. Try to quit. If you don't smoke, try to help someone who does.
    Good for you Gary. Don't go back.
    Yes Chong, far too young to die....
  5. Great editorial in this morning's paper written by a friend of Peters (it's a very funny read - well worth the few minutes it will take):

    "A kid from Ottawa called Pete"
    He was unpretentious, laughed easily and never was Peter Jennings to me, writes friend of 40 years, Gordon Farr

    Pete died last night. This morning I stood in my apartment doorway, coffee in hand, and read the announcement on the front page of my newspaper, and the tears flowed. And the memories.

    Back when the earth was still cooling — the mid-'60s — I was a boy producer/director for the CTV Television network. For some unfathomable reason, the programming executives gave the go-ahead to a daily early-morning show I created, called Bright & Early.

    It ran from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and today — if I allowed my ego to take over — I could think of it as the precursor to the slick, professional and highly-regarded, Canada A.M. In reality it was a dog's breakfast.

    It featured puppets, an out-of-work actor in period costume reading 100-year-old news, weather, sports, and interviews with anybody in town promoting anything. It was cheap and cheerful.

    The classiest, and most professional member of the regular cast was my equally youthful newsreader, a kid from Ottawa called Peter Jennings.

    He had it even then; the looks, the voice, the authority, not to mention great suits.

    Of course, the pants sometimes didn't match. "Hey, Gordie, I'm sitting behind a desk. They'll never know."

    We had a couple of things in common. There was our mutual lack of formal education — I had barely completed high school, he hadn't. But, mainly, laughter at the absurdities of life.

    I had booked an alligator wrestler from some tourist association on the show. What the heck, he was free and filled 10 minutes of time. Because the studio was small, the only place to keep the alligator was five feet away from the news desk. Pete "casually" suggested, "Perhaps the handler could put a rope around its jaws, I don't know any one-legged newsmen." It was done.

    The actual alligator-wrestling act turned out to be even less than anti-climactic.

    Some guy in tights and a cape, flipped and flopped around the floor with the eight-foot "killer." It was so unresponsive, it might as well have been stuffed.

    After the show I apologized to everybody for booking such an inept act. Pete started to laugh. "The guy told me, the alligator had a cold. When he roped its jaw shut, it suffocated. Congratulations, Gordie, we have the only show on the air featuring dead alligator-wrestling!" (Sorry, animal rights activists but it was 40 years ago and who knew.)

    Of course the network rightly cancelled the show after a year, and Pete and I drifted on to the next stages of our careers. I ended up in Los Angeles hoping to be the next great television comedy writer. Pete took on Huntley and Brinkley and Walter Cronkite, hoping to be the next great network anchorman. Neither of us succeeded first time around.

    I remember a phone conversation a couple of years later.

    "My god, Pete, what's my life coming to? I just wrote something called Me and the Chimp. And his reply: `Your life? I just referred to somebody as a `leff-tenant' to 20 million viewers!'"

    We didn't see each other until the mid-'70s. It was in Rome, and we arranged to have lunch at a restaurant in some piazza. Pete was now a foreign correspondent for ABC. And did he ever look the part; trench coat, fluent Italian, stories about presidents and kings he had interviewed. I was dazzled; this wasn't the kid from Ottawa.

    And then, after lunch, he bought my wife a single rose and presented it to her, as gallantly as Fred Astaire in a '30s movie. She almost swooned, I almost retched, and then he burst into laughter. Yup, he was still the kid from Ottawa.

    We moved on, struggling upwards, downwards or sideways with our respective careers.

    "How much money do you make?" I told him. "Hell, I'm a major correspondent and I don't make that much." He had no idea he'd eventually be earning $6 million or more a year, nor do I think it was his foremost goal. I asked him, what did he want to do, what did he want to be? "Honestly? Right now I'd rather be canoeing in Algonquin Park." The kid from Ottawa.

    Over the following years we'd meet occasionally, when I was in New York, or he was in L.A. By then he was, The Anchor.

    He was good; respected by his peers, authoritative, his news program Number 1 in America.

    I hung around his office, we had dinners together — I almost choked when he spoke fluent Arabic to a waitress at the Café des Artiste — he raced my Mini-Cooper through the Hollywood Hills late one night, we commiserated about broken marriages, boasted about our sons.

    We laughed about wrestling dead alligators.

    At ABC headquarters in New York, he was always Peter, never Pete — World News Tonight with Pete Jennings just didn't work.

    We got on an elevator once and Pete introduced me to Roone Arledge, then the head of ABC News.

    He said, "Roone I'd like you to meet an old friend, Gordie Farr."

    I shook hands and said, "Nice to meet you, Pete's often spoken about you." Arledge raised an eyebrow at the "Pete," but Pete burst into laughter and gave me a "You win" grin. Pete and Gordie it was, and will ever be.

    Damn. Forty years of friendship. I'm out of coffee. I'm not out of tears.

    Gordon Farr is a Canadian television writer, producer and director.
  6. Vandyu


    May 14, 2005
    Richmond, VA
  7. I'm rather surprised at how deeply saddened I am by his death. That doesn't happen for me with public figures very often (I'm still sad about Jerry Orbach's death though...I can't even watch a Law&Order rerun without tearing up...I could barely make it through Beauty & the Beast the other night...a truly great and very diverse actor, he was).

    Peter Jennings' death marks the end of a news era for me. I was truly disappointed when Tom Brokaw retired, and now that Peter Jennings has died, the last of the really good guys are gone. It feels like there's a huge void there that may never be filled. I don't think I'll ever forget the sound of Peter Jennings' voice reporting the events of 9/11...it will stay with me forever. He was my rock as I sat holding my then-2-year-old daughter, watching the events unfold (my husband was working on the other side of the state at the time.)

    He died far too young....so, everyone, take care of yourselves as best you can! Congratulations to those who have stopped smoking...I'm told it's one of the hardest things to do, and I admire your strength!
  8. faenix


    Jun 21, 2005
    Bayside, NY
    Jerry Orbach was a great man. The world is quite small because he was a frequent customer of my dad's dry cleaners on 52nd and 8th avenue in New York City. He was always courteous and had a great sense of humor. He was always light hearted and was one of my dad's easiest-going customers. His death came as a shock to me and hurt me deep inside.

    Life does go on, no matter what, but it hurts so much to look back at all the things that has happened.
  9. faenix


    Jun 21, 2005
    Bayside, NY
    Again the world is small.

    As a high school freshman in his 3rd day at Stuyvesant High School, I experienced September 11 first hand. I did not know how to navigate manhattan at all and I walked for 6 hours along the hudson river, following the large group that was evacuated. Turning around, I saw my beloved school building engulfed in dustclouds.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    That was taken by a Stuyvesant student. That's the cover of a newsmagazine we wrote and was distributed with the New York Times.

    Although I don't suffer from post traumatic shock anymore, it still hurts deep inside when I think about the events that happened. The relocation of school and the coming back, seeing people jump, having friends lose their parents. It was horrible.

    You never know when life throws you a curveball. All you can do is just put your head down and run through..

    At least that's what I've told myself..
  10. Vandyu


    May 14, 2005
    Richmond, VA
  11. Vandyu


    May 14, 2005
    Richmond, VA
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