Huell Howser Dead, Legend Linked to Altadena

The host of California’s Gold and other shows was 67.

Huell Howser, the wide-eyed, curious and friendly host of various television shows, died Sunday night at the age of 67, according to KCET. He died of natural causes. 

Howser uncovered interesting people and historical places in shows like California’s Gold and was known for his child-like sense of wonder and excitement.

But the legendary host, who retired last year, also had a unique connection to Altadena.

Howser owned a house that was perched atop a small volcano and originally designed by architect Harold J. Bissner, Jr., Curbed LA noted in November 2011.

Bissner was born in Pasadena and his son, Harold J. Bisner III, founded an Altadena-based contracting corporation in 1984.

The photos Curbed LA shared of the home—isolated in the middle of the desert—show its resemblance to a UFO or something out of a retro sci-fi film.

Eventually, Howser donated the home to Chapman University around May 2012 for use as a set for film students, field trip destination and more, Chapman University publication The Panther reported.

How will you remember Huell Howser? Share your thoughts and memories below.

Karen January 08, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Huell had the "gift of gab" and was a real entertainer of which there are few left. So sorry he is gone - a real personality and unique individual who will be missed.
Diane Ropp January 08, 2013 at 09:29 PM
My earliest memory of. Huell was an early videolog he did of the pet therapy program at Huntington Memorial Hospital where my golden retriever and I volunteered. At that time Huntington's pet therapy program was the second oldest program of its kind in the country..long before dogs were welcome in hospitals. Huell was truly the Mr. Rogers for adults, sharing the large neighborhood of our golden state.
Nico January 08, 2013 at 10:55 PM
I might be mistaken, but I believe that the white farmhouse for sale on Lincoln (just south of the fire station) was either built or lived in by the Bissners.
Jamie Bissner January 09, 2013 at 11:08 PM
Jessica, thanks for this! My Dad and I both consulted with Huell both when he bought the Cinder Cone House 10 years back and when he decided to put it on the market a couple years ago. The man did not have to act on his shows, he was simply himself; so full of life and curiosity. My Dad was and still is at age 87 an out of the box Architect as was his Dad. Siting of the structure , economy of space, and harmony with it's environment. I have fond memories from age 11 flying out there on Route 66 at a hundred miles an hour in the '57 Thunderbird convertible. Dad would stop in Apple Valley and pick up one of the contractors who was our former neighbor here and they would attend to details on the jobsite. Nico, I'll have to scope out the house on Lincoln as it may have been done by Grampa. Gotta get a closer look. He did a really beautiful farm style for the big band leader Glen Miller. Sadly, Mr. Miller was lost over the English Channel early in WW II and only the chauffeurs house was completed. Miller's widow lived out her life there.


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