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Sam Rubin, Los Angeles TV Anchor and Entertainment Reporter, Dies at 64


Sam Rubin, whose morning interviews with celebrities on the Los Angeles television station KTLA 5 became requisite viewing for much of the entertainment industry, and who endeared himself to Hollywood insiders with his geniality and knowledge of their work, died on Friday in Los Angeles. He was 64.

His wife, Leslie Gale Shuman, attributed the death, in a hospital, to a systems failure. A report on KTLA said the cause was a heart attack.

In an industry known for its changing names and evolving trends, Mr. Rubin was for decades a mainstay for viewers across the city. An interview with him was considered a rite of passage for many stars.

His ability to make celebrities feel comfortable as he asked them about their craft spanned generations.

Although it was clear that Mr. Rubin was immersed in the minutiae of his beat, part of his appeal came from the antics he brought to the studio, and from his ability to change the pace of what could be a rote interview.

“Is it shampoo and conditioner, or just shampoo — what is the hair regimen, Jared?” he once asked the actor Jared Leto.

“You know, my friend, it’s a toupee,” Mr. Leto said.

Hollywood’s biggest names often appeared at ease with Mr. Rubin under the KTLA studio lights, as though they were speaking with an old friend.

Mr. Rubin could be seen on a red carpet shaking Tom Hanks’s hand as the movie star shouted “Sam Rubin, ladies and gentleman!”; interviewing Billie Eilish about the Oscars; and dancing with Beyoncé and the members of Destiny’s Child when the group was still together.

“Even if I was on my 85th interview that day, I was always happy to see Sam,” the actor Ryan Reynolds wrote on social media. “Even if HE was on his 85th interview that day, he always brought genuine kindness, curiosity and an outside the box question.”

Sam Rubin was born on Feb. 16, 1960, in San Diego. His father, Theodore Rubin, was a defense and aerospace engineer and a professor at U.C.L.A. His mother was a school nurse.

Mr. Rubin attended Occidental College in Los Angeles and earned a degree in American studies and rhetoric. In addition to his wife, he is survived by four children, Perry, Rory, Darcy and Colby.

After working as a correspondent covering entertainment news for several local outlets, Mr. Rubin joined KTLA in 1991 and quickly made a name for himself with his unexpected questions and easy charm.

He won multiple Emmy Awards as well as a lifetime achievement award from the Southern California Broadcasters Association. He was the co-author of biographies of the former first lady Jacqueline Onassis and the actress Mia Farrow.

He was also the co-owner of SRE Inc., a production company behind broadcast and cable programs, including “Live From” red-carpet events and the talk show “Hollywood Uncensored.”

In his last interview, on Thursday, Mr. Rubin spoke with the actress Jane Seymour.

After learning of the death, the actor Henry Winkler told KTLA: “When you were being interviewed by him, there was nobody after you, there was nobody before you at that desk. It was you in that seat, and that was all that mattered.”

Sofia Poznansky contributed reporting.

Sofia Poznansky contributed reporting.





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