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Mike Douglas

By RD Heldenfels Published: August 11, 2006

Word has come that Mike Douglas, the daytime talk-show host and former Clevelander, is dead. (UPDATE: You can find my piece about Douglas for today's Beacon Journal here.) He was 81.

I had a lunch interview  with Douglas back in 1997, when Rosie O'Donnell's praise had brought him back in the public spotlight, and it was a fine experience listening to him talk about John Lennon and Richard Pryor, as well as his local feud with Ernie ''Ghoulardi'' Anderson -- which, in Mike's view, was a feud only in Ernie's mind.

Douglas was outspoken (he was no fan of David Letterman, for instance) and revealing -- while insisting that he was no different from what you saw on TV.  I'm also old enough to remember Mike's talk show, as well as hearing him sing the National Anthem before some TV sports event -- one of the best National Anthems I have ever heard on TV. Sorry that he's gone.

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