Conservative talk show host Wally George, who sparred with liberal guests for two decades on “Hot Seat,” died Sunday of pneumonia. He was 71.
George, the father of actress Rebecca De Mornay, had been at the hospital for three months due to complications from cancer.
George’s combative television show, broadcast on KDOC-TV in Anaheim, rose to popularity in the 1980s. He called his approach “combat TV” and was known for interrupting guests by shouting insults at them.
George told the Los Angeles Times in 1984 that fans saw him as a “down-to-earth guy who’s speaking not so much from a highly intelligent brain but who’s speaking from his heart and gut.”
Born George Walter Pearch in Oakland to a former vaudeville actress and the owner of a shipping company, George moved to Hollywood with his mother and at age 14 be-came a disc jockey with KIEV-AM in Glendale.
He hosted “The Wally George Show” on Inglewood radio and was a producer and co-host of “The Sam Yorty Show” before “Hot Seat” premiered in 1983.
KDOC has been airing reruns of the show since George underwent surgery in June to remove a bone near his spine that had disintegrated because of cancer. He said at the time the problem was discovered by doctors after a fall in his Garden Grove home.