Flamboyant, white-haired TV preacher Gene Scott died Feb. 21 in Glendale after suffering a stroke. He was 75.
Scott’s two congregations in downtown Los Angeles and Glendale numbered in the thousands, and he had a worldwide radio and television audience in 180 countries.
His eccentric preaching was lampooned on “Saturday Night Live” and deadpanned by the late Johnny Carson. In the film “Dragnet,” the Reverend played by Christopher Plummer, was based on him.
Werner Herzog profiled his lavish lifestyle and unconventional religious views in the 1980 documentary “God’s Angry Man.”
In 1983, Scott’s University Network launched 24-hour broadcasts of Scott’s sermons via satellite to North America and the Caribbean.
But soon after, the Federal Communications Commission stripped the church of three broadcast stations, worth about $15 million. Scott reportedly refused to turn over financial records to the commission.
But Scott rebuilt his broadcast operations.
The church also purchased the historic United Artists Theater in downtown Los Angeles in 1986 and spent more than $2 million to restore the classic Spanish Gothic movie palace.
He is survived by his wife, Melissa.