In this age of internet information, breaking news is disseminated across the country quickly, and we move on. Still, when this news crossed our news desk, it caused reason for pause:
Boston news anchor legend, Chet Curtis is dead.
He died Wednesday night after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
The early ’70’s were the Golden Age of television. There were 3 networks and few fuzzy screened UHF channels.
There was no such thing as cable TV and there was no such thing as The Clicker.
Born Chester Kukiewicz on April 15, 1939, Chet graduated from communications powerhouse, Ithaca College in 1960.
He changed his last name to Curtis, moved to Washington, DC, then New York City, earning a reputation for his grit, nose for news, and charm.
He joined WCVB in Boston as a roving reporter and quickly moved to news desk anchor in 1972.
Chet was the silver-tongued booze hound with great hair. Nat was the flirtatious raven-maned beauty with bedroom eyes.
Their chemistry leaped off the screen into our living rooms, captivating viewers and capturing ratings across New England.
They were a real-life soap opera, the first reality television program ever.
Chet and Nat fell in love, got married at Boston’s Old North Church in 1975, had a baby and eventually, in 1999, separated.
All of it was right there, in front of the camera.
In 1999 The LA Times reported: “When he talks about sports, she rolls her eyes. When she talks about family issues, he tries hard to look fascinated.”
He was inducted into The Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2013 commenting: “I have won the lottery every time the camera blinked on. It is the stuff of dreams to be paid for doing what you’ve done, what you love. Thank you for this rich honor. Thank you for 50 great years.”
Thank you, Chet Curtis.
You are missed.