Sam Rubin, Los Angeles TV mainstay, dead at 64

Sam Rubin, longtime entertainment anchor for KTLA in Los Angeles, has died at the age of 64, fellow anchor Frank Buckley announced on air Friday.

Rubin was a mainstay for celebrity interviews and covered all things Hollywood for decades. He also often reported for international media, including in Australia and the UK, Buckley said.

Buckley said Rubin was at work on Thursday and called in sick Friday morning. KTLA later reported that Rubin’s family confirmed he died of a heart attack.

“It is such a shock,” KTLA morning anchor Eric Spillman said. “He was one of my best friends. We worked together every day for 33 years.”

Spillman described Rubin as a huge and remarkable talent who could talk about anything to anyone.

“He was born to be a broadcaster,” Spillman added.

“His laugh, charm and caring personality touched all who knew him,” KTLA shared in a social media tribute. “Sam was a loving husband and father: the roles he cherished the most.”

According to Rubin’s bio on, he joined the KTLA Morning News show in 1991, going on to win multiple Emmys. He also received the Golden Mike Award for best entertainment reporter, a lifetime achievement award from the Southern California Broadcasters Association, and was named best entertainment reporter by the Los Angeles Press Club.

Rubin was one of the founding members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, and regularly appeared on BBC television and radio in the United Kingdom as well as Triple M radio and Channel 9 television network in Australia.


Perry Sook, Nexstar founder, chairman, and CEO calld Rubin “an icon in Los Angeles and the entertainment industry” in a statement shared with CNN on Friday. “My prayers are with his family and the KTLA family as we mourn his passing. He will be missed.”

Veteran actor Henry Winkler said via phone on air on KTLA on Friday that Rubin “made every human being feel so special and got the them to open up like a flower.”

Winkler also posted to X, writing, “this is a terrible loss .. for Sam’s family , his co workers , friends and his fans. IT WAS ALWAYS a pleasure to be on set with Sam. He will be Sorely missed.”

“It is a very emotional, sad day. Not only for the KTLA family, but for the entertainment industry as a whole,” said actor Jerry O’Connell on KTLA. “The man was a legend.”

“Modern Family” star Eric Stonestreet wrote of Rubin on X, “I always enjoyed my time with Sam. Rest In Peace, Sir.”

“I am so sorry to hear about my friend Sam Rubin going to heaven. I have known him for decades,” Richard Simmons posted Friday on X. “He was always interested in my projects and always laughed at my silly jokes. Sam you will be missed.”

On Instagram, Academy Award-winning actor Viola Davis wrote that Rubin’s “professionalism was unmatched” by his “kindness and humanity.”

“I will miss your presence on The Red Carpet. God bless your loved ones,” she added.

Ben Stiller wrote called Rubin a “consummate pro” in his tribute on X, adding, “I did my first interview with him in something like ‘93, and countless times over the years. He loved actors and movies. He made everyone feel comfortable and it was always fun and easy. He was an institution.”

Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer also wrote a tribute to Rubin on social media, writing, “So sad to learn that we’ve lost Sam Rubin. It was always a pleasure to see him and to be in his presence. My condolences to his family and fans.”

Later on Friday, Ryan Seacrest posted a tribute on Instagram, sharing how early on in his career, one of his first live roles on Los Angeles TV was filling in for Rubin.

“His charm, his fun spirit, and his professionalism always impressed me. My condolences to his family and his KTLA family. He’ll be missed by us all.”

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