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Sam Rubin dies from heart attack


KTLA entertainment reporter was 64

Sam Rubin, one of the most recognizable and likable entertainment reporters in the business and a fixture on the KTLA Morning News since 1991, died today at age 64.

KTLA Morning News anchor Frank Buckley confirmed the news on the air early Friday afternoon, his voice trembling and fighting back tears as he spoke about the death of his friend and co-worker.

“Our hearts as you imagine are broken,'' Buckley said. “Quite simply, Sam was KTLA. From his time on the KTLA5 Morning News to the many awards shows and other shows that he hosted, his laugh, his charm, most caring personality. To all of us he shared his mornings with on television and to those he worked with behind the scenes at KTLA, we will not forget him.''

Buckley, who paused to battle back tears as he spoke, added, “The role that he cherished most was husband and father.'' Rubin is survived by his wife Leslie and four children.

“This is the moment when Sam would know exactly what to say,'' Buckley said. “These are the kinds of stories that he excelled in, and say the right things about someone and put someone's life into perspective.

“...This station is filled with great sadness. A shock to all of us. He was here yesterday with all of us and then called in sick and then we learned the news this afternoon. So we're not really sure what the circumstances are. ... That's what we know at this point, is that Sammy is gone."

TMZ reported that Rubin suffered a fatal heart attack Friday morning. A KTLA source told Variety that Rubin died at his home in Brentwood.

“Sam lived life to the fullest,'' Buckley said. “We don't know exactly what happened but we know that it was sudden because he was here yesterday."

KTLA reporter/anchor Eric Spillman, also a longtime fixture at the station, called into the KTLA afternoon newscast and said, “I just can't believe that we're reporting this. It is such a shock."

“Personally he was one of my best friends,'' Spillman said. “We worked together every day for 33 years."

KTLA technology reporter Rich DeMuro wrote on X that he is “in absolute shock.'' He posted a picture of himself with Rubin and wrote, “Thinking the most of your family right now. So sorry. Morning news in Hollywood will never be the same without you.''

During his celebrated career, Rubin – an Occidental College graduate–collected multiple Emmy Awards and a Golden Mike and Los Angeles Press Club awards for best entertainment reporter, as well as a lifetime achievement award from the Southern California Broadcasters Association.

He was also a founding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the organization behind the Critics' Choice Movie Awards, an event Rubin hosted in 2013.

Rubin was also the owner of the SRE Inc. television production company, which according to his KTLA biography, has produced more than 200 hours of broadcast and cable programming, including the talk show “Hollywood Uncensored'' and the “Live From'' red carpet shows.

He was also known for his charitable efforts, annually promoting an annual bike ride to raise funds for multiple sclerosis research.