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WCCO Anchor Bill Carlson Dies At Age 73

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) ― WCCO-TV anchor Bill Carlson died Friday evening at home surrounded by friends and family. Bill was 73.

Bill had been fighting prostate cancer, and in recent days, the cancer had spread to his liver.

Bill died at 5:55 p.m. Friday. His wife, Nancy, was by his side.

Nancy said Bill was lucid to the very end and his last words to Nancy were "I love you."

Bill and Nancy married on June 13, 1970 and they were married for 38 years.

Bill had worked for WCCO-TV for nearly 50 years, covering the Arts and Entertainment beat for WCCO-TV. He started his journalism career in 1951 when he joined WCCO Radio while he was still in high school.

He moved to WCCO-TV in 1959 after graduating from the University of Minnesota.

Bill did just about everything at WCCO-TV, including anchoring the news, reporting the weather, hosting game shows, movies, events and even did the sports.

What Bill truly loved, was the interview format, which led to his specialty in arts and entertainment.

During his career, Bill interviewed thousands of Hollywood stars, including John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Paul McCartney, Tom Cruise, Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand and Britney Spears.

Bill and his wife Nancy are passionate about animal rights issues. They worked extensively with the Minnesota Humane Society, the Fund for Animals and other organizations.

Bill was born in Thief River Falls, Minn., and grew up in St. Paul.

In a message to the WCCO-TV staff, the station's Vice President and General Manager Susan Adams Loyd said, "To say that he will be sorely missed by the staff and the community seems a gross understatement ... I enjoyed a cup of coffee with Bill and his wife, Nancy, at their home just a couple of weeks ago. Please know how much he spoke of his love and respect for all of you, how proud he was to work at WCCO and how much he wished to return to work. It may be fitting that many of us heard Bill's voice for the last time in his contributions to our coverage of the Academy Awards just this past week."

Visitation will be held at the Old Log Theatre in Excelsior, Minn. on Wednesday, March 5 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

A Memorial Service will take place at the State Theatre, in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday, March 6 at 3 p.m.

Both events are open to the public.

(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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