LITTLE ROCK Television's Mr.Wizard
LOS ANGELES -
Don Herbert, who as television's Mr. Wizard introduced generations of youngviewers to the joys of science, died Tuesday. He was 89.
Herbert, who had bone cancer, died at his suburban Bell Canyon home, said his son-in-law, Tom Nikosey.
"He really taught kids howto use the thinking skills of a scientist," said former colleague Steve Jacobs. He worked with Herbert on a 1980s show that echoed the original 1950s Watch Mr. Wizard series, which became a fond baby boomer memory.
In Watch Mr. Wizard, which was produced from 1951 to 1964 and received a Peabody Award in 1954, Herbert turned TV into an entertaining classroom. On a simple, workshoplike set, he demonstrated experiments using household items.
Herbert encouraged children to duplicate experiments at home, said Jacobs, who recounted serving as a behind-the-scenes "science sidekick" to Herbert on the '80s Mr. Wizard's World, which aired on the Nickelodeon channel.
Born in Waconia, Minn., Herbert was a 1940 graduate of LaCrosse State Teachers College and was an Army Air Corps pilot during World War II. He worked as an actor, model and radio writer before starting Watch Mr. Wizard in Chicago on NBC.
The show moved to New York after several years.