Gil Stratton, 86, called ’em as he saw ’em
from L.A. Observed…
by Kevin Roderick
A friend of longtime Los Angeles sportscaster Gil Stratton emailed the news that Stratton died this morning at home in Toluca Lake. He was 86 and had suffered heart problems. Stratton was a fixture on KNX Radio and Channel 2 for decades and the popular sports anchor on “The Big News” with Jerry Dunphy that ushered in the era of hour-long news in L.A. From the obit being circulated by friends:
Stratton, 86, was a native of Brooklyn, NY and started out as a Broadway performer at the age of 19 in the musical “Best Foot Forward.” That led to a career in films including a supporting role in the Academy Award-winning “Stalag 17”.
His career was interrupted by World War II when he served as a bombardier in the Army Air Corps. In 1954, Stratton caught the attention of management at Channel 2, then KNXT, and became a sportscaster. He became part of the “Big News” team headed by anchor Jerry Dunphy as the station dominated local news ratings in the 1960’s. Drawing on his background as a baseball umpire, Stratton would open his sportscasts with a trademark line: “Hi folks, time to call ’em as we see ’em.” He is the recipient of seven “Golden Mike” awards from the Southern California Broadcasters association.
Stratton’s acting credits on IMDb span 1943 to 2003.
Gil Stratton’s career of over sixty years and outstanding Professional Achievement in the Field of Entertainment shows longevity seldom seen by others. He continues to nurture others interested in the field of broadcasting through ongoing teaching and lectures. Countless fans of Gil’s classic film, early radio work and television work, but especially his sports fans will be excited to learn about and visit his star on the Walk of Fame.
Let’s call this one as we see it…
Gil Stratton was a sure winner.