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CBS Los Angeles

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PALM SPRINGS ( — KCET icon Huell Howser has died at the age of 67, according to his assistant, Ryan Morris.

Howser, who hosted PBS’ “California’s Gold”, died of natural causes at his home on Sunday night.

He was known for his folksy, aw-shucks demeanor as he highlighted California’s small towns, landmarks and treasures.

Prior to his work at KCET, Howser was a reporter at KCBS (CBS2) and also worked as a weekend anchor and reporter for “Entertainment Tonight.” He started his various PBS shows in 1985.

Howser retired from broadcasting last year due to health concerns.

“The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening (a fan) even created a Howser-like reporter character in 2005 as a tribute. The show’s “Howell Huser” has appeared in at least two episodes.

KCET posted the following statement on its Web site Monday:

“We are deeply saddened by the news of Huell’s…

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