LA times film critic Charles Champlin dies at 88

AP News
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Posted: Nov 17, 2014 11:03 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Longtime Los Angeles Times film critic Charles Champlin has died at age 88, the newspaper said Monday.

Champlin died Sunday at his Los Angeles home of complications from Alzheimer's disease, his son, Charles Champlin Jr., told the Times (http://lat.ms/1u2OO0H ).

A Harvard-educated native of Hammondsport, New York, Champlin worked at Time and Life magazines for 17 years before coming to the Times in 1965 as an entertainment editor and columnist.

Champlin was the principal film critic at the Times from 1967 until 1980, when he shifted to book reviews and a "Critic at Large" column that took a broader look at the arts. He retired in 1991 but continued contributing to the Times and wrote books, including one on George Lucas and another on his own struggle with losing his sight. Champlin became legally blind in 1999.

"Charles Champlin was one of the great gentlemen of American film criticism," current Times film critic Kenneth Turan said Monday.

He had a reputation as a kind critic, but his subjects, including the late actor Jack Lemmon, said Champlin could be tough.

"I've gotten some pretty bad reviews along with the good ones from Chuck," Lemmon told his biographer in 2000, "but he's always been honest and constructive."

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com