Steve Friedman, was a local radio/TV personality known as "Mr. Movie" to film buffs throughout a large part of North America. The Harrisburg native had a lifelong passion for motion pictures and an encyclopedic memory that made him a one-man IMDB.com decades before the Internet existed.
His ability to retain minute details of virtually every film he ever watched bordered on the supernatural.
Friedman, who died while awaiting a kidney transplant at age 62, in 2009, spent several decades as the region's go-to guy about all things movies, primarily as the host of a late-night Saturday program on WPHT-AM (1210), formerly WCAU, whose signal famously reaches 38 states and parts of Canada.
Friedman's abiding love and uncanny knowledge of film history and trivia was but one reason for his success. Another was no doubt his benign, welcoming on-air presence (he tended to leave his callers with a "Bless you").
In a Facebook message, Steve Ross, a longtime friend of Friedman's and co-host of WPHT's "Remember When" program (which occupies Friedman's old time slot), described "Mr. Movie" as a "dedicated radio communicator" and "savant of movie matters - right down to the most infinitesimal detail."
"Steve consistently dazzled and amazed his loyal listeners with his vast knowledge of the silver screen," he wrote. "There has never been anyone like him, nor, will there ever be."
The soft-spoken, sandy-haired broadcaster - whose nickname was bestowed upon him by current KYW-AM (1060) news anchor Wally Kennedy - also worked in television, although mostly behind the scenes in such jobs as promotions director for what is now known as CWPhilly (WPSG, Channel 57) and as a producer for what is now NBC10 (WCAU, Channel 10).
In 1991, he and weather forecaster John Bolaris were named co-hosts of "Time Out," Channel 10's weekly entertainment magazine show.
Friedman, a longtime Chester County resident, was also an award-winning advertising art director.
- Chuck Darrow