Steve Friedman, 62, of Malvern, a talk-radio host and film expert, died of kidney disease at home Sunday just hours after completing his Mr. Movie program on WPHT-AM (1210).
On Saturday nights for the last 10 years, Mr. Friedman joined Steve Ross and Jimmy Murray on their Remember When radio show from 10 to midnight, and then continued with his own show until 1 a.m. Previously, he had stayed on the air all night.
He loved that, said his wife, Michell Muldoon, because he could really get into in-depth discussions with callers.
Mr. Friedman was also a national film reviewer for Donnelly Directory's Talking Yellow Pages. He had been a film critic and entertainment reporter for NBC10 and for America Online's Digital City, where he hosted a weekly chat room for film buffs.
Mr. Friedman grew up in Harrisburg and fell in love with movies as a child when he saw Disney's Alice In Wonderland. After earning a bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University, he was an art director for advertising agencies in Philadelphia.
He spent his free time going to movies and collecting movie memorabilia. In the early 1970s, he operated Cinema Attic, a source for film photographs, posters, programs, and press kits. He and his wife met when she was working in an art gallery and frame shop and he brought in a movie poster to be framed.
Eventually, he limited his collecting to reference books about movies. With help from his extensive film library, he could answer the most arcane questions from listeners, his wife said.
In 1982, Mr. Friedman was working as manager of on-air promotion for WCAU-TV (Channel 10) when he was asked to share his film knowledge on Wally Kennedy's call-in radio show on WCAU-AM.
It was Kennedy who dubbed him "Mr. Movie," Muldoon said. By 1984, Mr. Friedman had his own show from 9 p.m. Saturdays until 6:30 the following morning.
Mr. Friedman taught film classes at Temple University and Rosemont College, and lectured at other colleges in the region. He also lectured several times at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. He was a film expert for the History Channel, his wife said.
His favorite movie was Forbidden Planet, the 1956 sci-fi version of Shakespeare's The Tempest, about space visitors who journey to a one-man space colony on the planet Altair IV. He told interviewers he had seen the film 178 times.
Though he had been on dialysis for five years, he continued to go to movies regularly, his wife said.
He watched foreign films, but his area of expertise was American films, she said. He was a history buff, especially military history and ancient Greece and Rome. The title of one of his college lectures was "History vs. Hollywood."
In addition to his wife of 27 years, Mr. Friedman is survived by a daughter, Darragh Friedman; a brother; and a sister.
A Funeral Mass will be at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church, 118 Woodland Ave., Malvern. Friends may call from 5:30 p.m.