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KTLA Entertainment Reporter’s Cause of Death Revealed – Updated

UPDATED with official cause of death: In a report obtained by KTLA, the Los Angeles Medical Examiner stated that the station’s former entertainment reporter, Sam Rubin, died from “ischemic heart disease due to atherosclerotic coronary artery disease.” The manner of his death was listed as “natural.”

Per the station, Rubin, 64, was experiencing stomach pain the morning of May 10 and went to the hospital. He was declared dead in the emergency room shortly after 11 a.m.

PREVIOUSLY on May 10: Sam Rubin, a well-known figure in Los Angeles TV news as KTLA’s long-time entertainment reporter and a frequent red carpet interviewer, passed away today at the age of 64, according to the station’s announcement.

Rubin’s family confirmed to KTLA that he died of a heart attack. He was last on the air on Thursday morning, appearing healthy, and had called in sick on Friday.

KTLA colleagues remembered him tearfully on air, sharing anecdotes. “We don’t know what happened, but it was sudden,” said longtime morning anchor Frank Buckley. Another veteran colleague, Eric Spillman, expressed shock, saying, “I can’t believe we are reporting this—it is such a shock.”

“KTLA 5 is profoundly saddened to report the death of Sam Rubin,” the station posted on social media. “Sam was a giant in the local news industry and entertainment world, and a fixture of Los Angeles morning television for decades. His laugh, charm, and caring personality touched all who knew him. Sam was a loving husband and father: the roles he cherished the most. Our thoughts are with Sam’s family during this difficult time.”

Among those calling in was Henry Winkler, one of Rubin’s favorite guests. “It’s the most horrible thing,” Winkler said via phone from an airport. “Two things I know: He made you feel special every single time [he interviewed you], and I am not the only person who felt that special warmth.”

The station also played a segment from the 2020 SAG Awards red carpet in which Tom Hanks stopped to speak with Rubin, praising KTLA, Rubin, and “Sky Chopper 5.”

Rubin joined KTLA Morning News in 1991, about six months after the program debuted. He won multiple News Emmys and Golden Mike Awards, and received a lifetime achievement award from the Southern California Broadcasters Association. He was also named Best Entertainment Reporter by the Los Angeles Press Club.

Rubin was a regular on KNX-AM in Los Angeles, providing brief showbiz news reports. He frequently appeared on BBC TV and radio in the UK and did radio and TV reports in Australia.

Rubin was a founding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the largest organization of film and television critics in the United States with over 200 members. In 1996, the BFCA began the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, and Rubin hosted the 2013 show.

In 2021, Rubin ran for a position on SAG-AFTRA’s L.A. board of directors as part of the MembershipFirst party alongside Matthew Modine and Joely Fisher. One of his main concerns was the changes in eligibility requirements at the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan.

Following the news of his passing, Fisher wrote on Twitter, “This is a shocking loss!!! #RIP to my friend of so many years.”

Rubin was also the owner of SRE, Inc., a TV production company that produced over 200 hours of broadcast and cable programming, including several Live From red carpet shows and 120 episodes of the talk show Hollywood Uncensored with Sam Rubin, which aired on Reelz.

Rubin authored two books and had his work published in print and online worldwide. He frequently appeared on BBC television and radio in the United Kingdom and was a regular contributor to Triple M radio and Channel 9 television network in Australia.

His charitable efforts included annually promoting the Bay to Bay bike ride from Orange County to San Diego to raise funds for multiple sclerosis research.

Rubin is survived by his wife, Leslie, and their four children.


Source: KTLA, Los Angeles Medical Examiner