The Death of Rita Bell

Rita Bell
June 15, 1925 – December 9, 2003
“Remembering my first night on television, I tried very hard to becalm, cool, collected and to act poised and with dignity, but my pounding heartI felt could be heard all around the nation, especially in Kokomo, Indiana. WhyKokomo, I don’t know.”

She was a Detroit television icon.

She was singing with big bands when atelevision executive met her at a gig and offered her the job as the firstfemale weather caster.

She also appeared once in the western BigValley. Listen, in Detroit that was huge. (I remember we had atraffic helicopter reporter named Jo Jo Shutty McGregor who had A LINE in anepisode of Barnaby Jones. The channel did special commercials for that shit.)

LovelyRita was best known for her morning movie show, PrizeMovie. When television went from black and white to color, The hostess introducedover 6000 movies in the show’s 21-year-run, making her Detroit Royalty.

Ibecame a fan of Al Hirt because she used CottonCandy forher theme song.