Longtime NewsCenter5 anchor Chet Curtis has died today. The veteran anchorman was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year and succumbed today, according to his family.
Curtis, born Chester Kukiewicz in 1939, moved to Boston in 1968, and became an integral part of the “new” channel 5 when it relaunched in 1972.
He, along with his wife and co-anchor Natalie Jacobson, became household names and helped propel NewsCenter5′s ratings past those of both WBZ’s Eyewitness News and channel 7′s revolving door of brandings. Their on-air chemistry was unrivaled and assured them a position of dominance well into the 1990s.
Though his highly-publicized divorce from Natalie Jacobson brought stress to him, Curtis quietly began to pick up the pieces and moved to NECN, where he hosted a weekday broadcast.
In 2012, he was inducted into the Gold Circle Club of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, an award which is given both on longevity and performance.
No word yet on memorial proceedings for Mr. Curtis. He was an institution who permanently shaped the landscape of local television news and will be missed. Chet Curtis was 74.