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ABC critic Joel Siegel dies at 63

NEW YORK, June 29 (UPI) -- Joel Siegel, movie critic for ABC's "Good Morning America" for the past quarter century, has died of cancer in New York at 63, the network announced Friday.

Siegel was best known to viewers for his brief, to-the-point reviews.

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"He was a brilliant reviewer and a great reporter," said ABC News President David Westin. "But much more, he was our dear friend and colleague. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Siegel is survived by his son, Dylan, and wife, Ena Swansea, an artist.

Siegel learned at age 57, just after learning he would be a father for the first time, that he had cancer -- and had just a 70 percent chance of seeing his child born, ABC said. He responded by writing the book, "Lessons for Dylan: From Father to Son."

Siegel was a civil rights worker in the 1960s and worked for the 1968 presidential campaign of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D-N.Y.

Born July 7, 1943, in Los Angeles, Siegel worked in advertising and radio, and as a playwright. He was the only drama critic ever nominated for a Tony, ABC said.

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In 1991, he and actor Gene Wilder founded Gilda's Club, a support organization for cancer patients and their families that was named for Wilder's wife, Gilda Radner, who had died of cancer.

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