January 23, 2011, - 10:50 pm
My late maternal grandfather, Isaac Engel, and my great-uncle, Moishe Greitzer–both Holocaust survivors–were fans of Jack LaLanne and told me all about him when I was a kid. So, it was very cool for me to be on ABC’s “Politically Incorrect” with him in 2002. I told him how my uncle Moishe had worked out at the health club chain bearing his name and was a strong man and muscular fitness enthusiast, plus he and LaLanne were the same age. My sharp uncle Moishe (of blessed memory) died this summer just shy of 96 years old from pneumonia and respiratory failure and, like LaLanne, Uncle Moshe worked out vigorously until right before he died, swimming for an hour every day at a New York health club. The news just broke that LaLanne passed away, today, at 96 of the same thing as my great-uncle.
Sad, but he lived a long and vigorous life. And his many moves, like fingertip push-ups have inspired many videos by modern fitness connoisseurs . He was one of the few men who could wear ballet slippers (during workouts on his TV show) and still look masculine.
When I met LaLanne in a green room at the CBS Television Center in Los Angeles, I was impressed. Not only was the man–at that time 87 years old–incredibly ripped and muscular, but he was doing all kinds of leg lifts, push-ups, and other physical feats many men 1/4 his age could not do. And, on top of that, LaLanne and his wife were extremely nice, friendly, and just class acts. Most people will remember him for the Power Juicer infomercials, but I will remember him as one of the most down to earth celebrities I met on the set of “Politically Incorrect,” a show I did more than a dozen times. And unlike most celebrities, LaLanne remained married to the same woman for over half a century. He and Elaine were married for 51 years. You could tell, meeting them in the green room, that this was definitely a lasting love story.
Jack LaLanne, Rest In Peace.
Tags: Dead, Died, Jack LaLanne, Rest In Peace