Schwed spent 11 years as a writer and columnist at TV Guide, based in Hollywood, as well as working on-air on E! and the TV Guide Channel. Before that he was the TV critic for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. He was found dead today in his apartment in Florida, where he has been a feature writer for the Palm Beach Post for the past three years. From the Post:
"We were crushed by the news," said Post managing editor Bill Rose. "Mark was a bright light in the newsroom, a kind and helpful soul who wrote smart stories and endeared himself to those who worked with him and, often, to those he wrote about."
Mark Schwed could easily have been one of the actors he often wrote about. He was tall, lean and handsome, with prematurely gray hair, but he was not one of those writers who felt that proximity to fame conferred any special status. He was amused by celebrity. He would confide that if you think seeing Richard Hatch - the first winner of the "Survivor" reality show - in the nude was glamorous, or drinking home brew with the natives on an island off Borneo was glamorous, then it was glamorous.
"Mark was so memorable," said Katie Wagner, a television co-host with Schwed. "He was our bad boy - a rebel with a cause who would go up against anybody if he didn't agree with them. I have a distinct memory of Mark smoking while wearing a nicotine smoking patch. Cigarettes were his life, his friend. We had great chemistry."