The Orange County Register's longtime radio writer, Gary Lycan, died in his sleep on Tuesday, the paper reported this afternoon. Lycan had prostate cancer in recent years. His final column for the Register ran Saturday. The Register's news story on Lycan's death is behind the paper's new web paywall, so I can't get to it, but there's a nice tribute posted at the Forgotten Hollywood website by friend and collaborator Manny Pacheco. His lede:
This is the most difficult blog story I have ever written…
My dear, dear friend Gary Lycan has passed on. Part of the fabric of Southern California, he was the award-winning radio columnist of the Orange County Register since his initial assignment in 1968. Gary was also my cherished co-host on Forgotten Hollywood, a weekly radio program that airs on the Financial News and Radio Network. And, he wrote the Foreword and Introduction, to my Forgotten Hollywood Book Series.
Though, we’ve been like brothers working on the Forgotten Hollywood franchise for these past 4 1/2 years, I’m smart enough to know that he had a really keen friendship with every Southern California broadcaster who has cracked a microphone during the Golden Age of Format-Radio. He was inspired by the disc jockeys, radio personalities, and news-related folks who worked at KFWB, KRLA, and KHJ back in the 1960s. He wanted desperately to join this fraternity. But, his unparalleled talent lay in the written, not spoken, word. Through his weekly radio column, he became an elder statesmen of this so-called fraternity. Orange County folks learned about the business of broadcasting in a digestible, easy-to-read, and friendly way, which made his readers feel that we were all part of the inner circle.
Never to rest on his laurels, Gary Lycan also had longtime allies who fought for animal rights (a particular passion of his), and ultimately, the Golden Age of Hollywood community. During one of our programs, he secured an interview for us with the legendary Debbie Reynolds. This weekend, on 15-10 AM and 14-50 AM, we’ll re-broadcast a poignant early incarnation of our show. I had the foresight to interview my co-host early on, and the network of stations has been gracious enough to re-shuffle its programming this Saturday at 3p (pst) to air this fitting tribute. If you would like to honor Gary’s memory by taking a listen, but you live outside the broadcast area of Orange County and the Inland Empire — here’s a link.
Last May, Lycan wrote in the Register that he had advanced prostate cancer and had discovered that one of his caregivers was an athlete he profiled for the student newspaper at Santa Ana High School 50 years earlier.