Brian Linehan

Brian Richard Linehan (September 3, 1944 – June 4, 2004) was a Canadian television host from Hamilton, Ontario,[1] best known for his celebrity interviews on the longrunning talk show City Lights.[2]

Brian Linehan
BornSeptember 3, 1944
DiedJune 4, 2004 (aged 59)
Occupationtelevision interviewer
Known forCity Lights


Linehan was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1944, one of seven children.[2] His estranged Irish father, Les, worked at one of the local steel mills, Dofasco; and his Serbian mother, Sava (née Kotur), was later remarried to a post World War II Serbian immigrant, Jovan Rodic Sr. He too, was a steel worker.[2]

At age 19, Linehan moved to Toronto, taking an entry-level job with Odeon Cinemas.[3] The following year, he began working in public relations as an organizer of celebrity promotional visits to Toronto.[3] By 1968, he was the general manager of Janus Films, a film distribution company.[1]


He joined Citytv in 1973 as the host of City Lights, a program which would eventually become syndicated throughout Canada and the United States.[3] Linehan was renowned for his composure, interview skills and meticulous research, often leading to in-depth questions that could last for minutes. His guests often responded to his questions with astonishment at his depth of knowledge;[3] actress Shirley MacLaine once commented that the stars flocked to Toronto "so Brian could tell us about our lives".[3] His interviewing style was parodied on SCTV by Martin Short as "Brock Linehan",[2] a character whose seemingly meticulous interview research—unlike Brian Linehan's -- almost always turned out to be totally, utterly wrong.[4]

In 1988, City Lights was rebooted as MovieTelevision, an expanded magazine series on film which Linehan cohosted with Jeanne Beker.[5] Linehan was not happy with the new format, however, as it left him with far less time to conduct in-depth interviews,[2] and left the show in 1989 after its first season.[6] He took some time off, and then spent the early 1990s as a freelance publicity interviewer.[7]

From 1996 to 1998, he hosted a second show entitled Linehan, which was produced for CHCH-TV in Hamilton.[7] In 1999, Linehan won a Gemini Award as Best Host in a Lifestyle or Performing Arts Program for his work on the show.[4] After that show ended, he taught a television production course at Toronto's Humber College.[1]

Beginning in 2000, the original City Lights shows were reaired on the new Canadian cable channel Talk TV.[8]

Linehan was also a longtime entertainment reporter on CFRB radio,[9] and a frequent host of awards ceremonies such as the Genie Awards and the Geminis.[7]

Personal life

Linehan, who was gay, met Zane Wagman, a dentist, in the late 1960s.[3] Through the 1970s, the couple also had a sideline business renovating and reselling houses.[3] They remained together until Wagman's death by suicide in 2002;[3] however, Linehan was very guarded about his personal life, acknowledging only to his closest friends and never publicly that Wagman was anything more than a platonic roommate.[3]

Linehan was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2001 and died in 2004.[3] His ashes were scattered outside the Toronto home he had shared with Wagman, although Joan Rivers kept a small portion of them as a memento of him.[2]


He left his estate to The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation, which attempts to raise the profile of Canadian talent and supports the creation of a Canadian star system.[10] The foundation's noted donations have included $1 million toward the creation of an actors' training program at the Canadian Film Centre,[11] and $1 million to the Toronto International Film Festival toward the construction of the TIFF Bell Lightbox.[12]

The public reading room at TIFF's Film Reference Library is named in honour of Linehan. The library also holds many of his personal archives and research collections.[1]

George Anthony, a longtime friend of Linehan's, published the biography Starring Brian Linehan: A Life Behind the Scenes in 2008.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Brian Linehan at The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Life of Brian". Ryerson Review of Journalism, March 16, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "BOOKS: Starring Brian Linehan by George Anthony". Daily Xtra, October 14, 2007.
  4. ^ a b "A gala send-off for Brian Linehan: Notables salute long-time friend of the festival". National Post, September 17, 2004.
  5. ^ "Linehan, Beker to team up for new weekly movie show". Toronto Star, July 24, 1988.
  6. ^ "Brian Linehan will no longer light up CITY". Toronto Star, September 1, 1989.
  7. ^ a b c "Linehan back on the trail of the rich and celebrated". Windsor Star, November 16, 1996.
  8. ^ "Brian Linehan shares significant video archive". Toronto Star, December 22, 2000.
  9. ^ "Brian's back: Renowned for his meticulous research, Linehan is ready to get up close and personal". Toronto Star, December 16, 1996.
  10. ^ "Brian Linehan charity to fund film training". Toronto Star, March 14, 2006.
  11. ^ "A Canadian first: actors' training program launched". The Globe and Mail, September 8, 2008.
  12. ^ "Planned TIFF complex gets $1-million Linehan gift". The Globe and Mail, April 11, 2007.

Further reading

  • George Anthony (September 2007). Starring Brian Linehan: A Life Behind the Scenes. McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 978-0-7710-0757-6.

External links

11th Genie Awards

The 11th annual Genie Awards were presented March 20, 1990, and honoured Canadian films released the previous year. For the first time ever the awards were broadcast by CTV, rather than CBC. Despite an extensive advertising campaign the ratings plummeted, with only half as many people watching compared to the previous year. In total, an average of only 460,000 watched the awards.

The ceremony was broadcast from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto. The ceremony had no overall host, although actor Al Waxman introduced and concluded the ceremony and broadcaster Brian Linehan hosted segments filmed on location at various films in production. The Best Picture nominees were each given a full two-minute clip during the broadcast.The awards themselves were dominated by Denys Arcand's Jesus of Montreal.

1944 in Canada

Events from the year 1944 in Canada.

21st Genie Awards

The 21st Genie Awards were held in 2001 to honour films released in 2000. The ceremony was hosted by Brian Linehan.

22nd Genie Awards

The 22nd Genie Awards were held in 2002 to honour films released in 2001. The ceremony was hosted by Brian Linehan.

2nd Genie Awards

The 2nd Genie Awards were held March 12, 1981, honouring Canadian films released the previous year. The ceremony was held at the Royal Alexandra Theatre and was hosted by Brian Linehan. The most notable sight of the evening was Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau escorting starlet Kim Cattrall; the moment received renewed media attention in March 2016, when the American newsmagazine 60 Minutes, in a profile of Justin Trudeau, ran a photo of the appearance while misidentifying Cattrall as Margaret Trudeau.The films Good Riddance (Les bons débarras) and Tribute tied for the most nominations overall. Good Riddance won most of the major awards, including Best Picture.

3rd Genie Awards

The 3rd Genie Awards were awarded on March 3, 1982, at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, and honoured Canadian films released in 1981. It was hosted by Brian Linehan, with magician Doug Henning assisting by using card tricks and other illusions to reveal the winners.The film The Plouffe Family (Les Plouffe) won the most awards overall, although Ticket to Heaven won Best Picture. Those two films were tied for most nominations overall, with 15 nods each.

Alex Paxton-Beesley

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Bill Linehan

William P. Linehan is a former member and President of the Boston City Council in Boston, Massachusetts. He represented District 2, which includes Downtown Boston, the South End, South Boston and Chinatown.

City Lights (1973 TV series)

City Lights was a Canadian television series hosted by Brian Linehan and produced by Citytv in Toronto, and syndicated throughout Canada and internationally, running from 1973 to 1988. It featured Linehan interviewing film and television celebrities about their roles and lives. Linehan developed a reputation for well-researched questions and non-adversarial style.In 1988, the series was replaced with MovieTelevision, an expanded magazine series cohosted by Linehan and Jeanne Beker. Linehan remained with the new show for a single season before leaving in 1989.

Crimes of the Future

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Deaths in June 2004

The following is a list of notable deaths in June 2004.

Entries for each day are listed alphabetically by surname. A typical entry lists information in the following sequence:

Name, age, country of citizenship at birth, subsequent country of citizenship (if applicable), reason for notability, cause of death (if known), and reference.

Film Reference Library

The Film Reference Library (FRL) is Canada’s film research collection located on the 4th floor of TIFF Bell Lightbox, a cultural centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The library is a free resource for students, filmmakers, scholars, and journalists. The library is affiliated to International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), to promote Canadian and global film scholarship by collecting, preserving, and providing access to a comprehensive collection of film prints, and film-related reference resources including books, periodicals, scripts, research files, movies, press kits.

Genie Awards

The Genie Awards were given out annually by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television to recognize the best of Canadian cinema from 1980–2012. They succeeded the Canadian Film Awards (1949–1978; also known as the "Etrog Awards," for sculptor Sorel Etrog, who designed the statuette).Genie Award candidates were selected from submissions made by the owners of Canadian films or their representatives, based on the criteria laid out in the Genie Rules and Regulations booklet which is distributed to Academy members and industry members. Peer-group juries, assembled from volunteer members of the Academy, meet to screen the submissions and select a group of nominees. Academy members then vote on these nominations.

In 2012, the Academy announced that the Genies would merge with its sister presentation for English-language television, the Gemini Awards, to form a new award presentation known as the Canadian Screen Awards.

George Anthony (journalist)

George Anthony (born George Anthony Ganetakos; August 26, 1940) is an award-winning Canadian entertainment journalist, biographer and television executive.

James Barton (actor)

James Edward Barton (November 1, 1890 – February 19, 1962) was an American vaudevillian, stage performer, and a character actor in films and on television.


Linehan is a surname of Irish origin, and may refer to:

Alfie Linehan (born 1940), Irish cricketer

Anne Linehan (born 1973), Irish cricketer

Brian Linehan (1943–2004), Canadian television host

Graham Linehan (born 1969), Irish television writer and director

John Linehan (entertainer) (born 1952), Northern Irish entertainer

John Linehan (basketball) (born 1978), American basketball player and coach

Kim Linehan, USA Olympic swimmer (from the 1984 Games)

Marsha M. Linehan (born 1943), American psychologist and author

Maxine Linehan, Irish singer and actress

Mechele Linehan (born 1972), figure in the death of Kent Leppink

Neil J. Linehan (1895–1967), American politician

Rosaleen Linehan (born 1937), veteran stage and screen actress

Scott Linehan (born 1963), American football coach

List of programs broadcast by Citytv

This is a list of television programs broadcast by Citytv, a Canadian television system owned by Rogers Media.

Sammy Cahn

Sammy Cahn (June 18, 1913 – January 15, 1993) was an American lyricist, songwriter and musician. He is best known for his romantic lyrics to films and Broadway songs, as well as stand-alone songs premiered by recording companies in the Greater Los Angeles Area. He and his collaborators had a series of hit recordings with Frank Sinatra during the singer's tenure at Capitol Records, but also enjoyed hits with Dean Martin, Doris Day and many others. He played the piano and violin. He won the Academy Award four times for his songs, including the popular song "Three Coins in the Fountain".

Among his most enduring songs is "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!", cowritten with Jule Styne in 1945.

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