By Steve"Live Forever" Experiment of Mr. Wizard Interrupted By Death
LOS ANGELES -- The "Live Forever" experiment being carried out by Don Herbert, known to millions of boomer TV fans as the beloved "Mr. Wizard," was abruptly cut short yesterday afternoon when Herbert passed away in his suburban Los Angeles home. He was 89.
"We're not really sure what happened," said long-time friend and sometimes assistant Larry Marbury. "Don was getting pretty excited about the whole thing. FedEx had just delivered his order of new beakers and a state-of-the-art Bunsen burner, but now I guess he'll never get to try them out. And my word, he had crates of baking powder and gallons of vinegar stored in his garage. Not sure what we'll do with all that."
"Watch Mr. Wizard" was produced from 1951 to 1964 and received a Peabody Award in 1954. Herbert, a Minnesota native, entranced an entire generation of budding young scientists with simple but captivating experiments often using everyday kitchen products and utensils.
"Mr. Wizard sensed the end might be approaching," said Marbury. "That's what really got him going on this ‘live forever’ thing. Well, that and the Ted Williams deal. A couple of more weeks and he might have had it. Now, we'll never now."
When reminded that Mr. Wizard would live forever in the hearts of his fans, Marbury replied, "That’s nice to know. But he probably would have preferred to live forever right where he was."