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R.I.P. Chilly Billy Cardille

07.21.2016by: Cody Hamman

Chilly Billy Cardille Night of the Living Dead George A. Romero

For more than twenty years, Pittsburgh-based broadcast personality Bill "Chilly Billy" Cardille helped shape the genre fandom of many a youth by hosting the late night horror and sci-fi movie program Chiller Theatre. The show ran from September 14, 1963 to January 1, 1984, and many people who grew up in the Pittsburgh area have very fond memories of watching it.

Of course, working in Pittsburgh television in the '60s made him a contemporary of a local commerical director named George A. Romero, and when Romero decided to get into the feature world with a movie called NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, Cardille ended up both on the set and in the film. In that classic, Cardille played a reporter for WIIC, which happened to be the television station he really worked for. In fact, Cardille's was the first voice ever heard on WIIC when it first went on the air on September 1, 1957. (WIIC is now WPXI.)

Although he's best known as "Chilly Billy", Cardille had a massive broadcasting career beyond Chiller Theatre, working as a news anchor, giving weather reports, hosting multiple movie and sports programs, and also working in radio. For thirty-seven years, he hosted 24 hour Muscular Dystrophy telethons.

Last month, it was announced that Cardille had been diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, he passed away early this morning at the age of 87.

The news of Cardille's passing was shared by his daughter Lori Cardille, who starred in Romero's DAY OF THE DEAD seventeen years after her father was featured in NIGHT.

Our sincere condolences go out to Cardille's friends and family. His life had a huge impact on his viewers and listeners, he helped create generations of genre fans, he played a role in one of the greatest films of all time, and he will be deeply missed.

Extra Tidbit: R.I.P. Chilly Billy
Source: WPXILori Cardille

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10:51PM on 07/25/2016
Being a Pittsburgh native, this news breaks the heart. His name always evoked horror movie fun, especially around Halloween. I spent many a Saturday night up late watching "Chiller Theater" in the dark from beneath a sleeping bag, with a giant bowl of popcorn in my lap. RIP Mr. Cardille. Pittsburgh will miss you.
Being a Pittsburgh native, this news breaks the heart. His name always evoked horror movie fun, especially around Halloween. I spent many a Saturday night up late watching "Chiller Theater" in the dark from beneath a sleeping bag, with a giant bowl of popcorn in my lap. RIP Mr. Cardille. Pittsburgh will miss you.
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