Bob Wilkins [April 11, 1932 – January 7, 2009] born as Robert Gene Wilkins in the town of Hammond, Indiana. Wilkins was best known as the creator and host of a popular television show named Creature Features that he hosted on KTVU Channel 2, from 1971 to 1979, He lived in the Montclair District of Oakland.
Bob Wilkins started his on-camera television career in 1963 at KCRA Channel 3 in Sacramento. He was writing and producing commercials for the station when he was tapped to be a fill in host for an afternoon movie show in 1964. In 1966, Bob got his own time slot, hosting horror films on Seven Arts Theater which followed the station's 11 p.m. newscast. and after several successful years, he KCRA in 1970. He then worked at another Sacramento station, KTXL, Channel 40 hosting, The Bob Wilkins Double Horror Show, from 1970-81.
In 1971, Wilkins was courted by former KCRA manager Tom Breen, now at KTVU to bring his show to the Bay Area. On a Saturday January 9, 1971, after weeks of teasers, Creature Features debuted on KTVU with. The Horror of Party Beach and immediately became a ratings winner and would often beat network programming, such as Saturday Night Live in the local ratings.
While at KTVU in addition to hosting Creature Features, he was able to produce and host a number of prime time specials, including The Star Trek Dream and The Bob Wilkins Super Horror Show, as well as making dozens of public appearances every year. At the urging of the KTVU, management, he was talked into joining the 10 O' Clock news team, as their weatherman. This lasted about two years. During his time at KTVU, he was nominated for a local Emmy Award for a ski report, which used footage from the opening scene of the James Bond Movie "On Her Majesty's Secret Service",
In 1977 he was the host of the kids' show "Captain Cosmic and His Wonder Robot 2T2." also on KTVU, The show opened with a classic bit of video, which, according to the Captain Cosmic Web site, unreeled as: "Faster than a speeding BART train (a clip of the Captain running along side of a BART train as it departs from a station, Stronger than the entire Oakland Raider Football team! (a picture of the Captain lifting a Volkswagen over his head), Able to leap over tall buildings with a single bound (a picture of the Captain flying a little too close to the top of the Transamerica pyramid building in San Francisco and a sound effect of ripping pants)." The program also introduced the Bay Area to many Japanese sci-fi show
Wilkins left television in 1981 to return to advertising and his own agency. In the 1990's he and his wife Sally, retired and moved to Reno, NV Although no longer a fixture on television, Wilkins periodically made appearances at comic book and fantasy conventions, film screenings and tributes, until two years before his death.
On January 7, 2009, Wilkins died in Reno at the age of 76, from complications of Alzheimer's Disease. He is survived by his wife, Sally, of Reno, and children, Rob of Oakland and Nancy Fitzpatrick of Sacramento.
Efforts were made to get the City of Oakland to officially declare March 23, 2007 "Bob Wilkins Day."1
A documentary about Creature Features called Watch Horror Films: Keep America Strong premiered in 2008. Funds went to the The Bob Wilkins Foundation.
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