Legendary TV producer Al Masini dies at the age of 80 - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Legendary TV producer Al Masini dies at the age of 80

Al Masini and Charlyn Honda Masini Al Masini and Charlyn Honda Masini
Masini during his Air Force days Masini during his Air Force days
Tom Moffatt Tom Moffatt
Randy Brandt Randy Brandt
Cha Thompson Cha Thompson

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - If television had a Hall for Fame for innovators, Alfred Masini would need a room of his own.

From his master mind came mega-hits, shows like Solid Gold, Entertainment Tonight and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

"I mean the Rich and Famous. Wow! What an idea! But it worked," concert promoter Tom Moffatt said.

Masini was born and raised in Jersey City, N.J. He was a three-sport star in college and an Air Force officer during the Korean War. Then he moved into broadcasting.

"A pioneer. A visionary," Moffatt said. "He had a feeling what the public would accept or were looking for. He had that knack."

Masini knew everybody. And everybody came to know him.

He helped launch the careers of numerous stars and starlets, from actress Sharon Stone to entertainers Britney Spears, Beyonce and Justin Timberlake.

In 1994 he moved to Hawaii to retire.

"Tourism was down. Television and movie production in the state was down and he wanted to do what he could to help Hawaii because that was the type of person he was," TV producer, writer and director Randy Brandt said.

Masini helped change Hawaii state law to lure movie and TV productions to the islands. He landed Baywatch Hawaii. The show filmed here for three seasons.

Then in 1998, Masini brought the Miss Universe Pageant to the Stan Sheriff Arena. The broadcast was shown around the world.

"Al did this purely out of the goodness of his heart. He didn't charge the city or the state a dime. He just said 'Let's go' and we all went," said Cha Thompson of Tihati Productions.

In 2001 Masini married Charlyn Honda.  She said her husband loved Hawaii and its people. He also enjoyed the simple things.

Associates said there was nothing simple about his genius.

"From the rock and roll acts I'd bring in, to classical, to what was happening on Broadway, what was happening on television, he was very aware of what was happening in entertainment," Moffatt said.

"He's not the type of guy who could sit by and hang out and watch the world go by," Brandt said. "He always wanted to be involved with something."

"I'm very sorry to hear of his death. He was a talented producer and a fine man," actor, entertainer and friend Carol Burnett said.

Up until he died Monday at the age of 80 from complications associated with Melanoma, Masini was still exploring ideas for new TV shows.

He just ran out of time.

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