A Hollywood ending for producer Al Masini - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

A Hollywood ending for producer Al Masini

Al Masini Al Masini
Charlyn Honda Masini Charlyn Honda Masini
Kim Gennaula Kim Gennaula
Robin Leach Robin Leach

By Teri Okita – bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams! Family and friends toast to the man who brought us "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" each week – saying a final goodbye to Hollywood uber-producer, Al Masini.

He was a star maker who made his mark in tinsel town but scripted his last chapter right here in Hawaii. Before there was American Idol, there Star Search. That was Al Masini. Solid Gold? That was Al Masini. He was a pioneer who helped transform the television industry to what it is today,

Mega hits that Masini created three decades ago live on - a reminder of the Hollywood legacy he fashioned. Comedian Byron Allen called Masini his best friend, his mentor, and confidante.

"I shared things with him that I shared with no one," says Allen. "He never let me feel ashamed or alone, and he always gave me the confidence to go forward."

Most at this memorial at the Outrigger Canoe Club in Honolulu have similar stories. The 80 year old producer had time and a kind word for everyone.

His widow, Charlyn Honda Masini, says, "He really treated everyone, from the bus boy, literally, to the TV stars, all the same. He treated everyone with respect."

Despite his meteoric career as one of Hollywood's biggest producers, friends say he remained down-to-earth - never quite realizing how much he inspired others.

"Al was always larger-than-life for me, especially coming from the TV business," says former KGMB-TV anchor Kim Gennaula, "because he accomplished so many incredible things."

Masini grew up in New Jersey, but even from childhood, he always felt a kinship to Hawaii and its people. In the mid 90's, he left the glitter of tinsel town for the warmth of our shores and never looked back. Robin Leach was Masini's business partner for 17 years and knew him for many more.

"He was the happiest of his life in the 15 years that he was here in Hawaii," says Leach.

Masini suffered from melanoma and died peacefully with family and friends surrounding him on November 29th. He'll be buried at Punchbowl cemetery - after a third memorial service in New York.

"I miss him terribly," says Charlyn Masini. "He really was everything to me. I never thought I could really fall in love with a person, and really, he was so wonderful, on every single level. He was a great husband. He was a great friend."

In lieu of flowers, the Masini family is asking people to donate to the Alfred M. Masini charitable foundation - which funds scholarships and serves Hawaii's needy. For more information, log onto almasini.com or send your contributions to Hawaii Community Foundation, "Alfred M. Masini Fund". 1164 Bishop St. Suite 800, Honolulu, HI 96813-2817.

Friend Robin Leach ended his eulogy with one last message, "For Al … Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams!"

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