Tom Hanks, Jamie Lee Curtis, Viola Davis and more remember Sam Rubin

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Hollywood is mourning the loss of entertainment giant and our dear friend Sam Rubin.

The KTLA legend was not just a household name for KTLA viewers, but also for some of Tinseltown’s biggest stars. For over 30 years, he was a fixture on the red carpets of premieres and awards shows, and Hollywood’s elite had the greatest affection for him.

Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson always greeted Sam with open arms when he’d see him. The Oscar winner posted to Instagram to honor him.

“Sam Rubin, you will missed,” Hanks said. “A good guy, that Sam.”

Wilson also honored Sam on social media.

“Truly saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Sam Rubin. Sam was the person you ALWAYS wanted to talk to on the red carpet. Sam was authentic, you felt the love he had for his job. He certainly had a great wit, quick on his feet, kind while being funny yet never mean-spirited,” she wrote. “Whenever I saw him I looked forward to talking to him. I feel like we grew up together. He was there to welcome us, ask about our projects while putting us at ease, making us feel as if we were talking to a friend. Sam, the red carpet won’t be the same without you. Our prayers and condolences to Leslie and all of Sam’s children. Rest in Peace. God bless you.”

Alec Baldwin penned, “Rest in Peace Sam. One of the nicest guys I ever met in Hollywood.”

Jamie Lee Curtis and Sam shared many great moments specifically during the 2023 awards season.

“There was no one more enthusiastic about his job than Sam Rubin,” she wrote on Instagram. “I’ve known Sam for most of my career, and he had a light in his eyes every early morning as he started his daily work. This picture of us was taken at the Oscar luncheon and out of all of the people that I’ve known throughout my career, he was one of the happiest for my, success. He is a great example to us all and a reminder to suit up and show up with a smile and love in your heart. Whatever it is we do. Rest in peace, Sam.”


Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis paid tribute to Sam on Instagram.

“RIP Sam Rubin… Your professionalism was unmatched by your kindness and humanity,” she wrote.” I will miss your presence on The Red Carpet. God bless your loved ones. Godspeed.”

Actress Marilu Henner wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “I don’t think there was ever a person who loved his job more than Sam Rubin did He was always a BLAST! My heart goes out to his beautiful family at home & his incredible family at KTLA. You could feel the love when you walked on set. And Sam was the heart and hearth! #TheGOAT.”

Ted Sarandos, the head of Netflix, who Sam constantly lobbied on the air to work for honored the KTLA icon in a post to social media.

“Awards season Red Carpets will never be the same without KTLA’s Sam Rubin,” Sarandos wrote. “Always having the most fun and always a smile and a laugh. He was a legend in this town. RIP Sam Rubin. We will miss you. Sending love to his family.”

Justine Bateman wrote, “Sam Rubin was an excellent and enthusiastic reporter. I had the great honor of his repeated interest on the @KTLAMorningNews over the years. We are better because he was here. RIP.”

“Dancing with the Stars” alum Cheryle Burke referred to Sam as her “podcast dad.”
@samontv , your charismatic presence and thoughtful reporting left a lasting impression,” she wrote. “Your light and laughter filled our mornings on @ktla5news and I was honored to be able to call you a mentor and my podcast dad or in your eyes, my podcast brother, and now your absence weighs heavily on my heart.”

“You were the BEST Sam,” wrote Mario Lopez.

“Sam Rubin was a LEGEND,” Jerry O’Connell wrote on X, who appeared on the KTLA 5 Morning News on Friday. “Rest In Peace KING.”

Ben Stiller wrote: “So sad and sorry to hear of Sam Rubin’s passing.”

“Consummate pro. I did my first interview with him in something like ‘93, and countless times over the years,” he wrote. “He loved actors and movies. He made everyone feel comfortable and it was always fun and easy. He was an institution. We have lost him way too soon. Sending love to his family.”

Sam Rubin (Getty Images)

“So sad to learn that we’ve lost Sam Rubin,” wrote Academy Award-winning actress Octavia Spencer. “It was always a pleasure to see him and to be in his presence. My condolences to his family and fans.”

“Devastated by this news,” wrote actor and filmmaker Paul Feig. “I truly loved Sam, who was so supportive of me and the industry in general. He was the best. I can’t quite process him being gone. Sending so much love to his family and friends. So sad. RIP Sam. Love you, pal.”

Henry Winkler was interviewed by Sam numerous times and touted his warmth in every interaction the two had.

“He made you feel special every single time and I’m not the only person who felt that warmth every time they sat down on that desk,” Winkler said in a phone call to KTLA.

“Sam was THE entertainment reporting man!” wrote Sheryl Lee Ralph. “What a sad and sudden loss. He was a wonderful man who supported me so much throughout my career and I will miss him dearly. I am sending all my love to my @ktla5news family.”

Instagram: Sheryl Lee Ralph

“I am so sorry to hear about my friend Sam Rubin going to heaven,” Richard Simmons wrote on X. “I have known him for decades. He was always interested in my projects and always laughed at my silly jokes. Sam you will be missed… Love, Richard Simmons.”

“Modern Family” star Eric Stonestreet wrote, “I always enjoyed my time with Sam. Rest In Peace, Sir.”

“This is shocking news,” wrote actress Yvette Nicole Brown. “@SamKTLA was a friend. I enjoyed all the times I got to visit him at KTLA. Life is short. Live, love and laugh every chance you get. And let the folks you love know that you do.”

Morgan Fairchild remembered one of the last times she spoke to Sam.

“Oh NO!! Sam was the sweetest, nicest guy in town!! Always kind & supportive! My last interview with him was for #MatthewPerry’s death. I always went out of my way if he wanted an interview bc he was just such a great guy! Beloved by all. Condolences to his family #RIPSamRubin.”

“Omg.. Sam… he loved his job and I always had a place to go when I needed support.. my love goes out to his family and coworkers.. he was one of a kind. #RIP,” wrote comedian and personality Loni Love.

Sam leaves behind his wife and four children. He passed away at 64 years old.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.