When Peter Jennings was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year, I had a feeling the end was near. The look in his eye when he delivered that announcement was hard to miss. Though many people have beaten cancer, it is an insidious disease, and his valiant battle was lost. My heart and prayers go out to his family, friends, colleagues and those of us who enjoyed his professional talents for so many years.
I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Jennings moderate a discussion panel at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, and I emphasize the word pleasure. Television does not even begin to do justice to this man's physical appearance and presence. Tall, hansom, calm, confident, VERY impressive. The topic of the panel was "Jesus as Celebrity", in the wake of last year's release of "The Passion of the Christ" and his TV special "The Search for Jesus". The panel consisted of an author, several movie directors and a movie producer. As you can imagine, the Q&A with the audience became a little heated, and the discussion was lively. Jennings was masterful at keeping everyone on topic, and was firm, but not condescending when he had to keep the fanatic factor in check. His demeanor, confidence, class and tact was impressive. I came away from the evening with a new respect for the man, and a little crush!!!
I am glad I had the chance to experience Peter Jennings in person, he will be sorely missed.