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WAMC Remembers Longtime Film Commentator Rob Edelman

Rob Edelman
Rob Edelman

The WAMC family has lost a member. Longtime film commentator Rob Edelman has died after a short illness. 

No matter how well you knew Rob Edelman, two things were immediately apparent when he was nearby: he liked baseball and he liked movies.

Walking through the WAMC studios to record his commentary, Edelman would usually be wearing either a baseball cap or shirt — often his hometown Brooklyn Dodgers — and would usually be on his way to London or the Toronto International Film Festival or a baseball conference in the Southwest.

After the World Series, he’d start the countdown to pitchers and catchers.

Those passions defined his decades of teaching, writing and research.

Edelman, who taught courses on the history of film at the University at Albany, was a contributing editor of Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide.

Among his books are “Great Baseball Films,” and “Baseball on the Web,” as well as “Matthau: A Life,” “Angela Lansbury: A Life on Stage and Screen,” and “Meet the Mertzes,” which he wrote with his wife, Audrey Kupferberg — also a WAMC film commentator.

As recently as February 2018, the two kept an annual tradition alive by discussing the upcoming Oscars on WAMC’s Vox Pop program.

A hallmark of Edelman’s film reviews was the joy he found in both well-made blockbusters and little-seen treasures. Telling the listeners a particular project, even a flawed one, “was well-worth seeing” could often count as an Edelman rave.

And as a viewer, he was prolific — bringing four or five new reviews with him to a recording.

Edelman was also a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. And as he said in 2018 while promoting his latest book, “From Spring Training to Screen Test: Baseball Players Turned Actors,” “I love baseball, and I love film — always have, and always will.”

On behalf of WAMC and its listeners, we will miss Rob’s insights on both topics — and more.

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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