Huell Howser and the Cameraman Who Captured the Soul of California

In a new book, cameraman Luis Fuerte reflects on time spent with legendary Huell Howser on California’s Gold.

Huell Howser, the exuberant, hugely popular host of California’s Gold and other California public-television shows, was always exclaiming to the camera, “Louie, take a look at this!” Now, three years after Howser’s death, Louie—aka Luis Fuerte, an award-winning cameraman—shares all the great stories of their adventures exploring California, making memorable television, and showcasing Howser’s infectious love for the Golden State.

Rich with stories, humor, heart, and photos, Louie, Take a Look at This is a memoir of Fuerte’s time with Howser—which is also an informal biography of the beloved TV host—will charm the countless fans of the shows they worked on together.

In a recent story for OC Weekly, Fuerte describes a partnership that produced both friendship and great television. “Our working relationship just kind of clicked,” Fuerte says. “If I saw something that was not working at all, I’d stop him and talk to him and suggest something. He’d either go with it or say, ‘We’re okay.’ We were totally opposites. He was into the stardom thing. Not me. I wanted to be behind the camera, just trying to make things work.”

The son of a Mexican immigrant, Fuerte was born in San Bernardino. He became a cameraman after two years in the US Navy and attending L.A. Valley College to study television engineering. Besides his Emmy awards, Fuerte has been named Latino of the Year, been inducted into two halls of fame, and won the Golden Mic Award, the International Monitor Award, and the Salt of the Earth Award. After 48 years in television, he’s now retired and lives with his wife in Rialto, California.

Of his time on California Gold with Howser: “I think it’s the simplicity in telling the stories about California. We visited places people don’t know about. We learned so much traveling the state, the diversity of the people and terrain. I love this state. Huell called it his adopted state. This state is a world of its own.”

Fuerte’s book is available though Prospect Park Books,

Photos courtesy of Luis Fuerte and KCET