R.I.P. former local broadcaster, Bill Luxton Sr., who tragically drowned in his back yard pool in Westboro on Sunday. He was 92.
Bill was part of the local scene at CJOH-TV – now CTV Ottawa – for 27 years as an host and actor. He started in 1961, when the station operated out of a small building at 29 Bayswater Ave. Six months later operations shifted to a $2 million complex at 1500 Merivale Road.
Bill Luxton worked with many people over the years, including two famous women. Margaret Trudeau auditioned in 1981 and was Bill’s co-host for the next two years. He also worked with Charlotte Whitton, the City of Ottawa’s first female mayor from 1951 to 1956. And who could forget “Willy & Floyd”, which featured wise Uncle Willy (Bill Luxton) and his buck-toothed nephew, Floyd (Les Lye) in a show full of slapstick, puppets and gags. Willy & Floyd was originally just a wrap-around for a Saturday morning cartoon series, but it soon expanded to a full half-hour show. It originated at CJOH in Ottawa and was eventually syndicated across Canada.
When he retired, Bill read to children at Broadview Public School for ten years. He visited different classes every week. On stage, Bill performed with the Ottawa Little Theatre, Orpheus, Just for Kids theatre, the Perth Academy of Musical Theatre and Upper Canada Playhouse in Morrisburg.
He was also the male vocalist with the Grey Jazz Big Band, a 16-person band who performed at the Canadian War Museum just after it opened in 1995, singing wartime favourites by Vera Lynn, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin amid surrounding tanks. Bill leaves behind his wife of 68 years, Agnes. They have lived in their house in Westboro for 57 years.
CTV’s Joel Haslam paid tribute to Bill Luxton on last night’s local newcast. https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1730138
Image and story source: