Boston TV News Legend Tom Ellis Dead at 86
One of the most iconic news anchors in Boston television history, Tom Ellis, has died at the age of 86.
According to his bio on the website for the Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame, which called him “THE face of Boston TV news,” Ellis is the only person to have anchored top-rated television newscasts on each of Boston’s network affiliates.
Ellis began his career in Texas in 1958, arriving in Boston in 1968. At that time, he served as the solo anchor for WBZ-TV’s 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts, setting ratings records and capturing more than half the television viewing audience for his WBZ newscasts. In 1973, he was paired with Tony Pepper for the remainder of his tenure at WBZ.
In 1978, Ellis moved to WCVB-TV, where he co-anchored alongside fellow Boston news legends Chet Curtis and Natalie Jacobson until 1982. In 1982, he moved to WNEV-TV (now WHDH) and co-anchored with Robin Young and then later with Diane Willis until 1987.
In 1994, Ellis joined New England Cable News, and remained with the network until 2009.
Ellis also made appearances in three feature films, playing a newscaster in 1976’s Marathon Man and 1991’s 29th Street, and also playing an FBI agent in the 1991 film True Colors.