|By Michael Hasch|
| William Robert Cardille, Chilly Billy to us, was one of the original
six announcers at what was then known as WIIC-Channel 11 when
the station went on the air on Labor Day 1957.
| Cardille, the third of nine children of the late William and Frances
Cardille, grew up in Sharon, PA., and attended classes at what is now
known as Indiana University of Pennsylvania before getting his first
job in television in Erie, Pa., where he was best known as the
weatherman and host of a popular children's program.
He hosted many shows in the early years at Channel 11 such as
"Luncheon at the Ones," "Twixt, Twelve and Twenty," "Dance Party,"
and most famously, "Studio Wrestling," where he formed lasting
friendships with Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famer Pie Traynor, who
did live commercials for American Heating Co., and wrestler
| Cardille became the host of Chiller Theater on Sept. 19, 1964, and
soon was dubbed "Chilly Billy" by the son of sportscaster Red Donley.
Chiller Theater is now only a memory but whenever people think of
Bill Cardille, they will always think of "Chilly Billy".
| During Chiller's long run, Cardille also hosted a number of other
shows at the station such as "Son of Chiller," the "Money Movie,"
and live stock-car races.
Cardille's last show on Chiller Theater was Dec. 31, 1983. He
went on to host a nightly bingo program and spent a number of years
as the morning weatherman at Channel 11, which by then had
changed its call letters to WPXI.
Cardille has retired from daily television work but can be heard
daily on WJAS-1320 AM, where he mixes music with observations
and memories from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
He always made time to help various charitable organizations
and remains the local host of the Jerry Lewis annual Muscular
Dystrophy telethon, which airs Labor Day weekend on Channel 11.
| Cardille has won a number of awards and held a number of
television industry offices throughout his long and memorable career
including, according to his biography on the WJAS website:
* The Pennsylvania Broadcasting Hall of Fame
* National vice president of AFTRA
* Local president of AFTRA
* AFTRA's Hall of Fame
* Vector's Award - Man of the Year - Public Service
* Italian Community Man of the Year - 2002
* Heart Association Ambassador of the Year
* Variety Club Man of the Year
* Radio-Television Club Man of the Year
* Enshrined in the New York Radio and Television Museum -
for Chiller Theater
* American Cancer Award
* Muscular Dystrophy Association Television Chairman
* Wrestling Magazine Nation National Announcer of the Year
*Frank A. Santamaria Litetime Acheivement Award
(National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame)
*National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame inductee
Cardille and his wife, Louise, are the parents of three children -
Lori, Billy and Marea - and have four grandchildren.
As most fans know, Cardille played in George Romero's original
"Night of the Living Dead," as well as the 1990 remake. Lori was
the star of "Day of the Dead," and Billy was one of the zombies
seen roaming around the Monroeville Mall in "Dawn of the Dead".
Michael Hasch is a staff writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review