CBSN

Gene Shalit Closes the Curtain on "Today" Critic's Corner

Film critic Gene Shalit is seen during a toast with "TODAY" show cast and crew at the end of Katie Couric's final show, in New York. Shalit, 84, said Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010.
AP Photo/Richard Drew, File
Film critic Gene Shalit is seen during a toast with "TODAY" show cast and crew at the end of Katie Couric's final show, in New York. Shalit, 84, said Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010.
AP Photo/Richard Drew, File

NEW YORK (CBS) The "Today" show's  legendary book and film critic Gene Shalit retired today  from his "Critics Corner," a place where he became a star in his own right.

The show's cast  paid homage to Shalit, 84, in a touching montage that even he wouldn't be able to critique.

All the networks had a soft spot for Shalit, who is instantly recognizable  with his  big mustache, goofy glasses and a wild hairdo. But there's more to Shalit than his wacky look; he's a veteran journalist as well.

"It was always magical for me to see Gene on the screen," said CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric. "I think Gene was a master at doing celebrity interviews. He interviewed Sophia Loren and you could tell he was completed mesmerized by her."

Well,  the public was smitten with Shalit, too. "This man has one of the greatest looks that can't be duplicated," said "Today" cast member  Al Roker.

Watch the show's tribute to Gene Shalit: