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CBS 8 discovers forgotten footage of San Diego TV legend Bob Mills

Bob Mills was called Mr. San Diego when he hosted 'Sunup' in the 1960's.

SAN DIEGO — You just never know what CBS 8 will find next in our massive archive video vault. In this Zevely Zone, I remember a legend in San Diego television. 

If you put together a Mount Rushmore of San Diego TV personalities, Bob Mills could be at the top of the mountain. "He was a great guy, they called him Mr. San Diego," said his daughter Paula Richards. When we told her we discovered forgotten footage of Bob Mills, just like her famous father, she was all smiles.

"He loved his job," said Paula. In the 1960's, San Diego woke up with Bob Mills on Sunup.  

Credit: CBS 8

He scored big interviews with the likes of Bob Hope, Jimmy Durante, Jack Benny, Gregory Peck, Regis Philbin, Liberace and Dr. Seuss. "Yep, President Kennedy," said Paula while showing me pictures of every famous person he interviewed.

Credit: Bob Mills

Celebrities and viewers trusted Bob Mills. "He was very real, what you saw on the air was what you saw at my house," said Paula. Bob opened up his house often to show his family life with his wife and two daughters. "Oh my gosh that is me," said Paula spotting herself in the archive footage. We have video of Paula pretending to study. "Fake, ha, ha, ha. Yes, hundred percent," laughed Paula who is a retired registered nurse.

Credit: Bob Mills

Paula will cherish these memories. Her father died at age 69. "Heart attack," she said. Decades later, Paula still gets asked about her dad. "I do, it's always about Sunup, you know he did other things, but he started the Sunup show and Raquel Welch was his weather girl," said Paula.

When Welch went on to be a movie star and it was Bob who got the exclusive interview. When all of the tabloids were reporting that Raquel Welch was pregnant. Bob Mills had the guts to ask the burning question. "Somebody said that you are going to have another?" asked Bob. "No, who me?" said Rachel. "Well, I think they said you," quipped Bob. "You know how these magazine stories are. Have you read that story?" Rachel responded," No I have not, no. What can I say it's not true, but I know you won't believe it."

Credit: CBS 8

We found another interview with a folk music legend Joan Baez. What stands out from the interview is Bob and Joan talked on camera for six minutes and at the end of the interview she tells him she'd better wrap things up. "I think they are hollering for me," said Joan. "I believe they are just about to introduce Joan Baez," said Bob.

The camera follows Joan through a door at San Diego State and there are at least 10,000 people screaming fans waiting for her. "This just shows you what a big timer your dad was," I said. "Oh my gosh. You said this was at San Diego State? And he was out there chit chatting," laughed Paula. "He had a great big personality." Bob didn't mind becoming a punchline at the pool. We found one bit shot in Las Vegas where models threw Bob in the pool. "Ha, ha, ha, he's holding on to his toupee, I had not seen that," said Paula. The models toss Bob into the pool, and he indeed lost his toupee for a big laugh. I asked Paula if he did wear a toupee. "Oh yeah. I almost put it out there for you," she laughed as she pointed to a table with his mementos.  We signed off from this story the same way Bob Mills did for years. "See you on 'Sunup' tomorrow!" we said.

Paula says her dad was a wonderful father and husband.  Bob Mills died in 1997.

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