Chicago broadcast legend Roy Leonard says he’s “feeling fine” after falling and injuring himself as he was leaving a performance Sunday at the Civic Opera House.
Leonard, 83, said he was on his way back to his car with his son, Kolin, after attending the press opening of the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s “The Sound of Music” when he tripped over a small rise from the sidewalk to a brick-paved entrance to the parking garage.
“It was strictly my fault,” Leonard told me. “I should have been watching where I was going. I landed on my right shoulder and cushioned the fall with my hands, but my forehead did hit the sidewalk above the right eye. I never lost consciousness and started to get up when my son noticed I was gushing blood.”
Leonard retired in 1998 after 31 years as a star personality at Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN AM 720 where he hosted a daily show and served as resident arts and entertainment critic. He doubled as host of “Family Classics” on Tribune-owned WGN-Channel 9 for more than 15 years. He continues to blog for ChicagoNow and review movies occasionally on WGN.
WGN entertainment reporter Dean Richards, who also was leaving the show and witnessed the incident, “came running over to see how he might help,” Leonard recalled. “While waiting [for an ambulance], I tested out my review of the show with Dean. We both liked it very much.”
On his Facebook page Monday, Richards reported: “WGN legend Roy Leonard is OK after taking a bad fall on the sidewalk leaving ‘Sound of Music’ yesterday. Tons of bleeding but Chicago Fire Department paramedics were there instantly. He went to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and was treated and released. While they were bandaging him, he was reviewing the play for me on the street! GO Sugar Roy!”
On his way to the hospital, Leonard said he started a “wonderful conversation” with paramedics about "Family Classics,” Ray Rayner and his Saturday morning radio show.
“I was amazed at the efficiency in the emergency room,” he said. “After getting off my blood-soaked clothes, they gave me shots of an anesthetic and started stitching away. I also had a brain scan and had to use the old joke: ‘They didn't find anything.’ Luckily there was no blood in that area. So they let me go home with my son, who had followed the ambulance to the hospital. I’m feeling fine today. Oh, a little ache here and there. But I'll be O.K.”
“I can't recall a revival so perfectly cast,” he wrote. “Hats off to The Lyric for not only an evening of great theatre but for giving those familiar only with the film version of the story the opportunity to experience why the original play made it so meaningful.”