Bernard A. (Bernie) Harrison, 64, television editor and columnist of The Washington Star who also appeared on television and was heard on radio, died Monday after suffering a heart attack at the wheel of his car.
Montgomery County police said he was driving to his home in Rockville and was in the 5500 block of Nicholson Lane when his car crossed the center line and struck two other cars. He was pronounced dead at Suburban Hospital.
Mr. Harrison had been with The Star since 1955. He began his career in newspapering in the 1930s when he started work with the old Washington Times-Herald while attending Wilson Teachers College, where he graduated in 1938. He became education and radio editor at The Times-Herald and later was the newspaper's drama and motion picture critic before becoming its television editor in 1950.
After The Washington Post bought The Times-Herald in 1954, Mr. Harrison joined the old Washington Daily News for a year before moving to The Star. Since 1965, he had had the "Bernie Harrison Show" on WGAY radio's daily "The Lively Arts" presentation. He also appeared on "Backstage," a review of the arts on WDCA-TV (channel 20).
Mr. Harrison, who was known as a journalist of the old school with a reputation for being a tough but fair reviewer, was the first daily television critic in Washington and the first to be syndicated. He had campaigned for years for educational television and was cited for his coverage of that field by the Mass Media Committee of the Washington area branch of the American Association of University Women.
He had written a number of articles for various publications in his field.
Mr. Harrison was a native of Washington and a graduate of McKenley Tech High School.
He had recently purchased a home in Sante Fe, N.M., and planned to retire there next September.
He is survived by his wife, Gladys of Rockville; a son, Mitchell of San Francisco; his mother, Bessie of Florida, and two brothers, George of Naples, Fla., and Alexander of Pltomac.