BOSTON — Daniel Farrell, who brought Antiques Roadshow to America, died August 16 at Mass General Hospital in Boston. He was 74 years old. The cause of death was liver cancer caused by hereditary hemochromatosis.
Farrell conceived the idea of an American Antiques Roadshow after seeing the television program on the BBC and believing it would be widely popular for an American audience. The PBS television show is now in its 26th season. The show’s sweet spot is offering viewers the opportunity to watch ordinary people discover that family treasures or items they bought in garage sales are actually of tremendous value as antiques.
After WGBH purchased the rights for the show from Farrell, he sought out expert appraisers from across the country to appear on the program and worked on the set as consulting producer for 25 seasons.
Born in Seneca Falls, N.Y., Farrell grew up in Westfield, Mass., where he attended St Mary’s Catholic School, played ice hockey and participated in the Springfield-based television show School’s Match Wits.
After attending Notre Dame, the Chicago Business School and the London School of Economics, Farrell worked in banking for the film industry in the United States and London. Later he embarked on a publishing career partnering with the owner of Antiques Collectors’ Club to distribute the titles in the United States. He later acquired the imprint for Hudson Hills with partner Kevin Doyle. For the past two decades Farrell worked as a consultant to insurance companies providing art appraisal services on insurance claims. During the years 1985 and 1994, Farrell served as Police Commissioner for the City of Westfield, Mass.
Farrell is survived by wife, Mary A. Nelen, of Old Chatham N.Y.; daughter Kate Farrell, son-in-law Jonathan Fraser, and grandson James Fraser of Brooklyn; daughter Sarah Farrell and her partner, Skot McDaniel of Novato Calif. His third daughter April Beattie Farrell predeceased him. His surviving siblings include Tim Farrell of Simi Valley, Calif.; Tom Farrell and his wife, Debbie Moulton, of Westfield Mass.; and Kate Sandvos and her husband, Scott Sandvos, of Walpole, Mass.
—Submitted by the family