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'Talking Dead' host Chris Hardwick's father dies

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • His father dies of an apparent heart attack
  • The father was a Hall of Fame bowler

From David Daniel

Like he does every week, Chris Hardwick hosted "Talking Dead" on Sunday night -- but this time, he was coping with a heartbreaking loss.

His father, Billy Hardwick, died of an apparent heart attack a day earlier.

Chris Hardwick, who hosts the aftershow for AMC's most-watched series, "Walking Dead," said he decided to continue with his duties because it was an appreciated distraction.

He said he was grateful that he had a chance to tell his 72-year-old father that he loved him, and encouraged viewers to appreciate their families.

Billy Hardwick was a Hall of Fame bowler who also appeared on his son's podcast, nerdist.

"My dad was my favorite podcast guest. He was amazingly open and it brought us closer," Chris Hardwick tweeted Saturday.

According to the Professional Bowling Association, Billy Hardwick's career took off after "one of the greatest turnarounds in professional bowling history."

He went from a rookie in 1962 to winning four titles the next season.

After he retired, he opened Billy Hardwick's All-Star Lanes in Memphis, Tennessee.

CNN's Susan Candiotti contributed to this report.

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