Houston Matters

Check out these items from Houston TV legend Marvin Zindler’s archives

Many of the longtime Houston TV reporter’s documents, tapes, and artifacts are now housed at the University of Houston.

Marvin Zindler at KTRK
Longtime Houston consumer affairs reporter Marvin Zindler at KTRK-TV 13.

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Marvin Zindler was a larger-than-life character in Houston. And the longtime consumer affairs reporter for KTRK-TV 13 left a lasting mark on our city’s collective memory.

There were catch phrases like “slime in the ice machine” in his famous restaurant “rat and roach” reports.

And, of course, there were his signature glasses with blue lenses, and, perhaps more than anything, his over-the-top delivery.

But Zindler also left behind many documents, tapes, and belongings. And those are now housed in the archives at the University of Houston after Lori Reingold, his long-time producer, donated many of them. over the last 18 months.

Slide Show: Items from the Marvin Zindler Archives

The collection includes files from his restaurant reports, numerous letters from viewers with complaints about areas businesses they hoped he’d investigate on their behalf, broadcast tapes from his on-air reports, and even sketches the legendary local newsman would make on set during newscasts.

Marvin Zindler - Best Little Whorehouse Poster
A custom version of the poster for the film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, featuring an image of Marvin Zindler. The movie was inspired by a real story Zindler reported on.

There’s even an oversized custom version of the poster from the 1978 film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas featuring Zindler. The film was based on a Broadway musical, which was inspired by the infamous Chicken Ranch brothel in La Grange. Zindler’s reporting on that establishment was instrumental in getting it shut down in 1973. The character in the film, Melvin P. Thorpe, was based on Zindler.

Zindler passed away in 2007 at the age of 85.

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Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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