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PBS to Air Julia Child Special Early

PBS has moved up the premiere of a one-hour documentary on Julia Child (search) that had been set to air next year.

The 6-foot-2 kitchen icon, who shared her delight of French cuisine through her TV show and cookbooks, died Friday, just two days before her 92nd birthday.

"Julia! America's Favorite Chef," (search) part of PBS' "American Masters" series, will air Wednesday night at 8 p.m. EDT (check local listings), except in New York City and in several small markets, where it will air Thursday night, PBS said. At the conclusion of the film, a remembrance card will mark Child's death.

Child, who had suffered from liver failure, died at her home in an assisted-living center in Monticito, Calif.

"It is truly the loss of a national treasure," filmmaker Marilyn Mellowes told The Associated Press Tuesday. "None of us are immortal -- not even Julia."

Detailing Child's life from her upper-class childhood in California to the success of her PBS cooking show, "The French Chef," (search) the documentary also includes family photos and an unseen interview with Child.

Mellowes told the AP that she interviewed Child for over two hours in November 2001 in her fabled Cambridge, Mass., kitchen, before Child's move to California. "It is really the centerpiece of the film," she said.

PBS member station WETA-TV in Washington said it would air a 30-minute documentary "Cooking for Julia" (search) immediately following the broadcast of Mellowes' film.

"Cooking for Julia" highlights the thrills and spills of hosting a dinner for Child on her 90th birthday. The Stove Boat Productions film was shot predominantly at the landmark 1789 Restaurant in Georgetown.

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