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Unable to participate: otherwise Mike Wallace would have been part of Sunday's 60 Minutes tribute to Don Hewitt

Anchors Mike Wallace/Harry Reasoner and creator Don Hewitt.

Sunday's 60 Minutes tribute to the program's creator, Don Hewitt, was notable for its absence of new comments from its other driving force, Mike Wallace.

Wallace, a charter anchor of 60 Minutes with the late Harry Reasoner, could not participate because of health reasons, a CBS News spokesman said by telephone Monday.

The 91-year-old Wallace is "being challenged by the constraints of old age," the spokesman said. "He hasn't done any interviews for some time now."

Wallace, who currently lives on Martha's Vineyard, had triple bypass surgery in late January of 2008, shortly after his headline-making interview with Roger Clemens over allegations that the dominating pitcher had used steroids. That was Wallace's last appearance on 60 Minutes and he's now fully retired from the program, the spokesman said.

Sunday's tribute relied on old footage of Wallace, who was and always will be 60 Minutes' most famous gumshoe. The tribute also included fresh interviews with correspondents Morley Safer, Steve Kroft and Lesley Stahl, plus a closing commentary by Andy Rooney.

Another of the program's stalwarts, Dan Rather, wasn't asked to contribute to the Hewitt remembrance. Rather has an ongoing lawsuit against CBS News in connection with the now infamous "Memogate" story that questioned George W. Bush's Texas National Guard service. The piece aired on the since canceled 60 Minutes Wednesday during the stretch run of the 2004 presidential campaign.