Rest in peace, Chuck Barris.
The Gong Show host sadly died on Tuesday, March 21 from natural causes in Palisades, NY, his publicist confirmed to Variety. Chuck was 87 years old.
Though Chuck is most known for starring on The Gong Show — he hosted the program from 1976 until 1980 — he also created popular game shows The Newlywed Game and The Dating Game.
Chuck on The Gong Show in July 1976.
He was additionally a songwriter and penned Freddy Cannon‘s hit 1962 tune “Palisades Park.” Later in life, Chuck wrote his autobiography, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, which actor George Clooney subsequently made into a 2002 movie.
Chuck was born in Philadelphia, PA in June 1929. He got his start in television as an NBC page in NYC and then worked backstage at the TV music show American Bandstand.
In the 1990s, the famed game show host was diagnosed with lung cancer. Following a surgery to remove part of his lung, he contracted an infection and spent five months in intensive care.
Chuck in May 2007.
Throughout his life, Chuck was married three times: first to Lyn Levy from 1957 until 1976, next to Robin Altman from 1980 to 1999 and lastly to Mary Rudolph from 2000 until his death.
Chuck was a father to one daughter, Della Barris — with his first wife, Lyn — who sadly died of a drug overdose at age 36 in July 1998. He is survived today by his wife, Mary. Our thoughts are with Chuck’s family and friends during this difficult time.
Click through the gallery below to see more classic game show hosts then and now.
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