In 1966, The Hollywood Squares premiered on NBC with Peter Marshall serving as the host, a role he held until 1981. After his work on the game show, the Broadway icon earned dozens more acting credits before taking a step back from the entertainment industry. Find out what happened to him and where he is now.
What Happened to ‘The Hollywood Squares’ Host Peter Marshall?
Peter began his career as part of a comedy act with Tommy Noonan, sharing several TV appearances together and writing material for other comedy duos. In the early ‘60s, he established himself as a theater performer, taking on the role of Albert Peterson opposite Chita Rivera in the West End’s Bye Bye Birdie. When Peter got the call to audition for The Hollywood Squares, he never expected to land the hosting role.
“I had been playing golf, and I figured there was no way they were going to hire me for this thing,” the radio personality told Closer in February 2022 of why he showed up to the audition wearing shorts. “And then I went back to New York because I was going to do Breakfast at Tiffany’s [on Broadway].”
Producers felt Peter was the perfect man for the job. Initially, he only expected to host the show for 13 weeks and then return to Broadway. But his charm and banter with the guests led him to take the program to new heights, establishing The Hollywood Squares as a real ratings competitor in the game show circuit.
“It was so much fun to do,” he reflected. “It was not like work at all. We’d do a show, and then we’d break for 15 minutes, and then another show, and then we’d have lunch or dinner. We’d do five shows in five hours. It was really easy for me. I didn’t rehearse. I’d just come in and go over the questions. That’s all I did.”
In 1981, the first iteration of The Hollywood Squares came to an end. Peter took roles in CHiPs, The Love Boat, Hotel and Automan in the years that followed. The Hollywood Squares was revived in 1986, and original panelist John Davidson was tapped to host the revival.
Where Is Peter Marshall Now?
Throughout the ‘90s, Peter made a few rare television appearances with minor roles in Burke’s Law, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The Bold and the Beautiful. The In Living Color alum officially retired from show business in 2021. He’s now focused on enjoying his life as a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Peter welcomed four children with his first wife, Nadene R. Teaford: Pete LaCock, Suzanne LaCock, Jaime LaCock and David LaCock. He announced David’s death on Twitter in August 2021 at age 68 due to complications from COVID-19.
“It’s really very sad. He was just a wonderful boy who had eight children, six grandchildren and a wonderful wife,” he said. “He was an artist. It just breaks my heart. To lose a child is just awful.”
Peter also faced his own bout with the virus along with his wife, Laurie Stewart. He was hospitalized and discharged to spend what he thought were his “final days” at home.
“I got through the virus pretty easily, but my system was weakened and I contracted pneumonia,” the Annie actor told Fox News in April 2021. “That also turned into sepsis. Any one of those three by themselves is enough to kill someone my age. It took a lot of medical expertise to turn that around. Miraculous, to say the least.”
Luckily, thanks to the medical team Laurie hired to give Peter round-the-clock care at home, he was able to make a full recovery. As for what kept him pushing to beat the illness, the game show icon did not hesitate to share his love for his family.
“My wife and my children — they have been wonderful,” he reflected. “My wife is still taking care of me. I keep getting better because I have so much love in my life.”