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Bill Cullen

Biography

He was the web host of the overall game present THE PURCHASE PRICE Is Before Bob Barker replaced him. He proved helpful at the air place WWSW, which shown the Pittsburgh Steelers video games. Bob Barker changed him using one present, and he became panelist on I’ve Got a Magic formula and To Inform the reality. He got wedded to Carol Ames on July 30, 1949. After his divorce in 1955, he remarried Ann Macomber on Dec 24, 1955. Drew Carey also hosted the overall game present The Price can be Right.

Quick Facts


Full Name Bill Cullen
Date Of Birth February 18, 1920
Died July 7, 1990, Bel-Air, Los Angeles, California, United States
Place Of Birth Pittsburgh, PA
Profession Game Show Host
Education University of Pittsburgh
Nationality American
Spouse Ann Macomber, Carol Ames
Parents William Cullen, Lillian Cullen
Awards Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Daytime Programming - Individuals
Nominations Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
TV Shows The Price Is Right, I've Got a Secret, Password Plus and Super Password, Pyramid, The Joker's Wild, Eye Guess, Child's Play, Blockbusters, Chain Reaction, Three on a Match, The Love Experts, Hot Potato, Name That Tune, The Name's the Same, Pass the Buck, Down You Go, All Star Secrets, He Said, She Said, Place the Face, Winner Take All, Bank on the Stars, Winning Streak, Blankety Blanks, How Do You Like Your Eggs?
Star Sign Aquarius

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1He was the first game show host to appear on all three networks at the same time in the 1960s. This was more than 30 years before Alex Trebek did the same.
2Met Mark Goodson and Bill Todman while writing for the radio comedy series "Easy Aces".
3Began hosting game shows at age 26, making him one of the youngest emcees. Ryan Seacrest and J.D. Roth both started hosting game shows at age 20 and Bob Eubanks first hosted game shows at 28.
4Was a heavy smoker for most of his life. He died of lung cancer.
5Was the last-minute replacement as host of Hot Potato (1984), after it became apparent that the original host wasn't going to work out.
6Met fellow game show host Gene Rayburn while the two were under contract with Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions (later Mark Goodson Productions) in 1953. The two became friends until Cullen's death in 1990.
7Was a Republican.
8Shared the same birthday with Jack Palance.
9Had six biggest winners in the two years of hosting the original Blockbusters (1980): one was a psychologist who won $120,000 (after $60,000), then a future game show contestant won $65,000 (after $47,000), then a UCLA student won $106,000, in two separate wins, then another contestant won $62,800 (after $50,800), then an author and a single aunt won $66,500 (after $60,000) and a former professional baseball player won was $51,700 ($46,700 in her ten matches). She only played one game in her return, due to the fact it was the final episode. She got $5,000 for winning it.
10Shortly after Eye Guess (1966) ended, Cullen fell seriously ill. Diagnosed with pancreatitis and requiring major surgery, he took time off from work to recuperate. When he returned to television, especially to his position on the panel for To Tell the Truth (1969), his physical appearance had drastically changed; his hair had grown out, and his pancreatitis had caused him to lose over 30 pounds, leaving his face gaunt and wrinkled.
11The only game show on which Cullen did not become a celebrity panelist was Body Language (1984), which was hosted by his former brother-in-law Tom Kennedy; the physical demands were too strenuous for him.
12Passed away on July 7, 1990. Just before his death, he was a semi-regular on The $25,000 Pyramid (1974), that was hosted by his longtime friend Dick Clark.
13His father-in-law, Heinz Roemheld, passed away on February 11, 1985. He lived to be 84.
14Was among the last of the popular game show hosts to make the move from New York City to Los Angeles, in part because of his long-time association with producer Bob Stewart, who also resisted relocating to the West Coast. However, by the 1970s both Cullen and Stewart faced reality and joined their colleagues in California.
15Was the first game show host ever to appear on the front cover of "TV Guide"--altogether he was on it seven times.
16His mother, Hazel Bost Cullen, passed away on March 21, 1959.
17His father, Lawrence T. Cullen, passed away, in 1969.
18In 1944, at age 24, he moved to New York City to pursue a career in broadcasting.
19His parents were Hazel (Bost) Cullen, and Lawrence T. Cullen.
20Lived in Los Angeles, California, from 1978-90.
21Survived by his wife of nearly 35 years, Ann Macomber.
22His first exposure in the broadcasting industry was performing for a radio audience on "The 1500 Club", an overnight program on tiny WWSW in Pittsburgh, PA.
23Met fellow game show host Geoff Edwards when he was under contract to Bob Stewart Productions in 1971.
24Game-show host Bob Barker used to listen to Cullen's radio show when Barker was just an announcer.
25He was known to be a very private man.
26Had no children.
27His physical disabilities were (and largely remain) unknown to the general public due to the creative set design of his shows. The games' structures, props, and any physical movements by contestants were deliberately arranged so that Cullen could, for the most part, remain stationary. Rather than the grand entrance common for game show hosts, Cullen would begin each show either already seated or concealed on set behind a sign or podium so he would have to take only a few steps. Cullen always sat in a chair while hosting, even on shows where the other participants stood. Similar accommodations were made when he served as a celebrity guest on other game shows.
28His second wife, Ann Macomber, was an artist.
29Frequently contributed recipes for celebrity cookbooks. His stuffed cabbage recipe appears in a 1966 charity cookbook called "Happiness is More Recipes" for Barney Children's Medical Center in Dayton, OH. A recipe for cheese souffle appears in Johna Blinn's 1981 collection called, simply, "Celebrity Cookbook".
30In the early 1970s he hosted the weekend radio program "Monitor". Other emcees hosting the show were: Gene Rayburn, Ed McMahon, Monty Hall, Garry Moore and Art Fleming.
31Was the first game show host ever to have a disability.
32Had commuted from New York to Los Angeles every day for a year to host Place the Face (1953).
33He and wife Ann Macomber relocated from New York to Los Angeles in 1978. At the time Cullen, 58, was hosting two shows, The Love Experts (1978) and The $25,000 Pyramid (1974).
34In his youth he assisted sportscaster Joe Tucker, who called Pittsburgh Steelers games.
35On I've Got a Secret (1952), producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman and host Garry Moore quickly learned to never start the questioning with Cullen if the guest's secret was anything sports-related or mechanical, because chances were good that he would guess it immediately.
36Was a stand-up comedian at one point.
37Beat out Dick Van Dyke for the role as host of The Price Is Right (1956).
38His game show Hot Potato (1984) was based on "Decisions, Decisions", a game show that failed to make it on the air.
39Filled in for Garry Moore on To Tell the Truth (1969), especially when Moore was suffering from throat cancer, late in 1976.
40Was about to replace Allen Ludden as host of Password Plus (1979), but was hosting the original Blockbusters (1980) at the time. Because of the conflict the job was ultimately given to Tom Kennedy (who was his brother-in-law).
41Long before Anne-Marie Johnson was an actress, she had been a contestant on Cullen's Child's Play (1982).
42Retired at age 66 after his last game show The Joker's Wild (1972).
43Attended a local broadcasting school called Microphone Playhouse.
44He replaced Jack Barry for the final two seasons of The Joker's Wild (1972) due to Barry's death.
45Ranked #5 on Life's 15 Best Game Show Hosts.
46The Bill Cullen Career Achievement Award was given to him posthumously at the Congress' Annual Meeting in Burbank, CA. [2004]
47Worked with game show announcer Johnny Gilbert on three shows: The Price Is Right (1956), Chain Reaction (1980) and Child's Play (1982).
48His favorite game show to date was Child's Play (1982).
49Had substituted for an ailing Allen Ludden for four weeks on Password Plus (1979).
50Upon his death he was cremated and his ashes given to his family.
51Had worked with Charlie O'Donnell on two game shows (ironically for Barry & Enright): Hot Potato (1984) and The Joker's Wild (1972).
52At one point, he was going to replace Allen Funt as host of Candid Camera (1960), until a sponsor conflict ended those plans.
53Guest-hosted The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) while Johnny Carson took a vacation during his first year on the show.
54Was idolized by: Bob Eubanks, Bob Goen, Pat Finn, Chuck Woolery, Graham Elwood, Todd Newton and Wink Martindale.
55Spent a number of years attempting various forms of rehabilitation and exercise regimens to reduce the effects of childhood polio, but gave up after doctors determined his leg muscles were too damaged.
56Served as a teacher in the pilot-training division of the US Air Force.
57Best remembered by the public as host of the original The Price Is Right (1956), Eye Guess (1966), Three on a Match (1971) and the original Blockbusters (1980).
58Ranked #7 as GSN's Top 10 Game Show Hosts of All Time.
59Co-hosted with ex-I've Got a Secret (1952) panelmate, Betsy Palmer, on 'Ideas for Better Living.'.
60At one time was an announcer with Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra.
61Lived right next door to Wilt Chamberlain.
62In high school he hosted student assemblies, clowned at school spelling bees, organized fund-raising shows and published his own school paper when he disagreed with the policy of the official one.
63Was employed by Goodson-Todman Productions (later Mark Goodson Productions) from 1952-83.
64At one point he had dropped out of South High School in Philadelphia, PA, during his senior year and raced professionally, but decided to come back, and graduated in 1938.
65Before he was a successful game show host, he worked as an unpaid (later staff) announcer.
66Was enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh as a pre-med student. He dropped out of college because of a shortage of funds. He then took on a job as a mechanic at his father's garage and a tow-truck driver before going back to college and graduating with a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts.
67Met Carol Ames when she made a guest appearance on a radio show he announced. They were married in 1949, but divorced in 1955.
68Met future wife Ann Macomber on a blind date arranged by her sister Mary Lou, who was the wife of Jack Narz at that time.
69Was employed at Bob Stewart Productions from 1966-80.
70Was involved in a serious car accident at age 17, which put him in the hospital for nine months.
71He had many hobbies: photography, interior decorating, model plane building, painting (water color and oils), magic, music (he tried to learn saxophone and guitar), raising fish, writing plays and poetry. Of all his hobbies, though, his passion was flying.
72Served in the Civil Air Defense as an instructor and patrol pilot in his native Pennsylvania, although he had been turned down for service in the US military due to his childhood bout of polio.
73Like fellow game show host Peter Tomarken, he had a pilot's license when he was a teenager.
74Was considered for the hosting of the revamped version of the long-running game show, The Price Is Right (1972). However, the physical demands of the job would have been too difficult for him given his physical condition at the time, and the job was given to Bob Barker.
75His father-in-law, Heinz Roemheld, wrote the song "Ruby".
76He was an only child.
77Worked as a TV game show host (often working on more than one show at a time), a radio personality and did the play-by-play for various sporting events.
78Has the record for hosting more game shows than any host in history at 24.
79Son-in-law of film composer Heinz Roemheld.
80He was partially crippled by childhood polio.
81Brother-in-law of Jack Narz and Tom Kennedy.
82Last game show was The Joker's Wild (1972).
83First game show was Winner Take All (1948).


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Pass the Buck1978TV SeriesHost (1978)
It Happened to Jane1959Bill Cullen - Panelist
The Bill Cullen Show1953TV SeriesHost
Winner Take All1952TV SeriesHost
Stop the Music1949TV SeriesHost (1954-1955)

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The $10,000 Pyramid1975-1987TV SeriesHimself
Super Password1984-1986TV SeriesHimself - Celebrity Contestant
Trivia Trap1984TV SeriesHimself
Hot Potato1984TV SeriesHimself - Host
TV's Funniest Game Show Moments1984TV SpecialHimself
Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour1984TV SeriesHimself - Panelist
Family Feud1983TV SeriesHimself
The Price Is Right1982TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Child's Play1982TV SeriesHost (1982-1983)
Blockbusters1980-1982TV SeriesHimself - Host
Password Plus1979-1982TV SeriesHimself - Celebrity Contestant / Himself - Host
Chain Reaction1980TV SeriesHost (1980)
Card Sharks1980TV SeriesHimself
To Tell the Truth1980TV SeriesHimself - Panelist (1980)
The Love Experts1978TV SeriesHost
The $25,000 Pyramid1974-1978TV SeriesHimself - Host
To Tell the Truth1975-1977TV SeriesHimself - Panelist
Tattletales1974-1977TV SeriesHimself
How Do You Like Your Eggs?1977TV SeriesHimself - Host
Break the Bank1976-1977TV SeriesHimself
Shoot for the Stars1977TV SeriesHimself
Decisions, Decisions1977TV MovieHimself - Host
Celebrity Sweepstakes1976TV SeriesHimself
I've Got a Secret1976TV SeriesHimself - Host
Match Game 731973-1976TV SeriesHimself - Panelist
Caught in the Act1976TV MovieHimself
Match Game PM1975TV SeriesHimself - Panelist
Blankety Blanks1975TV SeriesHimself - Host
Winning Streak1974TV SeriesHost (1974-1975)
The Joker's Wild1972TV SeriesHost (1984-1986)
The Hollywood Squares1971TV SeriesHimself - Panelist
Three on a Match1971TV SeriesHimself - Host
He Said, She Said1970TV SeriesHimself
The Choice Is Yours1970TV MovieHimself - Host
You're Putting Me On1969TV SeriesHimself
The Match Game1965-1969TV SeriesHimself - Team Captain
The Joan Rivers Show1968TV SeriesHimself
Personality1968TV SeriesHimself
Eye Guess1966-1967TV SeriesHimself - Host
Snap Judgment1967TV SeriesHimself
I've Got a Secret1952-1967TV SeriesHimself - Panelist / Himself - Panelist & Host / Panelist - Panelist
78th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade1967TV MovieHimself - NBC Host
Celebrity Doubletalk1967TV MovieHimself
The Face Is Familiar1966TV SeriesHimself
The Price Is Right1956-1965TV SeriesHimself - Host
To Tell the Truth1964-1965TV SeriesHimself - Panelist
Password All-Stars1962-1963TV SeriesHimself - Celebrity Contestant
The Tonight Show1962TV SeriesHimself - TV Personality
The Garry Moore Show1959-1961TV SeriesHimself
What's My Line?1950-1961TV SeriesHimself - Mystery Guest / Himself - Panelist
Person to Person1957TV Series documentaryHimself
Tonight!1956TV SeriesHimself - Guest Host
Place the Face1954-1955TV SeriesHimself - Host
Name That Tune1954TV SeriesHimself - Host
Bank on the Stars1954TV SeriesHimself - Host
The Name's the Same1952-1953TV SeriesHimself - Panelist
Why?1953/ITV SeriesAssistant
Professor Yes 'n' No1953TV SeriesHimself - Host
Where Was I?1952TV SeriesHimself / panelist (1953)
Who's There?1952TV SeriesHimself / panelist
Give and Take1952TV SeriesCo-Host
That Reminds Me1952TV SeriesHimself / panelist
Down You Go1951TV SeriesHimself / Host (1956)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Pioneers of Television2008TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Faux Pause1998TV SeriesHimself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1973Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Achievement by Individuals in Daytime ProgrammingThree on a Match (1971)

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1985Daytime EmmyDaytime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Host in a Game ShowHot Potato (1984)
1982Daytime EmmyDaytime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Host or Hostess in a Game or Audience Participation ShowBlockbusters (1980)


Looks like we don't have salary information. Sorry!


#Quote
1[on appearing with fellow panel member Henry Morgan on I've Got a Secret (1952)]: I've got to be careful that Henry Morgan and I don't get kidding and forget about the game. We've had the riot act read to us, let's face it. We've gotten the riot act for horsing up the show too much.
2[For being the 1st game show host on the air, in live programming that he had to sleep during shifts]: I'm the only person I know who gets out of bed twelve times a week instead of seven.
3[Who had the hiccups when taping five To Tell the Truth (1969) programs in 1 day]: When the shows ran through a week, people thought I had hiccupped an entire week, and were sorry for me! More than 5000 letters came in offering sympathy and remedies, and I was very touched.
4Two reasons, money and exposure. [Also,] it's no strain...shows of the type I do don't require a lot of rehearsal and preparation.
5[in 1988 about game shows] I don't enjoy television as much as I used to. It's not as much fun. There's a lot of greed today, it seems. A lot of business administration aspirants coming along. They used to play it for fun, to get on the air and have their friends see them. You'd give them a thousand dollars and you made their year. Now, unless it's twenty or thirty thousand dollars, they look at you like you suckered them into a deal that really didn't turn out as well as they perhaps had hoped.
6[in 1957 about his limp] Like thousands of other youngsters, I was stricken with polio as a child. Even with the wonderful care I received from my parents and doctors, I still carry the scars of this experience. Somehow, it never got me down. That's why I would rather not have people who see me limp along show any pity, distress or compassion--since I don't feel this way about my physical condition.
7[about not being allowed to wear a brace in school sports] I did fine on the back lot. Maybe I ran a lot slower, but I hit the ball a lot harder.
8I often ask myself, 'How am I working?' I'm certainly not the guy who appeals to women between the ages of 18 and 35.

#Trademark
1Occasionally, at the beginning of his shows, he was either seated or stood to his podium.
2His puckish sense of humor and for playing pranks on his fellow announcers.
3Thick, horn-rimmed glasses

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