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Tom Kennedy

Biography

Television presenter who also became known for hosting such video game shows while Name That Melody and MOMENT. He also hosted Hardcastle and McCormick. He produced guest looks on such Television shows as The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Cannon, Cybill, and Laugh-In. He made an appearance on an bout of the brand new Hollywood Squares because of its Video game Show Week Component 2. In 1948, he wedded Betty Gevedon, with whom he previously four kids. His brother-in-law, Expenses Cullen, was the initial host of THE PURCHASE PRICE is Best and numerous additional legendary TV video game shows.

Quick Facts


Date Of Birth February 26, 1927
Place Of Birth Louisville, KY
Profession Game Show Host
Education Rutgers UniversityAir Force Institute of TechnologyUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Nationality American
Spouse Dawna Friesen
Siblings Jack Narz
Music Groups Steps Ahead, Planet X, Pools, Not Ethiopia, In a Sentimental Mood, London, United Kingdom
Nominations Canadian Screen Award for Best News Information Program
Movies Monkey Business, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Fly Away Baby, Torchy Blane in Chinatown, Remember the Night, Blondes at Work, Torchy Runs for Mayor, Torchy Blane in Panama, Smart Blonde, Torchy Gets Her Man, Hollywood Party, Spooks, Invasion U.S.A., Loose Loot, The Crooked Circle, Mickey, Behind the Headlines, Mantrap, Liberty, Voice of the Whistler, Wise Girl, The Case of the Stuttering Bishop, The Best Bad Man, The Cop, Go Chase Yourself, Flowing Gold, Forty Naughty Girls, Devil's Cargo, Living on Love, Crashing Hollywood, Swing It, Sailor!, Petticoat Larceny, Married Before Breakfast, Hit Parade of 1943, Sporting Blood, Big News, Campus Rhythm, Alibi Bye Bye, The Gang Buster, The Big Shot, Torchy Blane... Playing with Dynamite, Behind the Front, Phoney Cronies, Society Mugs, We're in the Navy Now, Tillie's Punctured Romance, The Day the Bookies Wept, Oh, My Nerves, Hold 'Em Yale, Her Torpedoed Love, Thunder in the Pines
TV Shows Password Plus and Super Password, The Price Is Right, Body Language, It's Your Bet, Whew!, Split Second, Dr. I.Q., Wordplay, Break the Bank, About Faces, Dando la nota, You Don't Say!, The Real Tom Kennedy Show, 50 Grand Slam, To Say the Least, The Big Game
Star Sign Pisces

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

#Fact
1Brother-in-law of Bill Cullen.
2Friends with: Betty White, Vicki Lawrence, Bill Cullen, Bob Barker, Richard Dawson, Bob Eubanks, Alex Trebek, Bill Rafferty, Fred Travalena, Peter Tomarken, Geoff Edwards, Wink Martindale, Peter Marshall, Chuck Woolery, Pat Sajak, Monty Hall, Regis Philbin, Jack Narz, Jim Lange, Dick Clark, Bert Convy, Jim Perry, Gene Rayburn, Mark Goodson, Jack Barry, Charles Nelson Reilly, Ruta Lee, Abby Dalton, Jane Wyman and Jamie Farr.
3Mentor and friend of Kathie Lee Gifford.
4On a taping of the syndicated The Price Is Right (1972), early on, when one of his contestants played the Race Game, much due to the malfunction of the clock, the same contestant got cocky when she thought she got all 4 prizes right, the first time, when she didn't know she made a mistake, so, while the producers adjusted the contestants' time on the clock, host Kennedy asked her to make more changes. Much due to the malfunction, she won all the prizes.
5Was Mark Goodson's first choice as host of Super Password (1984), but the job was ultimately given to fellow game show host, Bert Convy, who was a panelist on Password Plus (1979). Kennedy was busy hosting Body Language (1984), at the time, which was also produced by Mark Goodson.
6Good friends with comedian Vicki Lawrence.
7Appeared on Laugh-In (1967), continually saying "You Don't Say!" - title of the game show he was hosting at the time.
8He is the brother of Jack Narz.


Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Date with the Angels1957-1958TV Series announcer - 16 episodes

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Hardcastle and McCormick1985TV SeriesBryce Benson
Cannon1973TV SeriesTommy Corbin
The Ghost & Mrs. Muir1969TV SeriesGeorge Hooper

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Just, Melvin: Just Evil2000Documentary special thanks

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Mike Douglas Show1974-1977TV SeriesHimself - TV Game Show Host / Himself
Name That Tune1977TV SeriesHost
Dinah!1976TV SeriesHimself
Break the Bank1976TV SeriesHimself - Host
Mitzi and a Hundred Guys1975TV SpecialHimself (uncredited)
The $100,000 Name That Tune1974/IITV SeriesHost
Password All-Stars1972-1973TV SeriesHimself - Celebrity Contestant
The Price Is Right1972TV SeriesHost (1985-1986 syndicated version)
Split Second1972TV SeriesHimself - Host
Celebrity Bowling1972TV SeriesHimself
The Real Tom Kennedy Show1970TV SeriesHimself - Host
It's Your Bet1969TV SeriesHost (1971-1972)
Allen Ludden's Gallery1969TV SeriesHimself
Personality1969TV SeriesHimself
You Don't Say1963-1969TV SeriesHimself - Host
Laugh-In1969TV SeriesHimself
Silent Treatment1968DocumentaryHimself
The Match Game1967TV SeriesHimself - Team Captain
About Faces1960TV SeriesHimself - Guest Host / Assistant
Going, Going, Gone!1959TV MovieHimself - Announcer
The Big Game1958TV SeriesHost
Date with the Angels1957TV SeriesHimself - Announcer
The Polka Parade1955TV SeriesHimself - Announcer
Doctor I.Q.1953TV SeriesHost (1958-1959)
Pioneers of Television2008TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Hollywood Squares2003TV SeriesHimself
Today2002TV SeriesHimself
Cybill1997TV SeriesHimself
Donahue1995TV SeriesHimself
Wordplay1987TV SeriesHimself - Host
Super Password1987TV SeriesHimself - Celebrity Contestant
Body Language1984-1986TV SeriesHimself - Host
Woman to Woman1984TV SeriesHimself
Family Feud1983TV SeriesHimself
Password Plus1979-1982TV SeriesHimself - Host / Himself - Celebrity Contestant / Himself
Wheel of Fortune1980TV SeriesHimself
Card Sharks1980TV SeriesHimself
Whew!1979-1980TV SeriesHimself - Host
To Say the Least1977-1978TV SeriesHimself - Host
The Hollywood Squares1968-1977TV SeriesHimself - Panelist

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1967Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsProgram and Individual Achievements in Daytime Programming - IndividualsYou Don't Say (1963)


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


#Quote
1The market dried up. The game show, as a format, was looked upon as damaged goods. I was involved with a couple of pilots, but nothing really stuck. Most of my colleagues saw the writing on the wall, that talk shows were replacing game shows, and got out of the business. I soon followed, with no regrets and a career that for the most part I'm proud of. It took about ten years for the format to make a comeback, with mixed results in my opinion, and I'm at peace with retirement, so I'll watch from afar, as a critic or a fan, depending on the situation.
2Split Second was a real challenge to host. I never did a serious quiz show before, so I prepared myself to make sure that I would keep the show moving and not stumble. I'd get to the studio early and read through the questions about an hour before taping, working on pronunciations and talk with writers through how to word them better. I also watched a lot of Jeopardy! and studied how Art Fleming hosted that show. I learned there was little to no wiggle room to breath, we had to keep the pace fast and the focus on the game, very no-nonsense.
3[on the death of his brother-in-law Bill Cullen]: He was my kind of guy, Bill Cullen was. Sharp, smart and sly, that's what Bill Cullen was. He made us laugh when we needed to, he made us think when we competed, too. He made it look like a breeze. He was my kind of guy. That's the name of that tune!
4I don't like how some game shows today humiliate people and reward contestants for dishonesty. An example of this is The Weakest Link (2000). The host puts down contestants for incorrect responses while the object of the game is to vote off other contestants, mainly those that help the team succeed. I think it's a reflection of how selfish and cynical society today is at large, and I'm not a fan of it at all.
5[about hosting The Price Is Right (1972)] Easily the hardest show I've ever hosted. You have to know the rules of multiple games and you have to figure out where to take the contestants and how to get them there, etc. Bob Barker is a genius. He makes it look so easy and smooth.
6[as to how he replaced the deceased Allen Ludden, on Password Plus (1979), in 1980, at the time his brother-in-law should've been host]: Without question, Bill should have become the host of Password Plus (1979). He'd done a great job with the show when Allen was in the hospital. But NBC had signed him to do Chain Reaction (1980), before Allen got sick. The network really considered for a few days having Bill do both shows but decided against it. They really had hopes Chain Reaction (1980) could do well against the CBS soaps and they wanted Bill there. So, that's how I wound up being offered the show.
7[on Bill Cullen]: He was a master at what he did. People responded to Bill because he set a tone that he liked everybody himself and he really cared about his shows.
8[in a 2002 interview on game shows]: Some of them are good, some of them are bad. But, I'll give you a good response to that. I think Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1999) is the most perfectly constructed quiz I've ever seen. It is gorgeous. It was a work of art, it was beautifully performed by Regis. Now, I know they're slipping a little bit, but they're trampling the show, and beat it to death. But, it's a great show.
9[on The $100,000 Name That Tune (1974)'s success]: I didn't dare think it was going to be as big as it was. But I was hopeful, because I remembered the radio show and the early show with George DeWitt, they're talking about. Norman 'Red' Benson did the show, Bill Cullen did the show, and I remembered those days, and I thought if we could recapture some of that, we'll be lucky; and we took off.

#Trademark
1Wire-rimmed eye glasses


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