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Subject: ARCHIVE: April 22, 1920 ~It was a century ago, actor versatile Hal March, whose amiable charms reached from stage, radio, film, and TV, known for his TV hosting sting on $64,000 Question, going on to solid supporting roles in 1960s films/TV ~Happy 100th! ...
March died of lung cancer in 1970, at age 49.
Early career ...
In 1944, March first came to note as part of a comedy team with Bob Sweeney. The duo had their own radio show for a time and performed, in the early 1950s, as "Sweeney & March." He also partnered with actor/comic Tom D'Andrea in the early years of television in a series entitled The Soldiers. March and Mary Jane Croft co-starred in Too Many Cooks, a summer replacement program on CBS radio in 1950. The comedy centered on Douglas and Carrie Cook and their 10 children.
Earlier in his television career, he appeared on such shows as The George Burns
and Gracie Allen Show, The Imogene Coca Show, and TWO I Love Lucy episodes.
In the summer of 1955, he joined John Dehner and Tom D'Andrea in the 11-episode NBC summer series, The Soldiers, a military comedy produced and directed by Bud Yorkin. D'Andrea temporarily left the William Bendix sitcom, The Life of Riley, for his chance at his own series.
The $64,000 Question
However, March was best known as the host of The $64,000 Question, which he helmed from 1955 to 1958. In addition to his hosting duties, March also sang a version of the show's theme music in 1956, entitled "Love Is the Sixty-Four Thousand Dollar Question." As a result of the quiz show scandals, the show was canceled and, with the exception of a few film roles such as Hear Me Good and Send Me No Flowers, March was out of work for nearly a decade.
To keep busy, he appeared on several sitcoms in 1966 that are still widely rerun today. He played the father of Gidget's boyfriend Jeff in the Gidget episode "In and Out with the In-Laws" and the head of corrupt dance studio Renaldo's Dance Au Go Go in The Monkees episode "Dance Monkee, Dance". He also made appearances on the sitcoms Hey, Landlord and The Lucy Show and in the movie A Guide for the Married Man.
March also starred in a 1961 unsold television pilot for a comedy called I Married a Dog, in which his life was constantly upset by his wife's pooch. He was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for his radio work at 1560 Vine Street and another for his work in television at 6536 Hollywood Boulevard.
In 1961 he played the lead in Neil Simon's first Broadway play, the smash hit
"COME BLOW YOUR HORN" -which ran 677 performances. One imagines
that his familiarity from the $64,000 Question added to the actor's appeal in this play.
March's career took a turn for the better in July 1969 when he began hosting the game show It's Your Bet. After completing approximately 13 weeks of taping, however, March complained that he was exhausted. Tests revealed that he had lung cancer, the result of years of chain smoking. March died in January 1970 in Los Angeles at age 49, leaving behind wife of 14 years actress Candy Toxton, adopting her three children from previous marriage to composer/singer/actor Mel Tormι.
Hal March was buried on the sloping knoll of the Mount Sholom
section, at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery, in Culver City, CA.