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Subject: Archive: Bill Cullen, July 7, 1990

Game show host, panelist
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Date Posted: Tuesday, July 07, 11:59:50am

Bill Cullen, a host of television game shows for more than 30 years, died on Saturday at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 70 years old.

Mr. Cullen died as a result of complications from lung cancer, said his manager, George R. Spota.

Mr. Cullen, a Pittsburgh native, entered show business when he was 19 years old, starting out as a radio announcer in his hometown. Five years later he moved to New York City, where he was soon earning a hefty salary as an announcer with CBS.

Moving On and Up in TV

In 1946 he took over as host of the game show ''Winner Take All,'' which was broadcast on CBS Radio. But it was as a television game-show host, or master of ceremonies as they were originally known, that Mr. Cullen's fresh-faced looks and quick wit combined to make him a major star, even though producers at first rejected him for television because he had a pronounced limp, left over from a childhood case of polio.

He was the host of more than a dozen shows, some of which have become icons of American popular culture, which featured ordinary people competing for wealth and prizes. Between 1953 and 1986, he was the host of ''Give and Take,'' ''The Price Is Right,'' ''Place the Face,'' ''Name That Tune,'' ''$25,000 Pyramid'' and ''The Joker's Wild,'' among others. He was also a panelist on many shows, including ''Who's There,'' ''I've Got a Secret'' and ''To Tell the Truth.''

Compliment From Groucho Marx

One of his competitors, Groucho Marx, who was the host of ''You Bet Your Life,'' once referred to him as ''the second-wittiest man in the business.''

''He was a broadcaster's broadcaster,'' Pat Sajak, the host of ''Wheel of Fortune,'' said yesterday in a statement.

Mark Goodson, whose company produced several of Mr. Cullen's shows, including ''The Price is Right,'' called him ''kind of a perpetual little boy,'' collegiate-looking in a crew cut and horn-rimmed spectacles, who ''had great curiosity and was extremely adept at the rather complicated business of being the host of a game show.''

He is survived by his wife, the former Ann Roemheld.

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Subject Author Date
Anybody hear Mel Brooks' story of the first time he met Bill Cullen? ...Irreverent, but funny.Tuesday, July 07, 01:25:43pm
Broadcast Pittsburgh Steelers games in the 40's (NT)Being from the Steel CityWednesday, July 08, 02:10:35pm

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