Veteran TV game show host Tom Kennedy, who emceed the likes of Name That Tune and Split Second, died on Oct. 7 at the age of 93, according to a friend, Steve Beverly. The cause of death is unknown, though Beverly shared on Facebook that Kennedy “had not been well in recent months.”
Born Jim Narz, Kennedy broke into the business with 1958’s The Big Game and Dr. I.Q., which aired throughout the 1958-59 season. His first major success was NBC’s You Don’t Say!, which ran from 1963 to 1969; the series was later revived by ABC six years later. In 1972, he hosted the Monty Hall-created Split Second, and from 1974-81, he invited people to Name That Tune.
Other hosting credits include Break the Bank and 50 Grand Slam in 1976; To Say the Least from 1977-78; Body Language from 1984-86; Wordplay from 1986-87; and a primetime syndicated version of The Price Is Right from 1985-86.
Kennedy also took over hosting duties on Password Plus following the illness and death of its host, Allen Ludden.
Aside from game shows, Kennedy also hosted The Real Tom Kennedy Show, a talk show, in 1970, and served as a panelist on To Tell the Truth, Hollywood Squares and Liar’s Club. In addition, he was the announcer on the Betty White comedy Date With the Angels from 1957 to 1958.
On the scripted front, he made acting appearances on That Girl, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Cannon and Hardcastle and McCormick, among others.
He is survived by three children, a daughter-in-law, a granddaughter and a sister.
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