2015-11-21 05:16:55 UTC
Game Show Ghost Jim Perry. I should have left it alone.
Jim Perry, Top Game Show Host in the 1970s and '80s, Dies at 82
by Mike Barnes 11/20/2015 5:49pm PST
Jim Perry, who hosted the popular NBC game shows Card Sharks and Sale
of the Century in the 1970s and '80s, has died. He was 82.
Perry died Friday in Oregon after a five-year battle with cancer, WME
In 1978, the dapper Perry started as host of Card Sharks, beginning his
long-standing relationship with NBC. He hosted a version of the game
show and the two pilots that preceded it from April 24, 1978, until
Oct. 23, 1981.
NBC then named Perry as the host of a revamped edition of Sale of the
Century in 1982. That show aired for six years and spun off into a
nightly syndicated version, which saw Perry doing double-duty as the
host of both shows.
Card Sharks, from Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions, was based on
the card game Acey Deucey and featured huge, oversized playing cards
handled by attractive female assistants. The new version of Sale of the
Century, from Reg Grundy Productions, had contestants participating in
a shopping game.
Born in Camden, N.J., Perry was a star basketball player who went on to
attend the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation, he joined the
Special Services, where he worked on Armed Forces Radio during the
After the war, the 6-foot-4 Perry teamed with legendary comedian Sid
Caesar, and they toured together for several years, including a
three-year stint in Las Vegas.
He went on to serve as host of the Miss Canada Pageant, which he emceed
from 1967-90, and served as the announcer on 1969's syndicated program
That Show, starring Joan Rivers. From 1969-72, he did the weekend
overnight shift as a DJ at WABC Radio in New York.
In 1974, Perry became the host of the CTV game show Headline Hunters,
which aired from 1972-83. In the midst of his duties there, Perry began
hosting the Canadian network's Definition, which ran until 1989 as the
longest-running game show in Canadian TV history.
Perry's first major American network hosting job came in 1967 with It's
Your Move, which was produced in Canada for syndication in the U.S.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years, June, a former model; their
children Sean and Erin; and three grandchildren.
"Today we lost the greatest father, friend and husband anybody could
ever wish for," the family said in a statement. "While he provided
decades of entertainment to millions of people, his greatest victory
was his growth as a human being -- rising from a childhood filled with
challenges including great poverty to provide an amazing life for his
family. The world is a better place for his having been here."
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his
name to a local hospice provider or cancer charity.