Chuck Barris is dead.

Chuck Barris, the wacky host of The Gong Show, died Tuesday.

His publicist confirmed he passed away from natural causes at his home in Palisades, New York, at the age of 87.

Barris was the creator of The Gong Show and two other popular TV game shows, The Newlywed Game and The Dating Game.

Barris claimed in his autobiography that his game show antics had been a cover for his work as a CIA operative, working as an assassin during the 1960s and ’70s.

The CIA denied his story.

However, the book Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind was turned into a movie starring Sam Rockwell and directed by George Clooney, released in 2002.

In addition to creating game shows, Barris also wrote songs, his most famous being Palisades Park in 1962.

Born in Philadelphia in 1929, he joined NBC in New York as a page and then moved to ABC to become a backstage staffer at American Bandstand.

He moved with the media company to Los Angeles where he was tasked with overseeing daytime game shows.

He created The Dating Game that debuted in the 1965-66 season followed by The Newlywed Game in the summer of 1966.

He formed the public company Chuck Barris Productions in 1968 and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, sold his shares in the firm to producer Burt Sugarman in a 1986 deal that valued the company at the time at about $86 million.

His Gong Show aired on NBC and in syndication from 1976 and 1980 and offered amateurs the opportunity to show off their talents to a three-judge panel.

He orchestrated laughs by mixing good performers in with terrible ones.

He explained: ‘I came back (from scouting contestants) and said, ‘Let’s change the show, have all bad acts and one or two good ones, and people can make a judgment,” he said in a 2010 interview with The Archive of American Television.

After the first season, he was asked to front the show himself and became famous for his attire of tuxedo and floppy hat and his goofy antics.

Barris’ life was touched by personal tragedy when his daughter died in 1998 at age 36 from a drugs and alcohol overdose.

He is survived by his wife of 16 years, Mary Clagett.

This entry was posted in Misc. Bookmark the permalink.


Comments are closed.