|Allen Albert Funt|
Funt in 1972
September 16, 1914|
New York City, New York, United States
|Died||September 5, 1999
Pebble Beach, California, United States
|Occupation||Producer, director, writer|
Allen Albert Funt (September 16, 1914 – September 5, 1999) was an American television producer, director and writer, television personality, best known as the creator and host of Candid Camera from the 1940s to 1980s, as either a regular television show or a television series of specials. Its most notable run was from 1960 to 1967 on CBS.
Radio and television
Funt received a BA in Fine Arts from Cornell University in 1934 and studied business administration at Columbia University. He began the show on ABC Radio in 1946 as Candid Microphone and soon experimented with a visual version by doing a series of theatrical short films also known as Candid Microphone. These film shorts served as a springboard for his entrance into television on August 10, 1948.
In the 1963–64 season, he appeared as an albino orangutan on the episode, "Smile, Harry, You're on Candid Camera," of The New Phil Silvers Show, starring comedian Phil Silvers as factory foreman Harry Grafton.
Funt wrote several books, beginning with Eavesdropper at Large: Adventures in Human Nature with "Candid Mike" (Vanguard Press, 1952). He followed Candid Kids (Bernard Geis, 1964) with Candidly, Allen Funt: A Million Smiles Later (Barricade Books, 1994).
During the 1970s, Funt made two documentary films based on the hidden camera theme: What Do You Say to a Naked Lady? (1970) and Money Talks (1972). Funt also produced a syndicated version of Candid Camera from 1974 to 1979; his co-hosts included, at various times, John Bartholomew Tucker, Phyllis George and Jo Ann Pflug. In the 1980s, Funt produced a series of adult-oriented videos called Candid Candid Camera.
He amassed a collection of works by the Victorian painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema, and engineered an exhibition of them at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art (bypassing the wishes of then director Thomas Hoving) which caused their value to skyrocket, after which he sold them at a handsome profit.
Born in New York City, Funt lived for a short time in Westchester County, New York in Croton-on-Hudson. His White Gates estate was sold to opera singer Jessye Norman in the early 1990s. After a stroke in 1993, he became incapacitated and died in 1999 in Pebble Beach, California. Candid Camera continued with his son, Peter Funt, as host.
- Alma-Tadema (Catalogue of the Funt Collection) compiled by Russell Ash, Sotheby’s Belgravia, 1973
- Vallance, Tom (September 8, 1999). "Obituary: Allen Funt". The Independent.
- "Allen Funt 1914–1999". candidcamera.com. Archived from the original on July 2, 2007. Retrieved July 11, 2007.