|Born||Charles Herbert Woolery
March 16, 1941
Ashland, Kentucky, U.S.
|Occupation||Game show host|
|Spouse(s)||Margaret Hayes (1961–71)
Jo Ann Pflug (1972–80)
Teri Nelson (1985–2004)
Kim Barnes (2006–present)
|Children||6 (5 living)|
Charles Herbert "Chuck" Woolery (born March 16, 1941) is an American game show host. He has had long-running tenures hosting several different game shows. He was the original host of Wheel of Fortune from 1975–81, the original incarnation of Love Connection from 1983–94, and Scrabble from 1984–90 (and during a brief revival in 1993). He also hosted Lingo on Game Show Network (GSN) from 2002–07, and most recently hosted Think Like a Cat, which premiered on GSN on November 15, 2008. Woolery's performing career began in singing, and he has occasionally dabbled in other entertainment roles including acting and talk show hosting.
Woolery is politically libertarian conservative, and has spoken publicly in favor of conservative political positions. Like his Wheel successor Pat Sajak, he is a devout and active supporter of the Republican Party, and has mainly donated to Republican and conservative causes. Woolery occasionally writes political editorials, which are syndicated and appear in such publications as The Washington Times and Newsmax.
Woolery was born in Ashland, Kentucky. He is a devout born again Christian and spends a great deal of time volunteering in ministry. He is a political conservative, and one of the founders of the political action committee Restart Congress, dedicated to passing a Constitutional amendment establishing Congressional term limits.
Woolery has been married four times. With his first wife, Margaret Hayes, he had three children: Cary; Katherine; and Chad, who died in 1986 at age 19 in a motorcycle accident. With second wife Jo Ann Pflug he had a daughter, Melissa. With Teri Nelson, the daughter of actor David Nelson, he had sons Michael and Sean. He married his fourth wife, Kim Barnes, in 2006.
Woolery served two years in the U.S. Navy after graduating from high school. In 1963, Woolery worked as a wine consultant for Wasserstrom Wine & Import Company in Columbus, Ohio. He was also a sales representative for Pillsbury. In the 1960s, Woolery and Elkin "Bubba" Fowler recorded as the musical duo The Avant-Garde which had one-hit wonder success in 1968 with the top 40 pop hit "Naturally Stoned". Also during this time, he worked as a truck driver to supplement his income. Between 1977 and 1980, Woolery recorded for Warner Bros. Records and Epic Records as a solo artist, with two low-charting singles on Hot Country Songs.
While co-starring as Mr. Dingle on the hit children's series New Zoo Revue, Woolery's first game show appearance was on a 1974 episode of Tattletales alongside then-wife Jo Ann Pflug. Starting as an enterprising folk/pop singer, Woolery was also seen on a 1974 episode of Your Hit Parade. On January 6, 1975, Woolery began hosting the game show Wheel of Fortune at the suggestion of creator Merv Griffin, who had seen Woolery sing on The Tonight Show, and Woolery hosted for six years. In 1981, Woolery was involved in a salary dispute with the program's producers. Woolery stated in a 2007 interview that he demanded a raise from $65,000 a year to about $500,000 a year because the program was drawing a 44 share at the time, and other hosts were making that much. Griffin offered Woolery $400,000 a year, and NBC offered to pay the additional $100,000, but after Griffin threatened to move the program to CBS, NBC withdrew the offer. Griffin dismissed Woolery from Wheel of Fortune; his final episode aired on December 25, 1981. Weatherman Pat Sajak replaced him. Since then, Woolery has made references to his termination from Wheel on some of his later programs, most notably in the 1990 finale of Scrabble and two episodes of Greed. Nearly all of Woolery's Wheel episodes are believed to have been permanently lost, due to NBC's common practice of wiping to save money.
Woolery has also hosted Love Connection (1983–94), The Big Spin (1985), Scrabble (1984–90, 1993), The Home and Family Show (1996–98, co-host), The Dating Game (1997–99), Greed (1999–2000) (which was originally supposed to be hosted by Phil Donahue), and Lingo (2002–07). In addition, he was the subject of a short-lived reality show, Chuck Woolery: Naturally Stoned in 2003,. He also hosted his own talk show, The Chuck Woolery Show, which lasted for only a few months in 1991. He has also hosted The Price Is Right Live! at Harrah's casinos, and appeared in the live stage show "$250,000 Game Show Spectacular" at the Las Vegas Hilton until the show ended in April 2008.
Woolery has been seen on television infomercials as a national spokesman for National Recreational Properties, promoting developing real-estate such as Holiday Island in Arkansas. He appeared in infomercials for the company in 2006 selling properties in Horseshoe Bay, Texas and Angel Fire, New Mexico.
In 1983, Woolery hosted the first annual Playmate Playoffs at Playboy Mansion West, an event featured in the March 1983 issue of Playboy and filmed for broadcast on the Playboy Channel that year in three separate episodes. According to The Smoking Jacket, "super hot Playmates participated in a three-day competitive extravaganza, which included a number of water-soaked events." Woolery was joined by Playmate Vicky McCarty (Playmate of the Month, September 1979) and actor Chuck McCann, "the designated laugher." Woolery provided play-by-play commentary for the event. The Turquoise Team led by Playmate Victoria Cooke (Playmate of the Month, August 1980) won the competition by defeating a severely hungover Jade Team led by Lorraine Michaels (Playmate of the Month, April 1981) in the Tug-o-War, the final event of the competition. According to published reports, four of the twenty contestants were treated for injuries at the UCLA Medical Center. Contestants—all of them former Playmates of the Month—competed in color-coordinated bikinis (pink, turquoise, jade, and lavender). Events included the Greased Pigskin, a slalom race with a very slippery football; Pie in the Sky, a relay race with cream-filled pie tins; Shark Bait, in which women coated in Crisco crawled across a plastic log over a swimming pool while their opponents tried to dislodge them with a swinging punching bag; the Hump Relay, a foot race over slippery, uneven terrain; and the Staple Chase, an obstacle course featuring a large mud pit. During the Staple Chase, Woolery was dragged into the mud pit by an unknown contestant. Woolery was also the co-host, along with Cristina Ferrare, of the unique talk and information show The Home and Family Show in the late 1990s. Michael Burger replaced Woolery in the final year of the show.
Woolery, who has often spoken enthusiastically about bass fishing, sells his own line of fishing products, including the "MotoLure," a motorized lure that simulates the motions of a small fish. Woolery's passion for the outdoors has also enabled him to become the official outdoor spokesman on QVC, where he promotes many other signature products. Woolery has also played on the World Poker Tour Hollywood Home Game for the charity Safe Passage.
|"Take 'Er Down, Boys"||—|
|1980||"The Greatest Love Affair"||94|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
- Think Like a Cat at about.com
- [dead link]
- Chuck Woolery on Occupy Wall Street, youtube.com (Chuck Woolery statement against Occupy Wall Street), Retrieved February 13, 2012
- Christopher, Tommy (February 9, 2012). Mediaite Interviews The Great Chuck Woolery At CPAC, He Is No Fan Of President Obama, Mediaite
- O'Connor, Larry. "Washington Times Hires Chuck Woolery". Breitbart.com. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- Woolery, Chuck. "Chuck Woolery - Conservative Hollywood". Newsmax. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "Chuck Woolery ... still making love connections". AskMen.com. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
- Seidl, Jonathan (November 4, 2011). Chuck Woolery Sits Down With Beck and Explains ‘Coming Out’ as a Conservative. The Blaze. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
- Castro, Peter. The Mourning After. March 31, 1997. Vol. 47 No. 12.
- (June 15, 2003). Marriage Woes for Woolery, Fox News
- (July 20, 2006). A Love Connection for Chuck Woolery, People (magazine)
- Corcoran, Michael (September 25, 2010). Fishing brings game show host Chuck Woolery to Texas, Austin American-Statesman
- "Lingo | GSNTV.COM". Tv.gsn.com. 2013-02-05. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
- Ankeny, Jason. "The Avant-Garde biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
- Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 474. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
- "Woolery Reveals 25-Year Rift With Merv Griffin on "The Strip"". eMediaWire. 2007-11-25. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
- Petrozzello, Donna (June 9, 2003). Woolery chucked into the reality mix, Daily News (New York)
- "R.I.P. $250,000 Game Show Spectacular". Retrieved 2009-01-01.
- Girls (2010-09-15). "Playmates of 1983 - Playmate Playoffs at the Mansion (Pics)". The Smoking Jacket. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
- Official website
- Chuck Woolery on Twitter
- Chuck Woolery at the Internet Movie Database
- Official page at Facebook
Edd Byrnes (1974 pilot)
|Host of Wheel of Fortune (daytime)
January 6, 1975 – December 25, 1981
|Host of Love Connection
September 19, 1983 – June 30, 1995
|Host of Lingo
August 5, 2002 – June 6, 2007
|Host of The Big Spin
October 28, 1985 – November 18, 1985