Lange in 1971
August 15, 1932 |
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
|Occupation||TV presenter/Game show presenter|
|Spouse(s)||Nancy Fleming (1978-present)|
Jim Lange (born August 15, 1932) is a former American game show host and disc jockey. He was particularly well known to listeners in the San Francisco and Los Angeles radio markets with stints at several stations in both markets, racking up over 45 years on the air. Lange was also known to television viewers as an announcer and host of several game shows, including The Dating Game.
Lange began his radio broadcasting career in the Twin Cities after winning an audition as a teenager. He graduated from St. Thomas Academy high school, before going to the University of Minnesota on the Chick Evans Scholarship through the Western Golf Association. After graduating from the University of Minnesota and serving in the Marines, Lange moved to San Francisco. After making his Bay Area broadcast debut as "The All-Night Mayor" on KGO, he moved to afternoons on KSFO in 1960.
His network television career began in San Francisco with The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show in 1962, where Lange was announcer and sidekick to Ford. Three years later, he would sign on to host The Dating Game. While still on-air at KSFO, he commuted to Los Angeles to tape the TV program.
His other game shows include $100,000 Name That Tune, Bullseye and The $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime, as well as short-lived shows including, Spin-Off, Triple Threat, Give-n-Take., and The Newlywed Game (Valentines Week Special 1984 on ABC and using the same set used for Bob Eubanks' return on Syndication a year later).
He also appeared as himself in Bewitched, Laverne & Shirley, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, Parker Lewis Can't Lose and Moesha. He also appeared during the week of December 9, 2002 on Hollywood Squares for their "Game Show Week", which also featured Monty Hall, Carol Merrill, Bob Eubanks, Peter Marshall, Wink Martindale, Brett Somers, Charles Nelson Reilly and Chuck Woolery.
He was introduced to Los Angeles local audiences on KMPC in 1970, in order to limit his commute while taping "The Dating Game". He returned to Gene Autry/Golden West station KSFO by 1971 and remained there till the station was sold in 1983. He then returned to KMPC, where he did mornings and afternoons (at different times) until the end of the decade.
In the early 1990s, he returned to full-time radio in the Bay Area, when he originally worked afternoons on 610/KFRC and eventually accepted an offer to broadcast weekday mornings on "Magic 61," by then owned by real estate magnate Peter Bedford (Bedford Broadcasting). Magic 61 was formatted as "American pop standards" (Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Harry Connick, Jr., Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, et al.). During this period Jim also hosted promotional events for Magic 61, including Big Band Dances and a resurrection of his popular "Leo Birthday Party," which he'd initiated on KSFO years before.
The "Lange Gang" show on Magic 61 was produced by Steve "Dino" Donikian, whose background cackling laugh punctuated Lange's jokes, jibes and ad-libs. They would work together for much of the next decade.
He currently lives in Marin County, California, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, with his wife, Nancy Fleming, a former Miss America; she had been Lange's co-host on a local KGO-TV morning TV show in San Francisco decades previously in the 1970s.
Lange appeared in the critically acclaimed movie Confessions of a Dangerous Mind as himself.
|Host, The Dating Game
Elaine Joyce in 1986
Tom Kennedy (1974-1981)
|Host, Name That Tune