Allen Funt

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Allen Funt
Allen Funt 1972.JPG
Funt in 1972
Born Allen Albert Funt
(1914-09-16)September 16, 1914
New York, New York, U.S.
Died September 5, 1999(1999-09-05) (aged 84)
Pebble Beach, California
Occupation Producer, director, writer
Years active 1948–1990

Allen Albert Funt (September 16, 1914 – September 5, 1999) was an American television producer, director, writer and 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[edit]

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 as The Candid Microphone on June 28, 1947, and it ran until September 23, 1948. The program was revived on CBS June 6 – August 29, 1950.[1] He 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.


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.

Personal life[edit]

In 1946, Funt married Evelyn Michal (1920–2014) with whom he had three children, Peter, Patricia and John. In 1964 the couple was divorced and Funt married Marilyn Laron, whom he also divorced in 1978. The couple had two children Juliet and William. Funt had seven grandchildren.

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 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.

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3, pp. 135–136.

External links[edit]