Bill Leyden

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Bill Leyden in a publicity photo for It Could Be You, 1961

William "Bill" Leyden (born February 1, 1917[1] in Chicago, Illinois, died March 11, 1970 in Hollywood, California) (age 53) was a television game show host and announcer who emceed six game shows, including It Could Be You (1956–61), Your First Impression (1962–64, with Dennis James), and You're Putting Me On (1969). In addition, he hosted movies on KTTV, and in fact played small roles in a handful of films, including Jerry Lewis's The Patsy (1964).

During World War II Leyden served in the Marine Corps. After returning to Chicago following the war, Leyden worked as a NBC page while getting a degree in Archaeology from DePaul University . Leyden started his broadcast career in Cleveland as a radio announcer. Then moved to LA and became a Disc jockey on stations KMPC and KFWB in Los Angeles and later served as an announcer for the syndicated radio series The Liberace Program (1954–55) before moving over to television, where he hosted several game shows, the most successful of which was It Could Be You . [1] [2]

During his run on It Could Be You, Leyden was touted by announcer Wendell Niles as "the man who will amaze you with what he knows about you",[3] partly because Leyden was often helped onstage and in the audience by well-concealed TelePrompters and "a team of spies and operatives" who investigated potential contestants.[4]

Although he was extremely popular, both in front of the camera and behind the microphone, Leyden's chronic health problems limited his on-screen work in the latter half of the 1960s (Bill Cullen and Larry Blyden filled in for Leyden on You're Putting Me On, with Blyden becoming the permanent host of the show when Leyden suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in September 1969). For his television work, Leyden received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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