Fred Davis (broadcaster)

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Fred Davis
Born (1921-08-10)10 August 1921
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died 5 July 1996(1996-07-05) (aged 74)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Cause of death stroke
Years active 1946-1995
Spouse(s) Joy Carroll (c. 1986-1996 (his death)
two previous marriages

Fred Davis (10 August 1921 – 5 July 1996) was a Canadian broadcaster, best known as host of the CBC Television programme Front Page Challenge for nearly all of its 38-year run.

Born in Toronto, he would become a trumpet player in his youth who performed at various concerts, particularly with the bands of Art Hallman and Howard Cable. At one point he was conductor of the Teentime Orchestra at CFRB radio.[1] After serving in World War II, including performing in an army orchestra under the direction of Robert Farnon, he would return to Toronto to study broadcasting at Lorne Greene's School of Broadcasting. His early radio career included Ottawa station CFRA since late 1946.[2]

In the early 1950s, Davis would move to television, as one of the hosts of the 1953-1954 documentary series On the Spot.[3]

He began hosting the news-themed television quiz show Front Page Challenge in 1957, replacing host Alex Barris with whom the series began that summer. He would remain host until the series was cancelled in 1995. He would host commercials and other series during his career, although his primary work remained with Front Page Challenge.


Davis died age 74 at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto following multiple strokes, leaving his fifth wife Joy Carroll Davis and five children (two sons and three daughters) from his earlier marriages.[1][4]


  1. ^ a b Goldhar, Kathleen (6 July 1996). "Fred Davis loved a 'Challenge'". Toronto Star. p. A10. 
  2. ^ Canadian Communications Foundation: Fred Davis biography
  3. ^ Queen's University Directory of CBC Television Series: On the Spot
  4. ^ Harris, Christopher (6 July 1996). "Front Page Challenge host always unflappable (obituary)". The Globe and Mail. pp. E9. 

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