Edwards in 1977
|Born||Geoffrey Bruce Owen Edwards
February 13, 1931
Westfield, New Jersey
|Died||March 5, 2014
Santa Monica, California
|Cause of death||Pneumonia|
Game show host
|Years active||Early 1950s–2014|
|Spouse(s)||Michael Feffer (m. 1973–2014; his death)|
|Relatives||Owen Edwards, author/editor (brother)|
Geoffrey Bruce Owen "Geoff" Edwards (February 13, 1931 – March 5, 2014) was an American television actor, game show host and radio personality. Starting in the early 2000s, he was also a writer and broadcaster on the subject of travel.
Edwards began his career while in college, working for a radio station in Albany, New York. By the late 1950s, though, he relocated to Southern California, landing his first job at KFMB-AM in San Diego, hosting an evening show and co-hosting the "Don Ross/Geoff Edwards Show".
As a news reporter, Edwards was present in the basement of Dallas police headquarters when Jack Ruby shot suspected John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24, 1963. Edwards was one of the witnesses interviewed by NBC television correspondent Tom Pettit on the scene.
After a few short stints at other stations, Edwards was hired at KMPC in Los Angeles, occupying the 9 a.m.-noon slot for several years beginning in 1968. He later worked at KFI, from which he ultimately resigned, as a protest against fellow KFI personality Tom Leykis, destroying Cat Stevens' (Yusuf Islam) records following Stevens' call for a fatwa on Salman Rushdie. Most recently, Edwards was a morning DJ with KSUR (now KKGO) in Los Angeles. One of the features of his radio show was "Radio's Answer Lady," in which listeners could call in with questions — some serious, some not so serious — and he would answer on the air, sometimes with serious answers, sometimes with quips.
During that time, Edwards tried his hand at acting, appearing on I Dream of Jeannie, That Girl and Petticoat Junction. On the latter show, he met and maintained a very close friendship with Meredith MacRae. He also guest starred on Police Woman, Diff'rent Strokes and Small Wonder.
In the early 1970s, Edwards appeared on The Bobby Darin Show as the straight man to singer Bobby Darin. After that series ended, Edwards pursued a game show career, starting with Says Who? in 1971, followed by Cop-Out! in late 1972—however, both shows eventually turned out to be unsold pilots.
Edwards' first full-time game show hosting stint took place from March through June 1973 on Jack Barry's Hollywood's Talking, a remake of a late 1960s ABC game Everybody's Talking and the Canadian hit Eye Bet. The program featured contestants watching a video clip of a celebrity talking about a subject; their job was to guess the subject in question. The series, which aired afternoons on CBS television, did not fare well and the network cancelled it in favor of the phenomenally popular Match Game remake.
Six months later, in January 1974, NBC television and Bob Stewart Productions hired Edwards to host the New York-based Jackpot. That series proved to be a modest success for Edwards, lasting nearly two years. The previous fall, Chuck Barris hired Edwards to host the weekly revival of the 1950s game show Treasure Hunt, titled The New Treasure Hunt. He did the weekly version for four years (1973–1977) and helmed a daily Treasure Hunt for one year (1981–1982).
Other game shows Edwards hosted over the years included the New York-based Shoot for the Stars in 1977, Chain Reaction (as a substitute host for Bill Cullen in 1980 and a regular host from 1986 to 1991, having taken over from Blake Emmons), Starcade, Play the Percentages and a revival of Jackpot from 1989 to 1990. Also, Edwards was a substitute host in the spring of 1985 on Let's Make a Deal, filling in for a week when Monty Hall came down with laryngitis. He had previously subbed for Hall on at least one occasion in 1972.
Edwards was also one of four game show hosts to have emceed a game show in the United States and another in Canada concurrently (the other three were Howie Mandel, Alex Trebek and Jim Perry). Edwards, like Perry, commuted back and forth between California and Canada between 1986 and 1991, hosting The Big Spin and the 1989 revival of Jackpot! in Sacramento, California and Glendale and the USA Network version of Chain Reaction in Montreal, Quebec. However, Edwards was required to have a Canadian co-host on Chain Reaction, due to the fact that he had no ties to the country, unlike Trebek, Mandel and Perry (Trebek and Mandel are native Canadians; Perry had blood ties to Canada and lived in Toronto, Ontario during the first several years of Definition). His commuting days ended after Chain Reaction left the air in 1991.
Edwards was famous for his catch phrase — "Right you are!" — which he frequently exclaimed after a correct answer.
Other television work
Edwards was also co-host of the Los Angeles news program Mid Morning L.A. on KHJ-TV (now KCAL-TV), replacing Bob Hilton in the early 1980s and paired with co-host Meredith MacRae. Edwards and MacRae won Emmy Awards for best host and best hostess respectively for a news magazine series. The two also emceed an unsold Bob Stewart-produced game show pilot, $50,000 a Minute, in 1985 for ABC.
In 1985, Edwards became host of The Big Spin, the game show of the California Lottery, and would remain host of that program until his retirement from television in 1995. In an interview with Blog Talk Radio, Edwards said he helmed the pilot of Fun & Fortune, the lottery game show in Missouri (before Rick Tamblyn became the permanent host). In another interview, he said he was offered the host role for Family Feud but had to turn it down because he was already committed to Shoot for the Stars.
Edwards and his wife, Michael, co-hosted a talk show, The His and Her of It. The program was broadcast on television stations owned and operated by ABC. In 1970, the couple also served as honorary co-chairmen of the organization California Association of Parents of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children.
Later years and death
In his later years, Edwards traveled extensively, hosting traveling programs on both radio and television, and writing about travel. His travel book, "Going All The Way" humorously chronicles his around the world cruise adventures. He also appeared as a guest on GSN Live on May 16, 2008.
- Chawkins, Steve. "Geoff Edwards dies at 83; L.A. radio and TV personality". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
Born Feb. 13, 1931, in Westfield, N.J., Geoffrey Bruce Owen Edwards...
- "Geoff Edwards, Jack Angel Join KMPC's Expanded Deejay Roster". The Van Nuys News. February 2, 1968. p. 55. Retrieved April 25, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "The He and She of 'His, Her of It'". Independent Press-Telegram. January 11, 1970. p. 148. Retrieved April 25, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Geoff, Suzanne Edwards to Aid Deaf Child Program". Valley News. March 26, 1970. p. 3. Retrieved April 25, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Barnes, Mike (March 5, 2014). "Game Show Host Geoff Edwards Dies at 83". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
- Elber, Lynn (March 5, 2014). "Agent: Game show host Geoff Edwards dies at 83". San Jose Mercury News. Associated Press. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
|Chain Reaction Host
1986 – 1991
(in the 2006 GSN version)
|Host of The Big Spin
November 25, 1985 – January 21, 1995