Peter Marshall (entertainer)

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Peter Marshall
Peter Marshall game show host.JPG
Marshall in 1965.
Born Ralph Pierre LaCock
(1926-03-30) March 30, 1926 (age 91)
Huntington, West Virginia, U.S.
Occupation Actor, singer, TV host, radio personality
Years active 1950–present
Known for Original host of Hollywood Squares (1966-1981)
Spouse(s) Nadene R. Teaford (m. 1947–1973; divorced)
Sally Carter-Ihnat (m. 1977–1983)
Laurie Stewart (m. 1989–present)
Children 4
Relatives Joanne Dru (sister)

Ralph Pierre LaCock (born March 30, 1926), better known by his stage name Peter Marshall, is an American television and radio personality, singer, and actor. He is best remembered as the original host of The Hollywood Squares, from 1966 to 1981. He has almost fifty television, movie, and Broadway credits. His stage name reportedly derived from the college in his home town (Marshall College, which became Marshall University in 1961).[1]

Early life[edit]

Peter Marshall was born Ralph Pierre LaCock on March 30, 1926, to Ralph and Jean LaCock, a show business family,[2] in Huntington, West Virginia. Following his father's death when Marshall was a teenager, he moved to New York City to be with his mother, a costume designer.[3] After he graduated high school he was drafted into the army in 1944 and stationed in Italy. He was originally in the artillery, but was later recruited to be a disc jockey at a radio station in Naples. He was discharged in 1946 with the rank of Staff sergeant.[3]

His elder sister Joan became a film and television actress known as Joanne Dru.[4] She was best known for her roles in such films as Red River, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and All the King's Men.

Early career[edit]

In the 1950s, Marshall earned his living as part of a comedy act with Tommy Noonan,[5] and they appeared in night clubs, on television variety shows, and in films including Starlift (1951), The Rookie (1959) and Swingin' Along (1962).[6] In 1963, he appeared as Lucy's brother-in-law, Hughie, in The Lucy Show episode "Lucy's Sister Pays A Visit".[7] He appeared in the 1958 episode "The Big Hoax" of the syndicated television series Harbor Command.

Career[edit]

Peter Marshall hosted The Hollywood Squares from 1966 - 1981.

The Hollywood Squares[edit]

Although Marshall occasionally worked in film and television, he could not find regular work in the industry until his friend Morey Amsterdam recommended him to fill in for Bert Parks (who emceed the pilot) as the host of the game show The Hollywood Squares in 1966.

The show had a long run on daytime network TV and in syndication, making Marshall as familiar to viewers as the celebrities who appeared on the show. The easygoing and unflappable Marshall was a perfect foil for the wicked wit of such panelists as Amsterdam and his Dick Van Dyke Show castmate Rose Marie; Paul Lynde, Jan Murray, and Wally Cox. The Hollywood Squares was canceled by the NBC network in 1980,[8] but production continued in syndication into 1981.

Television[edit]

After the completion of the initial run of The Hollywood Squares in 1981, Marshall continued working in game shows and playing character roles. He appeared on the game shows Fantasy (1982) with cohost Leslie Uggams;[9] All-Star Blitz,(1985)[3] Yahtzee (1988),[3] the "East Hollywood Squares" skit on In Living Color (1994),[10] and Reel to Reel (1998).[11] In 1986, he portrayed Bob Kenny, game show host who's been accused of murder of a game show contestant on an episode "To Live and Die on TV" on Sledge Hammer!.[12] In 1989, Marshall hosted the unaired pilot for 3rd Degree!, a Burt & Bert Production in association with Kline & Friends. When the series was picked up for syndication, show producer Bert Convy decided to leave his position as the host of the syndicated edition of Win, Lose or Draw and take Marshall's place on 3rd Degree. Marshall filed a lawsuit against Convy for the action, but later dropped it after Convy's cancer diagnosis was made public. [13] In 2002, he returned to the new version of The Hollywood Squares as a panelist during a Game Show Week hosted by Tom Bergeron. Marshall occupied the prestigious center square. For one day that week, Marshall took his old position at the podium to host while Bergeron was the center square.[3]

Other work[edit]

In 1979, he sang Back Home Again in Indiana at the Indianapolis 500.[14] In 2002, he published a book about his show business experience, Backstage With The Original Hollywood Square.[15] Marshall has been a radio personality, hosting a popular mid-day show on the Music of Your Life adult standards national radio network, which is also live-streamed via the internet here. In 2009, Marshall appeared on television promoting compact disc hits from the Big Band era, and also hosted a two-hour PBS special, The Big Band Years. In 2010, Marshall, along with Monty Hall and Wink Martindale, appeared with their wives on a special Game Show Legend version of The Newlywed Game. The special was hosted by Bob Eubanks; the Martindales won the game.[16]

In 2014, Marshall returned to West Virginia to host four games of The West Virginia Squares as part of Charleston's FestivALL. The game, which featured questions about the state's history, included West Virginia notables such as Joyce Dewitt and Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.[17][18]

Theater[edit]

Broadway[edit]

Marshall's Broadway credits include Skyscraper,[19] La Cage aux Folles[20] and The Music Man.

West End[edit]

In London's 1962 West End production, Marshall appeared in the stage musical Bye Bye Birdie,[21] a satire on American popular culture in the 1950s inspired by singer Elvis Presley receiving a draft notice into the Army. Marshall played the lead character of Albert Peterson, who writes a song for the pop-singing sensation Conrad Birdie (played by Marty Wilde). The production ran for 268 performances.[22]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to his third wife, Laurie Stewart, and has four children and two stepchildren from his previous marriages. He has a home in Palm Desert, California.[23]

His son, Pete LaCock, is a former Major League Baseball player. The retired first baseman spent nine years playing for the Chicago Cubs and Kansas City Royals. [1]

Awards[edit]

Marshall won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host four times.[8] In 2002 he received the annual Bill Cullen Award for Lifetime Achievement, from the non-profit organization, Game Show Congress.[24] On October 13, 2007, Marshall was one of the first inductees into the American TV Game Show Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.[25]

In November 2013, Marshall was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.[26] He was introduced by his friend, Nick Clooney.

Selected Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Johnson, Shauna. "Peter Marshall Calls Hall of Fame Epitome of Awards". West Virginia MetroNews Network. Retrieved 9 May 2016. 
  2. ^ Known as Pierre Lacock and born in 1926 (4 years old in April 1930) as per the 1930 United States census
  3. ^ a b c d e Baber, David (11 August 2009). "Television Game Show Hosts: Biographies of 32 Stars". McFarland. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  4. ^ Grimes, William (13 September 1996). "Joanne Dru, 74, a Star of Movie Westerns". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  5. ^ Nesteroff, Kliph (20 September 2012). "Classic Television Showbiz: An Interview with Peter Marshall - Part One". Classic Television Showbiz. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  6. ^ Nesteroff, Kliph (5 October 2012). "Classic Television Showbiz: An Interview with Peter Marshall - Part Two". Classic Television Showbiz. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  7. ^ Monush, Barry; Sheridan, James (2011). Lucille Ball FAQ: Everything Left to Know About America's Favorite Redhead. Applause Theatre & Cinema. ISBN 9781557839336. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Marshall, Peter (17 July 2002). "Backstage with the Original Hollywood Square". Thomas Nelson Inc. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  9. ^ "Scott's World;NEWLN:Peter Marshall ranks top 'Fantasies'". UPI. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  10. ^ "A Classic reborn?: East Hollywood Squares (In Living Color, 1990's)". thelandofwhatever.blogspot.ca. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  11. ^ Paxman, Andrew (5 August 1998). "Pax TV gets ‘Reel’ with new gameshow". Variety. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  12. ^ "To Live and Die on TV | Episode 11 | Sledgecast - The Sledge Hammer Podcast". Sledge Hammer! Podcast. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  13. ^ "Marshall, Convy in Angry Dispute". TV Guide. 37. 
  14. ^ "#72- Back Home Again In Indiana". 100 Years 100 Moments. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  15. ^ Backstage with the Original Hollywood Square (2002), Amazon.com; accessed March 29, 2016
  16. ^ "Game show icons return for special 'Newlywed' show". USATODAY.COM. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  17. ^ "WV Music Hall of Fame Presents "West Virginia Squares" starring Peter Marshall | FestivALL: A City Becomes A Work of Art, June 21-30, 2013". Festivallcharleston.com. Retrieved June 29, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Game Show Features West Virginia Music and History | West Virginia Public Broadcasting". Wvpublic.org. June 24, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  19. ^ Skyscraper 1965 stage musical at Internet Broadway Database
  20. ^ La Cage Aux Folles cast replacements and transfers at Internet Broadway Database, ibdb.com; accessed March 29, 2016.
  21. ^ Bye Bye Birdie West End production, broadwayworld.com; accessed March 29, 2016.
  22. ^ "Bye Bye Birdie – Theatre Aficionado at Large". www.theatreaficionado.com. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  23. ^ Meeks, Eric G. (2012). Palm Springs Celebrity Homes: Little Tuscany, Racquet Club, Racquet Club Estates and Desert Park Estates Neighborhoods (Kindle). Horatio Limburger Oglethorpe. p. 429. ASIN B00A2PXD1G. 
  24. ^ "Huntington Quarterly | Articles | Issue 82 | Peter Marshall". www.huntingtonquarterly.com. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  25. ^ writer, From a Times staff (11 October 2007). "Game shows get hall of fame". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 September 2017. 
  26. ^ Johnson, Shauna (November 15, 2013). "Peter Marshall calls Hall of Fame induction the 'epitome' of awards". WV MetroNews. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bert Parks
in CBS Pilot
Host of The Hollywood Squares
1966 – 1981
Succeeded by
Jon Bauman in the Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour
Preceded by
First Winner
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
1974 – 1975
Succeeded by
Allen Ludden
Preceded by
Dick Clark
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
1980 – 1981
Succeeded by
Bob Barker