Tom Kennedy (television presenter)

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Tom Kennedy
Tom Kennedy game show host
Born James Edward Narz[1]
(1927-02-26) February 26, 1927 (age 90)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Occupation Game show host
Years active 1958–1989
Notable credit(s) You Don't Say (1963–69, '75)
Name That Tune (1974-1981)
Whew! (1979–1980)
Password Plus (1980–1982)
Body Language (1984–1986)
The Price Is Right (1985–1986, nighttime)
Wordplay (1986–1987)
Spouse(s) Betty Gevedon (1952–2011; her death)
Children 4
Relatives Jack Narz (brother)

James Edward Narz (born February 26, 1927), known professionally as Tom Kennedy, is an American television presenter best known for his work in game shows.[1] Game shows Kennedy has hosted include You Don't Say!, Split Second and Name That Tune.

Early years[edit]

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Kennedy is the son of John Lawrence Narz, Sr., and the younger brother of host Jack Narz, whose son, David, related about his uncle's name change that the brothers wanted to avoid the perceived conflict of having two announcers with the same last name promoting competing products. "After a lunch meeting with their agent," he said, "... they emerged as Jack Narz and Tom Kennedy."[2]

Kennedy attended the University of Missouri and the University of Kentucky.[3]

Radio[edit]

While attending the University of Missouri, Kennedy worked at KFRU in Columbia, Missouri. While in Lexington, Kentucky, he worked at WKLX. After moving to Los Angeles, California, he worked for five years at KPOL and had a part-time job at KGIL.[3]

Shows[edit]

Kennedy's biggest hit series were You Don't Say!, which aired on NBC from 1963 to 1969, and on ABC in 1975; Split Second (1972–75); Name That Tune (1974–81); and Password Plus, which he hosted from 1980 to 1982 following the illness (and later death) of original host Allen Ludden.[4]

His other hosting credits include The Big Game (1958), Doctor IQ (1958–59), It's Your Bet (1971–72), Break the Bank (1976), 50 Grand Slam (1976), To Say the Least (1977–78), Whew! (1979–80), Body Language (1984–86), a syndicated nighttime version of The Price Is Right (1985–86) and Wordplay (1986–87).[4] He briefly hosted a talk show, The Real Tom Kennedy Show, in the early 1970s, and appeared as a guest panelist on To Tell the Truth, The Hollywood Squares, Liar's Club and other game shows.[4]

As an actor, he made guest appearances on such shows as The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Cannon, Cybill, Hardcastle and McCormick and Laugh-In.[4]

Retirement[edit]

Kennedy retired in 1989 after several game show pilots produced by his production company failed to sell. In 2003, he appeared on Hollywood Squares during "Game Show Week Part 2".[citation needed]

Awards[edit]

In 2005, he and his brother, Jack Narz, were co-recipients of the Game Show Congress' Bill Cullen Award for Lifetime Achievement.[citation needed] (Cullen was a brother-in-law to Narz and Kennedy.)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Baber, David (2007). Television Game Show Hosts: Biographies of 32 Stars. McFarland & Co. p. 131. ISBN 0-7864-2926-7. Retrieved February 12, 2016. 
  2. ^ Leszczak, Bob (2015). From Small Screen to Vinyl: A Guide to Television Stars Who Made Records, 1950-2000. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 242–43. ISBN 9781442242746. Retrieved December 14, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Baber, David. Television Game Show Hosts: Biographies of 32 Stars. McFarland. pp. 133–34. ISBN 9781476604800. Retrieved December 14, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d Tom Kennedy on IMDb
Media offices
New show Host of Split Second
1972–1975
Vacant
Title next held by
Monty Hall
Preceded by
Dennis James
Host of Name That Tune
1974–1981
Vacant
Title next held by
Jim Lange
Preceded by
Allen Ludden
Host of Password Plus
1980–1982
Vacant
Title next held by
Bert Convy
as Host of Super Password
Vacant
Title last held by
Bobby Van
as Host of Showoffs
Host of Body Language
1984–1986
Show cancelled
Preceded by
Bob Barker
Host of The Price Is Right
(syndicated edition)

1985–1986
Vacant
Title next held by
Doug Davidson
as Host of The New Price Is Right