'Name That Tune' host Tom Kennedy (93) diesLast updated on Oct 12, 2020, 09:42 pm
Legendary game show host Tom Kennedy passed away at the age of 93.
His friend Steve Beverly confirmed that he died on October 7 at his Oxnard, California residence.
The immediate cause of death could not be confirmed but family sources say he had been ill for months.
Let's get to know this brilliant host better.
How he got interested in hosting
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Kennedy's original name was Jim Narz.
He had an elder brother Jack, who also became a TV show host. This inspired him to move to Los Angeles in 1947 and try his luck in the career of broadcasting.
He started working in radio and moved to games shows in the 1950s.
He later got married to Betty Gevedon.
Why Kennedy changed his name
However, he chose to change his name to Tom Kennedy in 1957 as his original name created confusion for people distinguishing him from his elder brother and senior host Jack Narz.
Luck was by his side and Kennedy went on to be a popular name in the TV show circles with shows such as Name That Tune, The Price Is Right and Split Second.
Films and appearances
Tom's work beyond hosting
He became a household name during the period of 1970s-80s as he went on with his appearances on Match Game, Password, Break The Bank, Wheel of Fortune and Family Feud.
He also acted in several films and series like That Girl, Cannon, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, et al.
Popularity led him to host his own talk show titled The Real Tom Kennedy Show.
Remembering a great host
At the end of the 1980s, the host faced a lot of rejections from television executives regarding new show pitches and thus, retired in 1989.
Tom Kennedy and Jack Narz won the Game Show Congress' Bill Cullen award for lifetime achievement in 2005.
Tom's wife Betty passed away in 2011 and daughter Julia died in 2015.