Chuck Barris, who hosted the wacky “The Gong Show” and created such favorites as “The Dating Game” and “The Newlywed Game,” died Tuesday at his Rockland County home in Palisades from natural causes, according to publicist Paul Shefrin. Barris was 87.
Known for his many talents including author, songwriter ("Palisades Park"), and creator of hit TV shows, Barris' autobiography, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” was made into a movie directed by George Clooney and featured Sam Rockwell as Barris, according to Variety.
In the book, he claimed to have worked as a CIA assassin during the 60s and ’70s, a claim the CIA denied, Variety said.
Born Charles Hirsch Barris in Philadelphia in 1929, Barris and his mother and sister were left destitute after his dentist father died of a stroke.
After graduating from the Drexel Institute of Technology in 1953, he started out in TV working as a page for NBC and then backstage at "American Bandstand," added Variety.
During his time at Bandstand, “Palisades Park” was recorded by Freddy Cannon and rose to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Variety said.
The popular funnyman formed Chuck Barris Productions in 1965 and created “The Dating Game,” hosted by Jim Lange, which became wildly popular, running for 11 years. In 1966 he introduced “The Newlywed Game,” hosted by Bob Eubanks, which ran for 19 years, and then "The Gong Show" in 1976 with Barris as the host, Variety reported.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Clagett.
Donations may be made to the New York Police Foundation.
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