'Gong Show' Creator Chuck Barris Dead At 87
Barris was the mind behind some of the lowest brow--and most loved--television of the 60's and 70's.
Chuck Barris, the mind behind some of the television's kitschiest shows from the 1960s and 1970s, has died.
Barris died of natural causes Tuesday afternoon at his home in Palisades, New York, according to a publicist representing his family. He was 87.
Barris brought America The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game, among other game shows, and became the on-camera face of his own tasteless TV empire on The Gong Show.
As creator and host, Barris showcased contestants with unusual talents from 1976 to 1980. For contestants deamed talentless, Barris would strike the eponymous gong and proceed to ridicule them with the help of a panel of D-list celebrity judges.
After the popularity of his shows began to wane, Barris made an unsuccessful attempt at big screen success with The Gong Show Movie, which lasted in theaters for one week.
He would later pen an autobiography in which he made the unfounded—and widely doubted—claim that he worked as an assassin for the CIA while a TV producer.
While giving no proof of his claims, he shrugged it off after a CIA official denied he'd worked for the spy agency.
“Have you ever heard the CIA acknowledge someone was an assassin?” he once said.
His most recent time in the spotlight came in 2002, when George Clooney directed a big screen version of his autobiography, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.
The Philadelphia native was married three times, first to Lynn Levy then to Robin Altman. He married his third wife, Mary, in 2000.
He had one child with his first wife, a daughter named Della, who passed away in 1998 at age 36.
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