Chuck Barris, the legendary producer creator of epic shows like ‘The Dating Game,’ ‘The Newlywed Game’ and ‘The Gong Show’ has died aged 87.
Born Charles Hirsch “Chuck” Barris on June 3, 1929; he is said to have died of natural causes.
Long before reality TV entertained us, Chuck Barris became the king of daytime TV by putting everyday people who did not mind exposing their vulnerabilities or answering embarrassing questions before the cameras. He made game show history right off the bat, in 1966, with “The Dating Game,” hosted by Jim Lange.
Let’s take a step back now, Barris started in entertainment as a page at NBC headquarters in New York in the 1950s and eventually used forged recommendations to get into the network’s management training program. He later found work at ABC, where he persuaded his bosses to let him open a Hollywood office, from which he launched his game-show empire.
He also had success in the music world. He wrote the 1962 hit record “Palisades Park,” which was recorded by Freddy Cannon.
Like all good things come to an end, As “The Gong Show” and Barris’ other series were slipping, he sold his company for a reported $100 million in 1980 and decided to go into films.
That was around the time he wrote his autobiography, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” in it, he claimed to have been a CIA assassin. An spokesman for the CIA told Barris had never been employed by the CIA.
Barris who moved to a villa in the south of France in the 1980s –while trying to scape the Hollywood rat race, made very few returns to his old haunts over the next two decades.
The man certainly had an interesting life, he was married three times and became a father of one.
1. Lyn Levy
Levy and Chuck were married from 1957 until their divorce in 1976. The two became parents of one daughter. Lyn was the daughter of one of the founders of CBS.
Accoridng to online info, her marriage to Chuck made her family disinherit her. Not much more is known about her.
2. Robin Altman
Robin “Red” Altman met chuck during the run of the Gong Show.
Robin and Chuck were married in 1980. The two lived in the south of France. Robin was 23-years younger than Chuck. The two were divorced in 1999.
Robin Altman was born on May 8, 1952. She was an actress and participated on The Gong Show movie in 1980. She also became a stepmother to Chuck’s daughter from his first marriage.
After their divorce they sold a beautiful home in St. Tropez France.
3. Mary Clagett
Mary became Chuck’s third and last wife in 2000. The two remained married until his death. In the past, Chuck described Mary as his ‘soul-mate.’
Mary Clagett Barris is a Bowling Green native who is in the board of director at the Kentucky Orchestra. Chuck was a supporter of and occasional performer with the Bowling Green-based orchestra.
The couple own a home on Chestnut Street and spent time here visiting friends and family.
Accoridng to the central character in his book, Barris depicted himself as a raunchy, cold-blooded assassin who kicks his dog, uses women and spends thousands of dollars on abortions for his girlfriends.
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind was made into a movie and was released in 2002. The film was directed by George Clooney.
She was the daughter born in 1962 from Barris first marriage to Lynn Levy. Della made a number of appearances on The Gong Show.
She died aged 36 in 1998 following a drug and alcohol overdose. At some point in her lifetime she also contracted HIV.
Following her parents divorce in 1976, Della went to live with her father, and when she got older started appearing on her dad’s ever so popular “Gong Show”. She also had a role in his later movie entitled “The Gong Show Movie” along with the rest of the cast and crew from “The Gong Show.”
We send our condolences.