Catherine (Kay) Lyons – SNL Announcer Don Pardo’s Wife

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Catherine “Kay” Lyons, who died in 1995 was the wife of Dominick George “Don” Pardo, the velvet-toned television announcer known for his work over the years on such NBC shows as Saturday Night Live and The Price Is Right and who died yesterday, August 18th, in his sleep.

Their union produced five children together and lasted almost almost six decades until her passing 19-years-ago. They became proud parents to five children; three daughters, Paula, Dona and Katherine, as well as his two sons, David and Michael. All alive.

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Pardo, was born Dominick George Pardo on Feb. 22, 1918, in Westfield, Massachusetts; the son of Valeria/Viola (Rominak) and Domenick J. Pardo. He was of Polish descent. A statement from SNL reads

“SNL” has lost one of its biggest icons: Don Pardo, the TV announcer who has introduced the cast members and stars of “Saturday Night Live” for 38 of its 39 seasons, has died. He was 96.

You may not have recognized Pardo on the street, but as the former “Price is Right” and “Jeopardy!” announcer, millions of American from every generation would recognize his voice. After Though famous for his work off-camera, Pardo also turned up in comedy sketches, particularly the show’s game show parodies, both on “SNL” and off.

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And we certainly know behind every great man there is a greater woman. It was Catherine Lyons who told her husband to take a job as an announcer for $30 a week back in 1938. Her husband had become interested in oratory and theater while a student at Norwich Free Academy in Connecticut, and in 1938, while living in Providence, R.I., he began working with local theater troupes, among them the 20th Century Players, which sometimes performed on WJAR, the NBC affiliate in Providence. After about a year, the station manager there, impressed with Mr. Pardo’s voice, offered him a job as an announcer for $30 a week — a pay cut from his job at Brown & Sharpe, a machine tool manufacturer, but his new bride, Catherine Lyons, told him to take it anyway.

Catherine A Pardo was born on October 06, 1921 and died on July 08, 1995 at the age of 73. Catherine last resided in Demarest, New Jersey in Bergen County. Better Known as Kay Pardo she and Don married in 1938 when she was 18-years-old and their marriage lasted 57-years. don-pardo-1Pin

In 1944, he and a friend, Hal Simms, who would also become a top radio and TV announcer, made a fateful weekend trip to New York, visiting the NBC studios to watch some of their smooth-voiced heroes at work. When Mr. Pardo stopped by to thank Patrick J. Kelly, the supervisor of announcers, for arranging the tour, he ended up with a job offer. He started at NBC in New York on June 15, 1944.

Pardo started with NBC during World War II and became known to millions via his work in commercials, game shows, and news programming. He worked for the peacock network for his entire professional career and had been with SNL for almost its entire 39 year run.

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He tried to retire from his lifetime contract in 2004, supplying only the SNL introductions via pre-recording from his home in Arizona. Producers believed they needed him in-studio so he flew across the country for live tapings. He was eventually able to resume supplying pre-recorded openings. He missed two shows in 2013 — due to a broken hip. He was a member of the Television Hall of Fame since 2010.

According to the NY Times, Pardo is survived by his five children with wife Kay; as well as five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.