Category Archives: match game
Comedian Dick Martin passed away yesterday from respiratory problems. He was 86.
Best known as Dan Rowan’s partner as host NBC’s popular “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” Martin also did stand-up in the 1950s, appeared as Lucille Ball’s wacky neighbor in one of her sitcoms and was the principal director on “Newhart” during the 1990s. I most recently saw him in 2001’s Bartlby.
Will he be missed? You bet your sweet bippy.
In Episode Six, the last of 2007, Ed Evans of All Things Fun! interviews Marvel Comics editor Bill Rosemann about Annihilation: Conquest.
Next Ed and Glenn Walker of Comic Widows introduce new comic co-host Allison Eckel.
Then Ed and gaming co-host Wes Hitchins review Duel in the Dark and treat listeners to a Gamer’s Gift Guide.
Also in this episode, your last chance to enter the ATF Match Game contest!
Check it out here: http://www.allthingsfun.libsyn.com/.
Born Audrey Sommers in New Brunswick, Canada, Brett Somers grew up near Portland, Maine. She moved to New York City at age 18 to pursue a career in acting. She became a U.S. citizen, and at the time of her death resided in Westport, Connecticut.
After moving to New York City, Somers married and had a daughter, Leslie, before divorcing her first husband. In 1953, she married actor Jack Klugman; they had two sons: Adam and David. The couple separated in 1974, but never divorced.
In 2002, Somers reunited with Charles Nelson Reilly and Betty White for an interview on the CBS program The Early Show, to reminisce about Match Game. During the interview, she denied rumors that she had suffered from cancer. She would reiterate that point in future interviews. Somers had a naturally husky voice which may have caused the misperception that she suffered from a throat ailment. However, her son Adam says the ultimate cause of her death was cancer of the stomach and colon.
Somers began her career in theater, and made many of her initial television appearances in theatrical programs like “Philco Playhouse”. “Kraft Theater Playhouse 90”, and “Robert Montgomery Presents”.
Her Broadway debut, in the play “Maybe Tuesday”, was a flop; the show closed after five performances. She also appeared in “Happy Ending”, “Seven Year Itch”, and “The Country Girl” with “Odd Couple” co-star and spouse Jack Klugman.
Somers amassed a number of film credits, including “Getting There”, “Bone”, “Bus Riley’s Back in Town”, and “The Great American Beauty Pageant”.
Somers made a number of appearances on episodic primetime television, including Love, American Style, The Defenders, Have Gun Will Travel, Ben Casey, CHiPs, The Love Boat, Barney Miller, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and The Fugitive.
Somers had recurring roles as the ex-wife of Oscar Madison (played by real-life spouse Klugman) on the ABC sitcom television series The Odd Couple in the early 1970s, as well as the role of “Siress Belloby” on the science fiction series Battlestar Galactica in 1978. She played Perry Mason’s receptionist Gertie in the short-lived revival of the series in 1973 which featured Monte Markham as Perry Mason.
Somers is perhaps best known for her appearances as a panelist on the 1970s CBS game show Match Game. She and the show became known for somewhat outlandish and risque dialogue; the show has been described as having the feel of being at a game at someone’s cocktail party. Somers was an iconic on-screen presence, wearing enormous eyeglasses, various wigs, and playing foil to Charles Nelson Reilly, Betty White, Richard Dawson, and Fannie Flagg, among others. Somers was often the subject of questions on Match Game, such as “You may or may not believe in reincarnation, but listen to this. In a previous life, Brett used to be a ________.”
Somers was not originally on the celebrity panel. When spouse Jack Klugman appeared on the first week of the program in 1973, he suggested that producers bring her aboard. Her wit and dry humor proved extremely successful, and she would remain a regular panelist for the remainder of the show’s nine year network and syndicated run. According to a Boston Globe article in the early 1980’s, Brett Somers was being paid $250,000 a year for her appearance on Match Game.
Somers maintained a fairly active career until her death. In 2002, she appeared alongside Charles Nelson Reilly and Betty White as part of a Match Game reunion on CBS’s The Early Show. She also appeared with Reilly on Hollywood Squares during that show’s “Game Show Week” in 2003. In 2006, she was a prominent interviewee in The Real Match Game Story: Behind the Blank on GSN, and hosted the Match Game DVD as well (by this time, Gene Rayburn was dead and Reilly had become mortally ill, leaving Somers as the only remaining regular from the show able and willing to do it).
Outside of Match Game-related work, Somers appeared in a cabaret show, An Evening with Brett Somers, from 2003 to 2004.
Somers died on the morning of September 15, 2007, according to her website.
Actor Charles Nelson Reilly dies at 76
LOS ANGELES- Charles Nelson Reilly, the Tony Award winner who later became known for his ribald appearances on the “Tonight Show” and various game shows, has died. He was 76.
Reilly died Friday in Los Angeles of complications from pneumonia, his partner, Patrick Hughes, told the New York Times.
Reilly began his career in New York City, taking acting classes at a studio with Steve McQueen, Geraldine Page and Hal Holbrook. In 1962, he appeared on Broadway as Bud Frump in the original Broadway production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” The role won Reilly a Tony Award.
He was nominated for a Tony again for playing Cornelius in “Hello, Dolly!” In 1997 he received another nomination for directing Julie Harris and Charles Durning in a revival of “The Gin Game.”
After moving to Hollywood in 1960s he appeared as the nervous Claymore Gregg on TV’s “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” and as a featured guest on “The Dean Martin Show.”
He gained fame by becoming what he described as a “game show fixture” in the 1970s and 80s. He was a regular on programs like “Match Game” and “Hollywood Squares,” often wearing giant glasses and colorful suits with ascots.
His larger-than-life persona and affinity for double-entendres also landed him on the “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson more than 95 times.
Reilly ruefully admitted his wild game show appearances adversely affected his acting career. “You can’t do anything else once you do game shows,” he told The Advocate, the national gay magazine, in 2001. “You have no career.”
His final work was an autobiographical one-man show, “Save It for the Stage: The Life of Reilly,” about his family life growing up in the Bronx. The title grew out of the fact that when he would act out as a child, his mother would often admonish him to “save it for the stage.”
The stage show was made into the 2006 feature film called “The Life of Reilly.”
Reilly’s openly gay television persona was ahead of its time, and sometimes stood in his way. He recalled a network executive telling him “they don’t let queers on television.”
Hughes, his only immediate survivor, said Reilly had been ill for more than a year.
No memorial plans had been announced.