Monday, November 19, 2007
For the Irish businessman and philanthropist see Bill Cullen (Irish).
William "Bill" Lawrence Frances Cullen (February 18, 1920 – July 7, 1990), was an Emmy Award-winning American radio and television personality. He was best known for his roles in game shows, both as host and panelist, that spanned a period of five decades in radio and television, as the original host of The Price Is Right in the 1950s and 1960s and the host of the nighttime $25,000 Pyramid in the 1970s.
Game show career
Cullen was a pilot during World War II and was interested in mechanics. He did color commentary on college football games early in his career, and also broadcast track and field on NBC. On I've Got A Secret, the producers learned that if they wanted to keep the game going for a while, they would never start with Bill if it was anything sports-related or mechanical, because chances were good that he would guess it immediately.
Cullen was married three times. His first marriage was a brief one while still living in Pittsburgh. His second marriage was to singer Carol Ames from 1949 to 1955. On December 24, 1955, Cullen married former dancer and model Ann Roemheld Macomber; this marriage would endure until his death. Ann's father, Heinz Roemheld, was an Oscar-winning Hollywood composer and musician. Her sister, Mary Lou, was married for a number of years to Jack Narz, another game show host, who is the brother of another game show guru, and fellow Password Plus sub-host Tom Kennedy. Ann Cullen often appeared with Bill on the Goodson-Todman show Tattletales in the 70s and 80s.
Cullen died on July 7, 1990 of lung cancer at the age of 70. Even nine years after his death, Cullen was considered as a potential host for the American version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, according to the show's eventual host, Regis Philbin. Of course, this talk ended after the show's producers found out that Cullen was deceased.
Posted by gigihong07 at 9:03 AM