Oh, this is so sad. Between MatchGame, Lidsville, Laugh-In, Love American Style and all the other shows he was in, he was a fixture of my childhood. Just thinking of him and his great sense of humor and timing brings a smile to my face. What a talent he was.
He was a staple not only of Match Game, but virtually everey other classic game show, it seemed, in the 60's and 70's. Very funny man indeed. If they follow their past form, look for GSN to show a cluster of "Match Game" episodes in tribute within a week or two.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
and in the original B'way companies of "Hello Dolly!" and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"
but hysterical on "Match Game"; I have often said, that my sense o' humor was cultivated by staying home sick once too often to watch "Match Game" in the afternoon: Charles, Brett Somers, Richard Dawson, Fannie Flagg, etc. Especially when Brett would give some off-the-wall answer and Charles would just look at her like she was crazy... or hinted that she drank (which they all did; they were all plastered by Friday's show - they shot the whole week's worth in one day, so by "Friday" they were smashed...)
I remember him being on the the old Tonight Show with Johnny Carson; the stories were so wonderful, and funny... he was an excellent story teller (I never got to see his one man show "The Life of Reilly" - he was performing it here in LA at the Falcon Theatre a few years ago - but everyone told me that the stories were priceless...)
What a huge loss; as a Director, and Actor, and as a Reconteur... my condolances to his partner Patrick...
"I've got the heart of a child..."- I keep it in a box, next to my bed...