Peter Marshall (Game
'Peter Marshall''' (born '''Ralph Pierre LaCock''' on March 30, c 1927,
in Huntington, West Virginia, United States - USA) is an actor, singer and
television personality. Although he has almost fifty television, Film -
movie and Broadway (Manhattan) - Broadway credits, he is best known as the
original host and "The Master" of ''The Hollywood Squares'' from 1966 to
1981. His stage name, Marshall, came from the name of the college in his
home town (Marshall College became Marshall University in 1961).
Marshall came from a show business family, moving to New York City at the
age of 12 after his father's death to be with his mother, an aspiring
costume designer and later the president of the Motion Picture Mothers.
His elder sister, Joanne Dru, was a successful actress who made a number of
Western (genre) - westerns in the 1950s.
Marshall started his career at 15 as a singer with Big band - big bands. In
the 1950s, Marshall earned his living as part of a comedy act with Tommy
Noonan, and they appeared in Nightclub - night clubs and on television
Variety show - variety shows. Although Marshall occasionally worked in film
and television, he could not find regular work in the industry until his
friend Morey Amsterdam recommended him to Bert Parks to host the game show
''Hollywood Squares'' in 1966.
The show had a long run on daytime TV and in Television syndication -
syndication, making Marshall as familiar to viewers as the celebrities who
appeared on the show. The easy-going and unflappable Marshall was a perfect
foil for the wicked wit of such panelists as Amsterdam and his "The Dick Van
Dyke Show - Dick Van Dyke Show'' castmate Rose Marie, Paul Lynde, Jan
Murray, and Wally Cox. ''The Hollywood Squares'' was cancelled by NBC in
1980, but daily production continued for syndication into 1981.
After the demise of ''Hollywood Squares'', Marshall continued to work on the
game shows ''Fantasy'' (with cohost Leslie Uggams), ''All Star Blitz'', ''Yahtzee
(game show) - Yahtzee'', and ''The Reel to Reel Picture Show''. However,
none of these met with the success of the original ''Squares''. He stayed in
television and movies playing character parts. One of his memorable
post-Squares roles was a cameo in the 1982 musical ''Annie'' playing radio
personality Bert Healy.
His last film credit was the 1993 film ''Sista Dansen'' (''The Last
Dance''), but he continued to work in television after that. He wrote a book
about his experience, ''Backstage with the Original Hollywood Square''.
In the quarter century since Marshall hosted the original ''Hollywood
Squares'' the program has refused to leave the public consciousness. Two
attempts to revive it in the 1980s (the first, a short-lived version hosted
by Jon "Bowzer" Bauman from Sha-Na-Na; the second, a better-received edition
emceed by John Davidson (game show host) - John Davidson), met with mixed
results, but a parody version in ''In Living Color'' hosted by Marshall
showed a glimpse of the magic displayed in the original (since then, another
attempt at reviving the game show, this time emceed by Tom Bergeron,
reflected the success rate of the Davidson edition). Despite the various
different versions between 1980 and 2004, ''Hollywood Squares'' remains most
strongly identified with Marshall.
As of 2000, Marshall was back on the travelling circuit, this time as a
singer with big bands. His website actively promotes his CDs.
In 2002, Marshall came back to the show as a panelist during a '''Game Show
Week''' on the Tom Bergeron version, even hosting it for one day.
He is currently married to his third wife, Laurie Stewart, and has four
children and two stepchildren from his previous marriages. He is also
currently a host on the ''Music Of Your Life'' radio network.
His son, Pete LaCock, is a former Major League Baseball player. The retired
first baseman spent nine years playing for the Kansas City Royals and
Chicago Cubs before finishing up his career in Japan.
In [], Peter Marshall, who had already won an Emmy for Best Game Show
Host, was the recipient of the annual Bill Cullen Award for Lifetime
Achievement, from the non-profit organization, Game Show Congress.
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