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Doors to the Past

Peter Marshall

Peter Marshall (Game  Show Host)

'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 [[2006]], 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.

This Article was taken from the Wikipedia free Encyclopedia.

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