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Gene Rayburn

TV Personality

Born: 22 December 1917
Died: 29 November 1999 (heart failure)
Birthplace: Christopher, Illinois
Best known as: Host of TV's Match Game
Gene Rayburn was a television game show host known for the various incarnations of Match Game between 1962 and 1982. Rayburn hosted many TV game shows from the 1950s through the 1980s, including Make the Connection, Dough Re Mi, and Break the Bank. But his signature show was surely The Match Game, in which celebrity panelists offered answers to sometimes naughty fill-in-the-blank questions in an effort to match contestants' answers. Rayburn, the jolly ringleader, traded bawdy laugh lines with panelists like Richard Dawson, Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly. Extended reruns of the show made Rayburn an enduring game show icon.
Extra credit: Rayburn was Steve Allen's announcer on the original version of The Tonight Show.

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