OpieRadio Logo
Compound Media Logo
Jim Norton Logo

Merv Griffin dies

Discussion in 'Movies & TV' started by mascan42, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. mascan42

    mascan42 Registered User

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2002
    Messages:
    18,443
    Likes Received:
    5,363
    Who else thought he was already dead?



    LOS ANGELES -- Merv Griffin, the entertainer turned impresario who parlayed his "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune" game shows into a multimillion-dollar empire, has died. He was 82.

    Griffin died of prostate cancer, according to a statement from his the family that was released by Marcia Newberger, spokeswoman for The Griffin Group/Merv Griffin Entertainment.

    From his beginning as a $100-a-week San Francisco radio singer, Griffin moved on as vocalist for Freddy Martin's band, sometime film actor in films and TV game and talk show host. His "The Merv Griffin Show" lasted more than 20 years, and Griffin's said his capacity to listen contributed to his success.

    "If the host is sitting there thinking about his next joke, he isn't listening," Griffin reasoned in a recent interview.

    But his biggest break financially came from inventing and producing "Jeopardy" in the 1960s and "Wheel of Fortune" in the 1970s. After they became the hottest game shows in television, Griffin sold the rights to them to the Columbia Pictures Television Unit for $250 million, retaining a share of the profits. He started spreading the sale money around in treasury bonds, stocks and other investments.

    He made Forbes' list of richest Americans several times and started putting money in treasury bonds, stocks and other investments. But he went into real estate and other ventures because "I was never so bored in my life."

    "I said, `I'm not going to sit around and clip coupons for the rest of my life,' " he recalled in 1989. "That's when Barron Hilton said, `Merv, do you want to buy the Beverly Hilton?' I couldn't believe it."

    Griffin bought the slightly passe hotel for $100.2 million and completely refurbished it for $25 million. Then he made a move for control of Resorts International, which operated hotels and casinos from Atlantic City to the Caribbean.

    That touched off a feud with real estate tycoon Donald Trump. Griffin eventually acquired Resorts for $240 million, netting a reported paper profit of $100 million.

    "I love the gamesmanship," he told Life magazine in 1988. "This may sound strange, but it parallels the game shows I've been involved in."

    It was in 1948 that Martin hired Griffin to join his band at Los Angeles' Coconut Grove at $150 a week. With Griffin doing the singing, the band had a smash hit with "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Cocoanuts," a 1949 novelty song sung in a cockney accent.

    The band was playing in Las Vegas when Doris Day and her producer husband, Marty Melcher, were in the audience. They recommended him to Warner Bros., which offered a contract. After a bit in "By the Light of the Silvery Moon," starring Day and Gordon MacRae, he had a bigger role with Kathryn Grayson in "So This Is Love." A few more trivial roles followed, then he asked out of his contract.

    In 1954, Griffin went to New York where he appeared in a summer replacement musical show on CBS-TV, a revival of "Finian's Rainbow," and a music show on CBS radio. He followed with a few game show hosting jobs on TV, notably "Play Your Hunch," which premiered in 1958 and ran through the early 1960s. His glibness led to stints as substitute for Jack Paar on "Tonight."

    When Paar retired in 1962, Griffin was considered a prime candidate to replace him. Johnny Carson was chosen instead. NBC gave Griffin a daytime version of "Tonight," but he was canceled for being "too sophisticated" for the housewife audience.

    In 1965, the Westinghouse Broadcasting introduced "The Merv Griffin Show" in syndicated TV. At last Griffin had found the forum for his talents. He never underestimated the intelligence of his audience, offering such figures as philosopher Bertrand Russell, Pablo Casals and Will and Ariel Durant as well as movie stars and entertainers.

    With Carson ruling the late-night roost on NBC in the late 1960s, the two other networks challenged him with competing shows, Griffin on CBS, Joey Bishop (later Dick Cavett) on ABC. Nothing stopped Carson, and Griffin returned to Westinghouse.

    Meanwhile, Griffin sought new enterprises for his production company. A lifelong crossword puzzle fan, he devised a game show "Word for Word," in 1963. It faded after one season, then his wife, Julann, suggested another show.

    "Julann's idea was a twist on the usual question-answer format of the quiz shows of the Fifties," he wrote in his autobiography "Merv." "Her idea was to give the contestants the answer, and they had to come up with the appropriate question."

    "Jeopardy," begun in 1964, became a huge moneymaker for Griffin, as did a more conventional game show, "Wheel of Fortune," starting in 1975.

    Mervyn Edward Griffin Jr. was born in San Mateo, south of San Francisco on July 6, 1925, the son of a stockbroker. His aunt, Claudia Robinson, taught him to play piano at age 4, and soon the boy was staging shows on the back porch of the family home.

    "Every Saturday I had a show, recruiting all the kids in the block as either stagehands, actors and audience, or sometimes all three," he wrote in his 1980 autobiography. "I was the producer, always the producer."

    After studying at San Mateo Junior College and the University of San Francisco, Griffin quit school to apply for a job as pianist at radio station KFRC in San Francisco. The station needed a vocalist instead. He auditioned and was hired.

    Griffin was billed as "the young romantic voice of radio." He attracted the interest of RKO studio boss William Dozier, who was visiting San Francisco with his wife, Joan Fontaine.

    "As soon as I walked in their hotel room, I could see their faces fall," the singer recalled. He weighed 235 pounds. Shortly afterward, singer Joan Edwards told him: "Your voice is terrific, but the blubber has got to go." Griffin slimmed down, and he would spend the rest of his life adding and taking off weight.

    Griffin and Julann Elizabeth Wright were married in 1958, and a son, Anthony, was born the following year. The couple divorced in 1973 because of "irreconcilable differences."

    "It was a pivotal time in my career, one of uncertainty and constant doubt," he wrote in the autobiography. "So much attention was being focused on me that my marriage felt the strain." He never remarried.
     
  2. Mother Shucker

    Mother Shucker I'm over here now.

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,450
    Likes Received:
    812
    Die fagot! Oh, he did already.
     
  3. LAX

    LAX [you]

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Messages:
    4,122
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is...Prostate cancer!
     
  4. YaHearIHearMe

    YaHearIHearMe Yeah....Wait What?

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good luck bro....Oh wait never mind.
     
  5. FullBallz

    FullBallz in your mouth

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    793
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK the category is Dead Motherfuckers

    M_ RV
    GR_FF_N

    I'd like to buy a vowel.
     
  6. sledge30

    sledge30 Registered User

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    0
    He deserved it. After all he was The Elevator Killer.
     
  7. Sinn Fein

    Sinn Fein Infidel and White Interloper
    Wackbag Staff

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Messages:
    31,306
    Likes Received:
    2,065
    RIP Merv.

    You gotta respect the guy. He was a self-made billionaire. And, there really isn't any dirt on the guy nor is there anyone out there talking shit about him. He came from the old-school. I always liked him.
     
  8. THE FEZ MAN

    THE FEZ MAN as a matter of fact i dont have 5$

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    40,900
    Likes Received:
    8,728
    wow, an American icon, were are we going to get our worthless, mindless, jabber from now?
     
  9. THE FEZ MAN

    THE FEZ MAN as a matter of fact i dont have 5$

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    40,900
    Likes Received:
    8,728
    oh, yea O&A are still alive
     
  10. Fruit Monkey

    Fruit Monkey Don't stare at it eat it! P-1 In trainning

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    5,416
    Likes Received:
    0
    Griffin died of prostate cancer, according to a statement from his the family that was released by Marcia Newberger, spokeswoman for The Griffin Group/Merv Griffin Entertainment.

    How fuckin stupid. Ok guys dont be all tuff and im not getting a finger up my ass wooo . yea well you can live unlike MERV RIP U IDIOT
     
  11. wes mantooth

    wes mantooth wierdo

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Messages:
    8,646
    Likes Received:
    550
    Denny Terrio's crying into his broth right now.
     
  12. Hudson

    Hudson Supreme Champion!!!!!
    Donator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Messages:
    32,839
    Likes Received:
    4,557
    Wow Never thought I'd see a Man with Two Brains refrence
     
  13. LAX

    LAX [you]

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Messages:
    4,122
    Likes Received:
    0

    He had it for ten years....Went into remission and came back this summer...10 xtra years...not bad
     
  14. THE FEZ MAN

    THE FEZ MAN as a matter of fact i dont have 5$

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    40,900
    Likes Received:
    8,728
    wow i made a man with two brains reference the other day at work..... it went past every one quite fast.
     
  15. gleet

    gleet What's black and white and red all over?

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    22,543
    Likes Received:
    13,852
    I couldn't fuck a gorilla.
     
  16. FAngel

    FAngel I Drink YOUR Milkshake!

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Messages:
    3,161
    Likes Received:
    1
    :haha7::haha7::haha7::haha7::haha7::haha7:
    I think we have a line of the thread.
     
  17. BIV

    BIV I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Messages:
    77,708
    Likes Received:
    27,092
    [Trebek]Ooooo...sorry...sorry[/Trebek]
     
  18. CM Mark

    CM Mark The East is Ours!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Messages:
    27,472
    Likes Received:
    858
    Who is John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band thank you very much!


    Oh, and RIP sir
     
  19. Rob

    Rob Lingerrring Longerrr
    Wackbag Staff

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2002
    Messages:
    10,762
    Likes Received:
    3
    RIP Merv...
     
  20. Hudson

    Hudson Supreme Champion!!!!!
    Donator

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2002
    Messages:
    32,839
    Likes Received:
    4,557
    10% of America
    would Figure it out
     

Share This Page