Chuck Barris (born Charles Hirsch Barris on June 3, 1929) is an American game show producer and presenter who was responsible for many of the best-known game shows of the 1960s and 1970s. He is also an author. Barris is a survivor of lung cancer. Barris first became successful during 1965 with his first game-show creation, The Dating Game on ABC, hosted by Jim Lange, in which three bachelors or bachelorettes competed for the favor of a contestant of the opposite sex, who was blocked from their view. The contestants' racy banter and its "flower power" set was a revolution for the game-show genre. The show would air for 15 years.
The next year, for the same network, Barris produced The Newlywed Game, originally created by Nick Nicholson and Roger Muir. The combination of the newlywed couples' humorous candor and host Bob Eubanks' exuberant, sly questioning made the show another hit for Barris — and to date, the longest-lasting of any developed by his company. It ran for 19 total years on first-run TV, both on network and syndicated television. Barris became a public figure in a big way in 1976, when he produced — and served as the host of — the talent contest spoof The Gong Show, which he packaged in partnership with TV producer Chris Bearde. The show's cult stature far outstripped the two years it spent on NBC (1976-78) and the four years it ran in syndication (1976-1980). In his "unauthorized autobiography" Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, originally published in 1984, Barris claimed to have worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as an assassin in the 1960s and the 1970s. In interviews, when asked about whether he was really a CIA operative, he tends neither to confirm nor deny it. In 2002, a film adaptation of the book was made. Directed by George Clooney and starring Sam Rockwell, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind depicted Barris as being responsible for 33 killings. In 2004, Barris wrote a sequel to the book called Bad Grass Never Dies.