Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Jack Bailey

Jack Bailey (September 15, 1907 – February 1, 1980) was an American actor and daytime game show host. He was born in Hampton, Iowa, and died in Santa Monica, California.

A former vaudeville musician and World's Fair barker, Bailey is best remembered as the host of Queen for a Day, a daytime game show which first aired on radio in 1945 and later moved to television, where it ran locally in the Los Angeles area from 1948 through 1955, on the NBC network from January 3, 1956 to September 2, 1960, and on the ABC network from September 5, 1960 to October 2, 1964. Each episode started with a different introduction (some of which were parodies of other popular shows of the time period), but inevitably the opening would resolve when Bailey pointed to the camera (and the audience) and loudly asked, "Would you like to be Queen for a Day?" as the live audience of mostly women, cheered.

Bailey also hosted the television game shows Place the Face (1953-February 1954) and Truth or Consequences from 1954 to 1956. His run as host on that show followed Ralph Edwards as host (1940-1957 on the radio and 1950-1954 on television). In time Bailey was succeeded by Bob Barker (1956-1975) Bob Hilton (1975-1978), and Larry Anderson (1987-1988). The television version of the show ran on CBS, NBC, and also in syndication.

His other work in television included appearances in episodes of The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford, Mister Ed, Green Acres, I Dream of Jeannie, Gunsmoke, and Ironside, plus narration for the Walt Disney organization. He had a small part in the Frank Capra film It's a Wonderful Life and he also toured the country in musical stage productions, such as Hello Dolly, The Sound of Music, and The Music Man.

Bailey joined Alcoholics Anonymous around 1948 and was a public supporting member of the organization for more than 30 years.

He was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—one for his radio career, at 1708 Vine Street, and one for his work in television, at 6411 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

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