Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Ides of Hal March

What better way to welcome the month of March than by celebrating the life and career of actor, comedian, and TV game show host Hal March (1920-1970)? Best-
remembered as host of the popular 1950s game show The $64,000 Question, March also played Harry Morton in early TV episodes of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, and starred on Broadway in Come Blow Your Horn. Fans of I Love Lucy know him for his guest appearances as Eddie Grant, a lecherous salesman who tries to put the moves on Lucy Ricardo in "Lucy is Matchmaker", and as the phony doctor who diagnoses her with "the gobloots" in "Lucy Fakes Illness."

By 1957, March was reported to be receiving bales of fan mail and earning a sizable paycheck as host of Question, which CBS expected to run for at least five more years. Unfortunately, the game show scandals of the late 1950s soon brought the show to its knees, and did March's career some serious harm, although he personally was not implicated in wrongdoing. He continued to work as an actor throughout the 1960s, and was making a comeback with another game show, It's Your Bet, when he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. He died on January 19, 1970 at the age of 49, leaving behind a wife and five children.

You can read more about this engaging favorite from TV's youth at The Game Show Fix.

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