Garry Moore

Garry Moore


Garry Moore
TV: East side of the 1600 block of Vine Street
Garry Moore
Radio: East side of the 1700 block of Vine Street
TV Host
Born Thomas Garrison Morfit on Jan. 31, 1915 in Baltimore, Md.
Died Nov. 28, 1993 of emphysema in Hilton Head Island, SC

Garry Moore was the affable, crew-cut, bow-tied host of some of TV's earliest variety and game shows.

He came to be best known as the longtime host of "The Garry Moore Show," which started on radio and then ran on television through the 1950s and early '60s. A mark of the program's success was that the 1961-62 season produced two Emmys: one for Moore and another for Carol Burnett for an appearance on the program.

He concurrently became the original moderator of "I've Got a Secret," which ran in syndication until the 1970s. The program featured panelists trying to determine what contestants were attempting to hide. The panelists were stars in their own right: Faye Emerson, Orson Bean, Bill Cullen, Kitty Carlisle, Henry Morgan, Polly Bergen and others. In 2007, Time magazine included Moore on its list of the "15 Best Game Show Hosts."

Unlike the early TV performers who built their shows around their abilities to crack jokes or sing or dance, Moore said his success stemmed from his seeming familiarity.

"I was an Everyman," he said in a 1962 interview. People constantly stopped him thinking that he was a distant relative or a fellow worshiper or a friend of a favorite uncle.

Moore started his show business career in small-time comedy clubs in Baltimore, St. Louis and Chicago. His big break came when he and comic Jimmy Durante were called on to replace Bud Abbott and Lou Costello on the radio after Costello fell ill in 1943.

Moore, who to many viewers personified the ingenuousness that emerged from post-World War II America, was forced by throat cancer and emphysema to leave television in the 1970s. He died of emphysema in 1993.

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