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Original “Dating Game” Host Jim Lange Has Died

ABC via Getty Images

It was just announced late last night, but Jim Lange died early Tuesday morning in Mill Valley, California, from a heart attack at the age of 81.

You may not know his name the way you do Bob Barker or Chuck Woolery, but he was the original host of “The Dating Game”, from 1965 to 1974, and then again from 1978 to 1980.

You know…the show where a guy or girl would question three potential dates and then pick the best one, without being able to see each other.  Its success paved the way for a TON of other game shows.  And for an old-school show, it could get pretty racy.

It was also famous for having a lot of celebrity contestants BEFORE they became famous …like Farrah Fawcett, Tom Selleck, Steve Martin, Burt Reynolds, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Here’s another future celebrity that appeared on the show…Phil Hartman: (He shows up at the 11:45 mark)

…and Andy Kaufman!

The other thing about Lange is that he got his start in radio…he spent 45 years on the air, and his wife says it was his first love.

In his own words, he said, quote, “You don’t have to worry about lighting directors and cameramen or script writers and all that. Good radio is still the most fun. It always will be. Plus, you don’t have to wear makeup and you don’t have to shave.”

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