Jim Lange, who played matchmaker to many as the original host of "The Dating Game," has died.
Based on their responses, a suitor would be picked and then the twosome would go on a date paid for by the show.
Occasionally, there were celebrity guests on the show as well, including Michael Jackson, Steve Martin, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and "Brady Bunch's" Maureen Mc Cormick and Barry Williams.
Several stars, including Farrah Fawcett, Suzanne Somers, and John Ritter, appeared as contestants before becoming famous.
The late Ritter was especially funny — a drama student at the time, he mugged for the camera in a very Jack Tripper way.
Fawcett was "a former beauty title holder" and aspiring artist, who "hoped to own her own gallery."Lange, who had a smooth voice, was known for being professional and moving the show along, but he also showed his humorous side, lobbing jokes — especially ones about love and dating — throughout each episode.
He remained as host until 1980 —at that point the show was known as "The New Dating Game."After he left the show, it was hosted by Elaine Joyce and Jeff Mac Gregor in the 1980s and Brad Sherwood and Chuck Woolery in the 1990s before going off the air in 1999.
Lange, who was a Minnesota native, went on to host other game shows including "0,000 Name That Tune," "Bullseye," and "The ,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime."He also made appearances as himself on shows including "Bewitched," where he played the host of the fictional TV show "Sweetheart Parade," and "Laverne & Shirley" in an episode during which the girls auditioned for the show... For four decades, Lange also worked as a disc jockey in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.
He is survived by his second wife, a former Miss America whom he married in 1978, a sister, five children, two stepchildren, and four grandchildren.
Lange, the first host of the popular game show "The Dating Game," has died at his home in Mill Valley, Calif. He died Tuesday morning after suffering a heart attack, his wife Nancy told The Associated Press Wednesday, Feb. (AP Photo/File)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jim Lange, the first host of the popular game show "The Dating Game," has died at his home in Mill Valley, Calif. He died Tuesday morning after suffering a heart attack, his wife Nancy told The Associated Press Wednesday.
file photo shows host Jim Lange, left, congratulating Connie and Steve Rutenbar of Mission Viejo, Calif., after they won million on the TV show " The ,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime".
Though Lange had a successful career in radio, he is best known for his television role on ABC's "The Dating Game," which debuted in 1965 and on which he appeared for more than a decade, charming audiences with his mellifluous voice and wide, easygoing grin. Michael Jackson, Steve Martin and Arnold Schwarzenegger, among others, appeared as contestants.