Jim lange host of dating game

SAN FRANCISCO -- 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.

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Serial killer Rodney Alcala's episodes were shown during his murder spree and after he had been convicted of rape in California.

Some contestants appeared even after they were fairly well known, including a young Michael Jackson, Dusty Springfield, Ron Howard, Maureen Mc Cormick, Barry Williams, Sally Field, Henry Morgan, Richard Dawson, Jay North, and Paul Lynde.

Even a pre-"Charlie's Angels" Farrah Fawcett appeared on the program, introduced as "an accomplished artist and sculptress" with a dream to open her own gallery.

The show's format: a young man or woman questions three members of the opposite sex, hidden from view, to determine which one would be the best date. " a teenage Michael Jackson asked one of his potential dates on a 1972 episode of the show. "We'd go out to dinner, and then I'd go over to your house." Lange was born on Aug. Paul, Minn., where at 15 he discovered a passion for local radio after winning an audition at a local station.

Certain kinds of questions were "off-limits", such as name, age, occupation, and income.

When the original format returned to the syndicated revival in 1997, these rules were readopted but there was more of a variety between bachelors and bachelorettes.This was especially true when the two shows entered syndication; in fact, in 1996 the revivals of both The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game were sold as a package called "The Dating-Newlywed Hour".The program was originally broadcast in black-and-white, but when a prime-time version began in October 1966, both it and the daytime version were broadcast in color; the daytime version thus became the first ABC daytime series to be broadcast in color on a regular basis.Typically, a bachelorette would question three bachelors, who were hidden from her view; at the end of the questioning period, she would choose one to go out with on a date paid for by the show.Occasionally, the roles would be reversed with a man questioning three ladies; other times, a celebrity would question three players for a date for themselves or for a co-worker or a relative of theirs.His big break on network TV came in 1962 when he was made an announcer and sidekick on "The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show." Later, after "The Dating Game" brought him national recognition, he also hosted the game shows "Hollywood Connection," ''0,000 Name That Tune" and "The New Newlywed Game." Lang also worked as a disc jockey for decades in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, and upon his retirement from broadcasting in 2005, he was the morning DJ for KABL-FM, which specializes in playing classics from the Big Band era to the 1970s.

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