A veteran game show host who became a television fixture with his long run on "The Dating Game" has died. The Associated Press reports that Jim Lange, who had a 45-year career in radio and television, died Tuesday at his Mill Valley, Calif., home after suffering a heart attack. He was 81.
“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,” the story notes.
Some of the contestants were celebrities, including Michael Jackson and Steve Martin, the piece notes. Before becoming a star on “Charlie’s Angels,” Farrah Fawcett appeared and was introduced as an “accomplished artist” who dreamed of opening her own gallery, the story notes.
The format hid members of the opposite sex from the contestant, who was allowed to question the would-be dates.
“The questions were designed by the show’s writers to elicit sexy answers,” the story notes.
“I’ve never been out on a date before. What do two kids like us do on a date?" Michael Jackson, then a teen, asked in a 1972 episode.
After working on “The Dating Game,” Lange hosted shows including “Hollywood Connection” and “$100,000 Name that Tune.” He also made guest appearances playing himself on a number of TV series, including "Bewitched" and "Laverne & Shirley."
Here’s a classic episode of "The Dating Game" hosted by Jim Lange, with an appearance by comedian Andy Kaufman: