Chuck Barris,who hosted “The Gong Show” and created “The Dating Game” and “The Newlywed Game,” died Tuesday of natural causes in Palisades, N.Y., his publicist confirmed. He was 87.
His autobiography, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” was made into a film directed by George Clooney and starred Sam Rockwell as Barris. In the book, he claimed to have worked for the CIA as an assassin during the 1960s and ’70s, a claim which the CIA denied. The multi-talented game show creator was also a songwriter, writing songs such as “Palisades Park” as well as music for his game shows.
Born Charles Hirsch Barris in Philadelphia, he started out working as a page at NBC in New York, then worked backstage at “American Bandstand.” “Palisades Park” was recorded by Freddy Cannon and hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
He formed Chuck Barris Productions in 1965 and created “The Dating Game,” hosted by Jim Lange, which introduced swinging 1960s double entendres to the formerly staid game show genre and ran for 11 out of the next 15 years. In 1966 he launched “The Newlywed Game,” hosted by Bob Eubanks, which ran for 19 years; Game Show Network still airs a version of the show.