Garry Moore (January 31, 1915-November 28, 1993) was born in Baltimore, Maryland as Thomas Garrison Morfit. He was a friendly, smiling television host on several programs during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, particularly game shows.
Starting in 1937, he worked for Baltimore radio station WBAL as an announcer, writer and actor/comedian. He used his birth name until 1940 when, following a radio contest to find him a more easily pronounceable name, "Garry Moore" became the winning choice. In the years that followed, Moore appeared on numerous network radio shows, first as an announcer, then as support for various broadcast personalities, including Jimmy Durante, on whose radio show he worked as a straight man for six years. Impressed with his ability to interact with radio audiences, CBS offered him his own show. Starting in 1949 the one-hour daytime variety show The Garry Moore Show became one of radio's most popular programs.
During television's earliest years, between 1947 and 1950, he made tentative steps into the new medium as a panelist and guest host on quiz and musical shows and by June 26, 1950 was rewarded with his own 30-minute CBS early evening talk-variety program The Garry Moore Show, which was basically a shorter version of his radio show transferred to TV. Until September it was also similcast on radio. The program then moved to daytime TV where it ran until June 27, 1958. During the summers of 1950 and 1951 he also hosted prime-time variety hour summer replacements for The Arthur Godfrey Show. Concurrently he enjoyed a 12-year run as the host of CBS' very popular weekly primetime TV quiz show I've Got a Secret, which premiered on June 19, 1952. Within three months of the end of the daytime show, he and his longtime sidekick Durward Kirby moved the revived Garry Moore Show into prime time as a Tuesday night comedy/variety hour which ran from September 30, 1958 to June 14, 1964. The show gave many performers their break in show business, including Alan King, Carol Burnett and Dorothy Loudon. By the summer of 1964, after having been on radio and television for 27 uninterrupted years, Garry Moore passed the hosting duties on I've Got a Secret to Steve Allen and gave up his high-rated variety show.
As host of The "Garry Moore Show" (1950 to 1958, and 1958 to 1967), he was considered as having one of the better variety shows of the 1950s and 1960s. Regular supporting cast members included Durward Kirby, Denise Lor, and Ken Carson. The show featured a mixture of song and dance routines, and comedy skits. In the last few years, Garry Moore introduced the public to comedian Carol Burnett, who after the show ended, became a star in her own right, hosting "The Carol Burnett Show" for many years. He took over as host on "To Tell the Truth," (1969 to 1977), replacing its original host Bud Collyer, but became sick in 1976, and left the show shortly before Christmas 1976 to undergo surgery for throat cancer, turning the show over to temporary host Bill Cullen. In June 1977, he returned to host the opening show of the 1977 to 1978 season of "To Tell the Truth" only to announce his retirement and to turn over the remaining episodes to host Joe Garagiola. Retiring to Hilton Head, South Carolina, he died there of emphysema in 1993.
Host of To Tell The Truth