Sad news this morning for game show fans: Jim Lange, first host of The Dating Game, has died at 81, according to People. He died at his home in Mill Valley, California, after a heart attack.
Starting in 1965, Jim hosted The Dating Game and played matchmaker for more than a decade, pairing up celebrity guests like Michael Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Steve Martin with suitable dates. In the game, contestants ask three potential matches questions to determine their compatibility, all while they’re hidden from view of each other.
He also hosted other game shows like $100,000 Name That Tune, Bullseye, and The $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime, and guest starred as himself on many popular shows like Bewitched and Laverne & Shirley.
But although Jim was most known for being a game show host, his true love was radio. He worked as a disc jockey for over 45 years, and after he retired in 2005, he became the morning DJ for San Francisco’s KABL-FM.
“As much as he’s known for his television work, his real love was radio,” his wife, Nancy, said. “He loved doing local radio, especially before it was computerized.”
Jim is survived by Nancy, his sister, five children, two stepchildren and four grandchildren. We wish them all the best in this difficult time.