The broadcaster, who hosted more than 15 television shows, died on Wednesday at his home in California

By Benjamin VanHoose
October 12, 2020 09:47 AM
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Tom Kennedy, longtime television game show host, has died at age 93.

The TV personality — who hosted popular shows like You Don't Say!, Password Plus, Dr. I.Q. and Name That Tune, among others — died on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at his home in Oxnard, California, friend Steve Beverly confirmed on Facebook.

"Tom had not been well in recent months but remained in communication with his family and close friends," wrote Beverly on Sunday.

The TV star was born Jim Narz in Louisville, Kentucky, and was inspired by his brother Jack Narz — a small-screen host — to move to Hollywood in 1947 to pursue a broadcasting career. Years later, when both siblings were headlining game shows, he decided to change his stage name to avoid confusion, adopting the moniker Tom Kennedy in 1957.

Kennedy married his college sweetheart Betty Gevedon, who died in 2011 after 59 years of marriage. The pair shared four children: Linda, James Jr., Julia (who died in 2015), and Courtney. Kennedy is also survived by daughter-in-law Linda, granddaughter Abigail, and his sister.

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Tom Kennedy and Alex Trebek in 2005
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Kennedy, along with his brother, was honored with the Game Show Congress’ Bill Cullen award for lifetime achievement back in 2005. He hosted more than 15 television shows and worked as an actor in TV guest roles and stage productions.

Mourning the loss, Beverly wrote on Facebook that he had been in touch with Kennedy days before his death.

"In fact, only nine days ago after I sent him a photoshopped picture with himself with Curly Howard of The Three Stooges on the Body Language set, Tom emailed back to tell me he once played in a golfing group called the Hollywood Hackers. One of his regular playing partners was Larry Fine," he wrote.

"Later, after I have time to clearly process this, I will offer my own remembrances of a relationship that evolved from his being my childhood icon to a genuine friendship I will always cherish," added Beverly.