Gene Rayburn, who’s well known for his works in the media, served as the host of multiple shows during his lifetime. Having achieved a successful career by hosting several game shows, he was rated as the No. 4 on Life’s 25 Best Game Show Hosts and equally No. 2 on Game Show Networks Top 10 Game Show Hosts of All Time. He also dabbled into acting, featuring in films and series like The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and Kills, Fran and Ollie. Before his demise in 1999, Rayburn made his last TV appearance in an interview aired on A&E Network’s documentary TV series, Biography. Even though he has passed on, he is still remembered by fans who relish the memories of his works. Before exploring on what did Gene Rayburn die of? – let’s take a look at his career and achievements.
Career and Achievements
Prior to his demise, Gene Rayburn was known as a graduate of Lindblom Technical High School. He then landed a broadcasting job at WNEW radio station situated in New York and there, he co-hosted a morning show titled, Anything Goes. Later on, Rayburn co-hosted another show, Rayburn & Finch while at the radio station which hugely contributed to making him a public figure.
Having relocated to New York City in 1936 in order to kick off a broadcasting career and also work as a radio disc jockey, he went on to work for another radio station, WGNY where he earned $25 per week. Afterwards, he began his TV career by co-hosting Tonight, along with Dave Garroway in 1952. He then got recruited at Mark Goodson – Bill Todman where he had a very long stint that spanned over three decades. During that time, Rayburn hosted numerous shows including Make the Connection, that aired on NBC on Thursday nights from July to September 1955.
He then began anchoring the children’s TV game show, Choose Up Sides aired on NBC, Saturday mornings from January 7 to March 31, 1956, as well as Dough Re Mi that ran on NBC from February 29, 1958, to December 30, 1960. He successfully established himself in the entertainment industry two years later as he anchored Match Game on NBC which was later canceled in the year 1969. Eventually, in 1973, He began hosting the revamped version of the popular show for the CBS Network.
The show, however, gained worldwide recognition and was ranked as the highest-rated daytime show during that time, which of course attained Rayburn a celebrity status. The Match Game was later revamped to be part of the combined two-game shows titled, The Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour for which Rayburn continued working as the anchor of the show and then as a member of the panel during the Hollywood Squares Hour. In 1990, he was replaced by Ross Shafer who started hosting the daytime show.
In addition to being known for anchoring the famous daytime show, Rayburn was also popular for hosting several other shows including The Sky’s The Limit, Break the Bank, The Amateur’s Guide to Love, Party Line, Monitor; a weekend radio program, among others. He also gained a reputation for being among the panels in various shows such as, To Tell the Truth, and What’s My Line?, and equally for contesting in the show, Cast Sharks. He was a three-time Emmy Awards nominee and also a Primetime Emmy Awards nominee.
How Old Was Gene Rayburn When He Died?
Prior to discussing what Gene Rayburn died of, you ought to know that the former Primetime Emmy nominee passed away in November 1999 when he was 81 years old. He succumbed at his daughter’s home in Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States. Rayburn’s daughter, Lynne, is his only child, birthed by his late wife, Helen Ticknor who passed away in 1996. Following Rayburn’s demise, his body was cremated and his ashes were dispersed over Lynne’s garden.
What Did Gene Rayburn Die Of?
The question – what did Gene Rayburn die of? has often been asked by many. It’s quite saddening that the widely recognized radio figure passed away on November 1999. He suffered from cardiac failure as his heart was unable to pump sufficiently to maintain the blood flow that his body needs. A month before his death, he was reported to have been in poor health condition. Despite the deteriorating condition of his health, he managed to be present to receive the Academy of Television Arts & Science Award for Lifetime Achievements following his long-term TV career.