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James Edward Narz
February 26, 1927
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
|Died||October 7, 2020 (aged 93)|
|Occupation||Game show host|
|You Don't Say! (1963–69, 1975)|
Name That Tune (1974–1981)
Password Plus (1980–1982)
Body Language (1984–1986)
The Price Is Right (1985–1986, nighttime)
(m. 1952; died 2011)
|Relatives||Jack Narz (brother)|
James Edward Narz (February 26, 1927 – October 7, 2020), known professionally as Tom Kennedy, was an American television host best known for his work in game shows. Game shows Kennedy hosted included Split Second, Name That Tune, and You Don't Say!
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Kennedy was the son of John Lawrence Narz Sr., and the younger brother of host Jack Narz (1922–2008), whose son, David, related about his uncle's name change that the brothers wanted to avoid the perceived conflict of having two announcers with the same last name promoting competing products. "After a lunch meeting with his agent," he said, "... he emerged as Tom Kennedy."
While attending the University of Missouri, Kennedy worked at KFRU in Columbia, Missouri. While in Lexington, Kentucky, he worked at WKLX. After moving to Los Angeles, he worked for five years at KPOL and had a part-time job at KGIL.
Kennedy's biggest hit series were You Don't Say! which aired on NBC from 1963 to 1969, and on ABC in 1975; Split Second (1972–75); Name That Tune (1974–81); and Password Plus, which he hosted from 1980 to 1982 following the illness (and later death) of original host Allen Ludden. His other hosting credits include The Big Game (1958), Dr. I.Q. (1958–59), It's Your Bet (1971–72), Break the Bank (1976), 50 Grand Slam (1976), To Say the Least (1977–78), Whew! (1979–80), Password Plus (1980–1982, as a substitute until the death of Allen Ludden), Body Language (1984–86), a syndicated nighttime version of The Price Is Right (1985–86) and Wordplay (1986–87). He briefly hosted a talk show, The Real Tom Kennedy Show, in the early 1970s, and appeared as a guest panelist on To Tell the Truth, Hollywood Squares, Liar's Club and other game shows. As an actor, he made guest appearances on such shows as The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, Cannon and Hardcastle and McCormick.
Retirement and death
In July 2005, Kennedy and his brother Jack Narz, were co-recipients of the Game Show Congress' Bill Cullen Award for Lifetime Achievement. Cullen was a brother-in-law to Narz and Kennedy.
- Baber, David (2007). Television Game Show Hosts: Biographies of 32 Stars. McFarland & Co. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-7864-2926-4. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
- Vogt, Dustin. "Louisville native, TV host Tom Kennedy dies at 93". www.wave3.com.
- Leszczak, Bob (2015). From Small Screen to Vinyl: A Guide to Television Stars Who Made Records, 1950–2000. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 242–43. ISBN 978-1-4422-4274-6. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- Baber, David (14 June 2015). Television Game Show Hosts: Biographies of 32 Stars. McFarland. pp. 133–34. ISBN 978-1-4766-0480-0. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
- Berman, Marc. "Game Show Host Tom Kennedy Dies At 93". Forbes. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
- "'Name That Tune' Game Show Host Tom Kennedy Dead at 93". TMZ. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
- "Tom Kennedy, Genial Journeyman of TV Game Shows, Dies at 93". The New York Times. 13 October 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
- "News From ME – Mark Evanier's blog". www.newsfromme.com. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
| Host of You Don't Say!
Title next held byClark Race
|New show|| Host of Split Second
Title next held byMonty Hall
| Host of Name That Tune
Title next held byJim Lange
| Host of Password Plus
Title next held byBert Convy
as Host of Super Password
Title last held byBobby Van
as Host of Showoffs
| Host of Body Language
| Host of The Price Is Right
Title next held byDoug Davidson
as Host of The New Price Is Right