Peter Marshall (game show host)

Peter Marshall (game show host)

Peter Marshall (born March 30 1930, Huntington, West Virginia) is an American actor, singer and television and radio personality.

Although he has almost fifty television, movie, and Broadway credits, he is best known as the original host and "The Master" of "The Hollywood Squares" from 1966 to 1981. His stage name, Marshall, came from the name of the college in his home town (Marshall College became Marshall University in 1961).


Peter Marshall was born as Ralph Pierre LaCock to a show business family. Following his father's death, he moved to New York City at the age of 12 to be with his mother, an aspiring costume designer and later the president of the Motion Picture Mothers. His elder sister, Joanne Dru, was a successful actress who made a number of westerns in the 1950s.

Early career

Marshall started his career around age 15 as a singer. Fact|date=June 2008 (This is most likely the reason he selected the name "" for his official website.) In the 1950s, Marshall earned his living as part of a comedy act with Tommy Noonan, and they appeared in night clubs and on television variety shows.

Hollywood Squares

Although Marshall occasionally worked in film and television, he could not find regular work in the industry until his friend Morey Amsterdam recommended him to Bert Parks to host the game show "Hollywood Squares" in 1966.

The show had a long run on daytime TV and in syndication, making Marshall as familiar to viewers as the celebrities who appeared on the show. The easy-going and unflappable Marshall was a perfect foil for the wicked wit of such panelists as Amsterdam and his "Dick Van Dyke Show" castmate Rose Marie, Paul Lynde, Jan Murray, and Wally Cox. "The Hollywood Squares" was cancelled by NBC in 1980, but daily production continued for syndication into 1981.

Marshall grew tired of hosting the show after several years and wanted to leave. Toward that end, he would make outrageous salary demands whenever his contract was up for renewal, hoping that he would be fired for doing so, but much to his surprise, his demands were always met.

After "Hollywood Squares"

After the demise of "Hollywood Squares," Marshall continued to work on the game shows "Fantasy," with cohost Leslie Uggams, "All Star Blitz," "Yahtzee," and "The Reel to Reel Picture Show." He stayed in television and movies playing character parts. One of his memorable post-Squares roles was a cameo in the 1982 film version of the musical "Annie," playing fictional radio personality "Bert Healy". In 1989, Peter hosted the unaired pilot for "3rd Degree;" a Burt & Bert Production in association with Kline & Friends, and was originally slated to host the series, but co-producer Bert Convy hosted instead.

His last film credit was the 1993 film "Sista Dansen" ("The Last Dance"), but he continued to work in television after that. He wrote a book about his experience, "Backstage With The Original Hollywood Square".


Marshall's Broadway credits include "Skyscraper," "La Cage aux Folles" and "The Music Man". He also appeared in the film version of the hit show, Annie.

Hollywood Squares redux

In the quarter century since Marshall hosted the original "Hollywood Squares," the program has refused to leave the public consciousness. Two attempts to revive it in the 1980s (the first, the short-lived Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour, hosted respectively by Gene Rayburn, and Jon "Bowzer" Bauman from Sha-Na-Na; the second, a better-received edition emceed by John Davidson), met with mixed results; however, a parody version in "In Living Color" was hosted by Marshall. Despite the various different versions between 1980 and 2004, "Hollywood Squares" remains most strongly identified with Marshall.

Recent activities

As of 2000, Marshall had returned to the travelling circuit, this time as a singer with big bands. His official website, "" [ [ (Official website)] ] , actively promotes his CDs.

In 2002, Marshall returned to the new version of Hollywood Squares as a panelist during aGame Show Week hosted by Tom Bergeron. Marshall occupied the prestigious center square. For one day that week, Marshall took his old position at the podium to host while Bergeron played the game.

In addition to having played a radio host in "Annie", Marshall has been radio personality in real life, hosting a show on the Music of Your Life adult standards national radio network. On March 28 2008, Marshall made an appearance on the show "GSN Live".

Personal life

He is currently married to his third wife, Laurie Stewart, and has four children and two stepchildren from his previous marriages.

His son, Pete LaCock, is a former Major League Baseball player. The retired first baseman spent nine years playing for the Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs before finishing up his career in Japan.


In 2006, Marshall, who had already won an Emmy as Outstanding Game Show Host, also received the annual Bill Cullen Award for Lifetime Achievement, from the non-profit organization, Game Show Congress.


External links

*imdb name|id=0551102|name=Peter Marshall
* [ Peter Marshall official web site]
* [ Peter Marshall's page] on the Music of Your Life website

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