Monday, August 13, 2007

R.I.P. Merv Griffin

Merv Griffin, best known for his game show empire, passed away at age 82 this Sunday. The entertainer died from prostate cancer, which he had been suffering through the past few years.

Griffin, the creator and producer of ”Jeopardy” and ”Wheel of Fortune” was known throughout Hollywood as an intelligent businessman with a huge heart. The entertainer made his start in the business after leaving the University of San Francisco and taking a vocalist job at a local radio station in San Fran. He then moved onto a contract with Warner Brothers in the early 50’s and had his own talk show after NBC chose Johnny Carson over Griffin to host “The Tonight Show”. Griffin sold majority of the rights to ”Jeopardy” and ”Wheel of Fortune” and took the earnings to invest in real estate, most memorably purchasing The Beverly Hills Hilton, home of Trader Vics and The Golden Globes, from the Hilton family.

He left behind a son, Anthony Griffin and long and respected legacy in Hollywood, a very commendable thing in this business. Merv Griffin will be remembered by friends and colleagues on ”Larry King Live” tonight on
CNN at 9pm.