Game show host Allen Ludden dies

By VERNON SCOTT, UPI Hollywood Correspondent

HOLLYWOOD -- TV personality Allen Ludden, who baffled hundreds of celebrities as host of the long-running 'Password' game show, died Tuesday of complications from cancer and a stroke suffered last October. He was 63.

Ludden's wife, actress Betty White, was at her husband's bedside at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles when he died at 1:30 a.m. PDT, a family spokesman said.


A memorial service was scheduled Thursday in the Church of the Hills at Forest Lawn Memorial park in the Hollywood Hills with interment in Mineral Point, Wis., Ludden's birthplace.

The spokesman said Ludden had suffered from cancer for many months and was struck down by a 'stroke-like medical problem caused by steroid treatment for the cancer.'

Ludden had been hospitalized periodically since suffering a stroke last fall at his Monterey, Calif., vacation home.

He remained unconscious for several weeks following the stroke and was listed in critical condition at Monterey's Community Hospital. He later rallied, according to a family spokesman, and did not suffer any paralysis or speech impairment.

Ludden was transferred to Good Samaritan a month after the stroke and was released from the hospital last December, but suffered several relapses.


'Allen was in and out of the hospital for most of this year,' the spokesman said. 'He never really regained his health.'

As host and moderator of such game shows as 'GE College Bowl,' 'Password' and 'The Liar's Club,' Ludden was a popular figure on national television and a prominent member of Hollywood's social scene.

In addition to his TV career, Ludden wrote books for youngsters, including 'Plain Talk About College,' 'Plain Talk for Women Under 21' and 'Plain Talk for Men Under 21.'

Ludden won an Emmy in 1976 for 'Password' and produced two other game shows, 'Stumpers' and 'Allen Ludden's Gallery.'

Ludden was a former Austin, Texas, high school teacher and an instructor at the University of Texas, from which he earned a masters degree in English.

Ludden and Miss White were married in Las Vegas in 1963 after they had co-starring in 'Critic's Choice' in New England summer stock.

It was the second marriage for Ludden who was a widower with three children, David, Martha and Sarah, when he married the blonde comedian.

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