'Dating Show' host Jim Lange dead at 81

Lange was well-known for his charm and humor on the show.
By Annie Martin Follow @littlemannie   |  Feb. 27, 2014 at 11:38 AM
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MILL VALLEY, Calif., Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Original Dating Show host Jim Lange died Tuesday at age 81 after suffering a heart attack at his home in California.

Lange was well-known for his charm and humor on the show, which ran from 1965 to 1974 and had several revivals in following years. Lange served as host between 1965 and 1980.

Each Dating Show episode featured a bachelorette who would question three bachelors hidden from view. She eventually chose one of the three to go out with on a date paid for by the studio. The roles were occasionally reversed with a bachelor choosing from three women.

Many of today's big names appeared on the show as bachelors or bachelorettes before they came into their fame. Farrah Fawcett, Steve Martin, Burt Reynolds, and Arnold Schwarzenegger all appeared as contestants. Other participants more well-known at the time include Ron Howard, Sally Field, and a young Michael Jackson. In a dark twist, the yet unknown serial killer Rodney Alcala also appeared on the show during his killing spree in 1978.

Lange started his career in radio broadcasting and also hosted other game shows including $100,000 Name That Tune, and The $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime. He returned to full-time radio in the early 1990s, and retired in 2005. He and his wife Nancy Fleming, a former Miss America, had been married since 1978 and lived together in California.

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