Thursday, October 16, 2008

Two Giants Leave Us...

Edie Adams.

Jack Narz.

Did these two titans ever occupy the same space on our mortal coil? Well, they now have something in common: an October 15, 2008 death date.

Alphabetically, Edie Adams is first. She was an actress, model, singer, comedienne, and trustee of the Ernie Kovacs video library. Edie wasn't Ernie's first wife, but she was his most beloved partner. Edythe often showed up on Ernie's television productions, including his early 1960's ABC specials which capped his career (and were for the most part preserved on black-and-white videotape). She continued her career after the horrible car accident in January 1962 that took Ernie's life. (Ernie spun out his Corvair station wagon, which didn't exactly prolong the life of the car that eventually became a Ralph Nader target.)

Jack Narz, from Louisville, Kentucky, was an influential early television announcer on shows like "Space Patrol" and "Life with Elizabeth", then branched out into game and quiz show hosting. His "Dotto" daytime show was the show that blew open the quiz show scandals, when a standby contestant was spotted studying a list of answers. There were a lot of people whose careers were either ruined or curtailed by the scandal, but Jack Narz was one of the few who continued his successes uninterruped, with shows like "Seven Keys" and "Video Village".

In 1969, Narz began a series of assignments for Goodson-Todman, including the newly-syndicated "Beat The Clock", then a syndicated version of "Concentration" (Gene Wood took over "BTC" for its final seasons), and a CBS network show, "Now You See It". Additionally, Narz still worked as an announcer, working such shows as "Card Sharks" and another CBS network version of "Beat The Clock" hosted by Monty Hall. He often appeared on other G-T shows' panels like "Tattletales" (with wife Doe, who was one of the first women to serve as a flight attendant), and "Match Game". Jack also did a lot of appearances with brother Tom Kennedy on shows both men hosted. Tom would pop in on Jack on "Beat The Clock" one week, then Jack would visit Tom on "It's Your Bet" the next.

Jack had been in extremely ill health, suffering two massive strokes in the last three weeks of his life, and suffering renal failure. But Jack fought to the end, and even with his glory days behind him, enjoyed telling stories of his successes and meeting fans enthralled by the GSN reruns of his 70's shows.

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