Griffin, Merv (1925—)

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Griffin, Merv (1925—)

Talk show host Mervyn Griffin began his entertainment career as a singer and emcee with the Freddy Martin big band in the late 1940s. Griffin parlayed his quick wit and affable personality into movie acting opportunities as well as hosting television game and travel shows in the 1950s. He earned his place in the public consciousness, though, as the host of The Merv Griffin Show, which ran for 24 years from 1962 to 1986. This highly popular television show was, at various times, syndicated by Westinghouse Broadcasting Company and Metromedia as well as playing on the NBC and CBS networks. Known for his jovial, friendly style, Griffin was disparaged as a "softball" questioner by some, and accused of being more concerned with ingratiating himself with his guests than with being a "tough" interviewer. He also founded Merv Griffin Productions, making a fortune producing his talk shows, and packaging dozens of game shows that have continued to grip the nation such as Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. Griffin later made an even larger fortune as an owner of hotels and casinos across the country.

—Steven Kotok

Further Reading:

Druxman, Michael B. Merv. Leisure Books, New York, 1980.

Griffin, Merv with Peter Barsocchini. Merv: An Autobiography. Simon and Schuster, 1980.

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Griffin, Merv (1925—)

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