TV host Mike Douglas dies at 81

Mike Douglas, host of daytime talk show The Mike Douglas Show, died early Friday morning in Palm Beach Hospital. He was 81.

The cause of death was unknown, although Associated Press reports Douglas had been visiting the hospital recently after becoming dehydrated on a golf course several weeks ago. He was admitted to the hospital Thursday.

Douglas was born Michael Delaney Dowd in Chicago on August 11, 1925. He began his career as a staff singer at an Oklahoma City radio station, then became a regular on Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge, a radio and TV music show. Kyser gave Douglas his stage name.

In 1961, The Mike Douglas Show premiered, and it ran for 20 years.

Douglas biographer Tom Kelly said one reason for the host's longevity was his humility.

"One big key to his great success was he had his ego in check," Kelly said. "He always let the guest have the limelight. He was a fine performer. He could sing, he could do comedy, he did it all, but he always gave the guest the spotlight."

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Mike Douglas was so much a part of my life growing up. We watched his show every day for years and years. I feel so sad at his passing,like I've lost a member of the family.The world won't be the same without him!
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A CLASS ACT
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My memories of Mike Douglas come from the early 70's and that my mother would always put me down for a nap or quiet time when his show came on..

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My memories of Mike Douglas come from the early 70's and that my mother would always put me down for a nap or quiet time when his show came on..

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I have a special memory of The Mike Douglas Show. My mother ended up on an episode back in the early 1970's. The guest hostess that week was comedian Totie Fields. Mike and Totie had set up a hidden camera joke with Miss Fields playing a grocery check out lady at a supermarket. My mother was one of the unsuspecting customers at the store! I truly wish I could get a copy of the show so I could see my mother on the show. Anybody out there that help, I would love to here from you.
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One of the most unforgetable moments in his show's history is when John Lennon and Yoko Ono co-hosted for one week. I, too, am sadden to hear the news of Mike's passing as he is the inspiration for today's daytime talk show hosts such as Rosie O'Donnell and Ellen DeGenerous.
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Mike Douglas was a class act. I can remember sitting in front of the sofa as a child watching performers like Billy Joel, Kiss, Jay Leno, Bob Hope and many others. Know matter what part of the entertainment industry they were from they always showed respect for Mike. Mike will be missed.
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What a smile I get when I think of Mike Douglas. All those days I'd rush home from school so that I could watch him with my grandmother. We both adored him. A class act thru and thru. A kind and wonderful man, that's for sure.
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One of the best memories I had when I was a kid was to see my mother in front of the TV at 4:30pm, watching "THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW". Sometimes, I watched with her...Mike never disappointed either of us. His "theme" shows, with his week-long co-hosts, were great! There was nothing "phony" about Mike or his guests...they looked like they were having fun with demonstrations, or talking to each other- something that's lacking in most talk shows today. I guess Ellen DeGeneres is closest to what Mike did years ago...Rosie, of course, was the one who jump-started (and revived) the Douglas brand of talk/variety program a decade ago at a time when we needed it the most! {Are you listening, JOE QUEENAN???}



Mr. Douglas may be gone, but much of his video archives will outlive him...and his recordings with Kay Kyser's orchestra in the late '40s, with his later recorded material {including "The Men In My Little Girl's Life"}.



I miss him already.
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Oh wow.... :( how sad....I used to watch him all the time....
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I haven't seen him in a long time, but I was a faithful viewer of his talk show. It was great. He was a great singer and was very good at working with everybody who was a guest. He seemed like a really nice guy. I remember seeing him last on the Rosie O'Donnell Show. He was a really good talk show guest, too.
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awww...I grew up on this guy. His talk show was the afternoon fare for us along with 'Dark Shadows'.

Have fun at the party, Mike. We will miss you.
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awww...I grew up on this guy. His talk show was the afternoon fare for us along with 'Dark Shadows'.

Have fun at the party, Mike. We will miss you.
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