TV host Mike Douglas dies at 81

  • 13comments

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."

Like TV.com on Facebook

  • 10:00 pm
    48 Hours
    NEW
    CBS