Bill Cullen

Follow
Bill Cullen

Born

2/18/1920, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Died

7/7/1990

Birth Name

William Lawrence Cullen

Gender

Male
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
16 votes

Biography

EDIT
Bill Cullen would go down in history for hosting more game shows than anyone else. A bout with polio when he was a child left the Pittsburgh native with a limp. Some profiles claim the limp was due to an automobile accident when he was a junior at…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • After Eye Guess went off the air in 1969, Bill entered the longest period of his career in which he did not host a show. It would be a year and a half before he took another hosting job. However, during the lull Bill appeared as a regular panelist on To Tell the Truth and You're Putting Me On while hosting a one- to five-minute weekday feature on NBC Radio called "Emphasis."

    • During his early days in New York Bill worked as a stage announcer for Tommy Dorsey's orchestra, which featured young singer Frank Sinatra.

    • During his college years Bill worked in his father's garage as a mechanic and tow-truck driver.

    • For the most part Bill Cullen's limp was hidden from viewers of the various gameshows on which he hosted or paneled and not refered to on camera. However on one rare instance, Bill himself made a reference to it. On an episode of I've Got a Secret, the panel was faced with a contestant (actor Billy Sands from The Phil Silvers Show in make-up) whose secret was "My interpereter and I are speaking in double-talk." After only one question Bill was immediatly suspicious and said, "I think somebody's pulling my good leg!"

    • In 1983 Cullen was a contestant during "Game Show Hosts Week" on Family Feud. Other contestants included Bob Eubanks, Jim Perry, Nipsey Russell, Betty White, Tom Kennedy, Jim Lange, Peter Marshall, Bert Parks and Leslie Uggams.

    • Bill made one forgettable record album titled, "Bill Cullen's Minstrel Spectacular." Bill introduced minstrel songs performed by studio musicians in this history of the uniquely American form of entertainment.

    • Cullen was nominated three times for Emmy Awards: as host of Blockbusters, Three on a Match, and Hot Potato. He won the award in 1973 for Three on a Match.

    • In 1977 Bill hosted four episodes of a game show titled How Do You Like Your Eggs? The series was a test of a new interactive cable TV system in which contestants and subscribers at home answered survey questions by pushing buttons on a box the network provided. The producers gave Bill a home version of the video game "Pong" to thank him for his help. According to the producers, Bill was fascinated with the game.

    • Bill worked as an announcer for CBS radio from the time he moved to New York until the early 1950s. He introduced dramas, game shows and variety shows, as well as doing live commercials for many programs.

    • From 1955 to 1961 Bill hosted a morning radio show on WRCA (later WNBC), NBC's flagship station in New York City. The show's title changed over the years from "The Bill Cullen Show," to "New York Pulse with Bill Cullen," to simply, "Pulse."

    • Throughout his career Bill Cullen hosted 24 different game shows, more than anyone else in history.

    • In 1950 Bill owned several planes and opened a flying business called Appointment Airlines. The business venture was a failure and closed down after two years.

    • Bill earned an airplane pilot's license while he was still in his teens. During World War II, though rejected by the Army, he served in the Civil Air Defense as an instructor and pilot.

    • For a time in the late 1950s Bill hosted a radio show and both the daytime and nighttime TV versions of The Price is Right while appearing as a weekly guest on I've Got a Secret, for a total of 25 1/2 hours of programming a week, nearly all of it live.

    • Bill was married three times, but the first two unions were brief. His marriage to Ann Macomber lasted from 1955 until Bill's death.

    • Bill studied medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

    • During his senior year in high school Bill developed an interest in midget auto racing. He dropped out of school briefly to race professionally.

    • Bill developed polio at 18 months of age and wore a brace on one leg until he was 10.

  • Quotes

    • Bill Cullen: (on appearing with fellow panel member Henry Morgan on I've Got a Secret) I've got to be careful that Henry Morgan and I don't get kidding and forget about the game. We've had the riot act read to us, let's face it. We've gotten the riot act for horsing up the show too much.

    • Bill Cullen: (on leaving his radio show in Pittsburgh to move to New York City) I looked at other no-longer-young guys in a deep rut on stations like mine, and said no, I'm not gonna be like this, even if I starve.

    • Bill Cullen: (on his 1955-1961 radio show) When I look back on my career, to use the term loosely, it's one of my favorite times, because it was a stream of consciousness thing. I'd get up early, my wife would have my coffee for me, I'd have my same cab driver who picked me up every morning and brought me into the studio there at 30 Rock, and I would just…if I didn't feel up to it I would pretty much just give the time and announce what we were going to play, and sooner or later something would occur and we'd start chatting.

    • Bill Cullen: (on his limp) Like thousands of other youngsters, I was stricken with polio as a child. Even with the wonderful care I received from my parents and doctors, I still carry the scars of this experience. Somehow, it never got me down. That's why I would rather not have people who see me limp along show any pity, distress or compassion - since I don't feel this way about my physical condition.

    • Bill Cullen: (on newer game shows, in a 1988 interview) I don't enjoy television as much as I used to. It's not as much fun. There's a lot of greed today, it seems. A lot of business administration aspirants coming along. They used to play it for fun, to get on the air and have their friends see them. You'd give them a thousand dollars and you made their year. Now, unless it's twenty or thirty thousand dollars, they look at you like you suckered them into a deal that really didn't turn out as well as they perhaps had hoped.

SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Dean of the Game Shows!

    10
    Bill was indeed Dean of the Game Show Hosts not

    Just hosting a record twenty-three game shows but also set

    A standard for hosting game shows. I put him in my

    Top five of game show hosts. Always polite but had a

    Shy-like quality to him. But also very warm and never

    Ever condescending to the contestants as he knew that it was they, and not him, as the stars.

    Tried to brush off and/or deflect credit to himself and put it on the contestants.

    Really wierd and strange he has been gone since 1990!moreless