Gene became close friends with Charles Nelson Reilly, one of the regulars on Match Game, while taking part in the Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie in the early 60's.
Gene, along with the Match Game panelists, was known to have sipped alcoholic beverages in between tapings of the show.
Gene not only had a Croatian background, he could also speak the language.
Gene picked the last name of Rayburn by sticking his finger in a phone book and picking a random name.
Gene was married to his wife Helen Ticknor until her death in 1996.
Gene's only movie appearance was an uncredited role as the "WTIC-TV reporter" in the movie "It Happed to Jane" in 1959.