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Regular Panelist (1950-1967)
Regular Panelist (1951-1967)
Regular Panelist (1950-1965)
John: Bennett's going to be in Bridgeport this week --- lock the house, and thanks for being with us on What's My Line?
GSN BROADCAST HISTORY:
For the third airing, the episodes took longer than usual to cycle through their full rotation because GSN switched from daily airings to weekly airings between the dates of October 2, 2006 and January 1, 2008, when they once again resumed daily airings. - Suzanne (updated 2008)
1) Aired on April 14, 2002 in regular rotation.
2) Aired on July 7, 2004, in regular rotation.
3) Aired on July 16, 2007, in regular rotation.
REVIEW: This was a fair night for the panel as they had a .500 record for the evening. In the first game, the panel was completely stumped by Spoony Singh, the owner of the Hollywood Wax Museum. In the second game, Dorothy correctly guessed that the second contestant sold dynamite for a living. In the mystery guest round, Bennett correctly identified Joey Heatherton. Joey was on the show to promote her upcoming tours with Bob Hope; first to Santo Domingo and secondly to Vietnam to entertain the troops. John also mentioned Joey's dad, Ray Heatherton, who was one of the pioneers of radio. In the final game, Dolly Mae correctly guessed that the contestant was a female writer. However, all the cards had been flipped due to the time running out. Dorothy's guess would prove to be somewhat poignant, because a few hours after this show signed off for the evening, an event would happen to change the course of WML forever; the death of Dorothy Mae Kilgallen. - Sargebri (2007)
KILGALLEN WATCH!!! Dorothy seemed to be in good spirits this evening and with the exception of a little slur during her introduction of Tony, there was no indication of the tragedy that would happen in the wee hours of the next day. Of course, Dorothy might have had a little nip earlier this evening, but it didn't hinder her game performance. However, sometime in the early morning hours of November 8, 1965, Dorothy consumed a lethal combination of tranquilizers and alcohol which would lead to her untimely passing at the age of 52. - Sargebri (2007)
VIETNAM!!! As John had mentioned in the post mystery guest round chat, Joey Heatherton was about to go on a tour of Vietnam with Bob Hope during the first of his Christmas visits to that country to entertain the troops there. Of course, this was at a time when the American public still supported the war in Vietnam and it wouldn't be until the January 1968 Tet Offensive that the public's opinion of the war would sharply change. - Sargebri (2007)
(1) "THIS IS THE END, BEAUTIFUL FRIEND": As mentioned, this was Dorothy Kilgallen's final appearance on "WML?" Fittingly, the person to have the distinction of sitting on the panel with Dorothy, Arlene and Bennett on this pivotal occasion was the second most prolific male guest panelist in the show's history, Tony Randall. Interestingly, Mr. Randall was one of two people - the other being "prodigal son" and "old friend" Steve Allen - who sat on the panel with Dorothy one week and then appeared again two weeks after their respective previous appearances, following her death. Indeed, for four straight weeks in this period, the two of them made "back-to-back" appearances on the program. Tony's next appearance after tonight's show will be EPISODE #791 of November 21, 1965. After that, he will appear 19 more times, including once as a mystery guest, until the end of "WML?'s" CBS run in 1967 - more than the 13 times that Martin Gabel, the most prolific of the male guest panelists, appeared in the post-Kilgallen era.
(2) GSN AIRING TALLY: GSN's most recent airing of this episode was July 16, 2007. Previously, the cable and satellite channel had run it on July 7, 2004, and before that, on April 14, 2002.
(3) MYSTERY GUEST IRONY #1: Given Joey Heatherton's use of a throaty, "mannish" voice to try to throw off the panel and Dorothy's asking at one point if her real first name was Norma, more than five years before tonight's show, on EPISODE #503 of February 28, 1960, Peggy Lee - whose birth name was Norma Dolores Egstrom, which was the basis for Dolly Mae's question on this occasion - was the mystery guest, and the panelist who successfully guessed her identity back then was Miss Kilgallen herself. However, on the 1960 show, Miss Lee had used a little girl's voice.
(4) MYSTERY GUEST IRONY #2: Four years to the day of Dorothy's passing, on November 8, 1969, Miss Heatherton appeared as a guest in a "Color Honeymooners" episode of "The Jackie Gleason Show," entitled "Happiness Is a Rich Uncle." Joey played gold-digging go-go girl "Emily Gogolak" who was romancing Ralph's "Uncle Howard" (played by David Burns). This episode was most recently aired on the American Life cable channel on July 21 and 22, 2007 - less than a week after GSN's July 16, 2007 airing of tonight's "WML?" show.
(5) HEATHERTON RELATIONS: Mystery guest Joey Heatherton was not the only offspring of "Merry Mailman" Ray Heatherton's to make a name independent of her dad's fame. Her brother, Dick Heatherton, was a radio disk jockey who held the afternoon drive slot at New York oldies station WCBS-FM from 1972 to 1986. He also served as program director for a Los Angeles beautiful music station and worked as a broadcasting consultant. In addition, in the late 1970's, he was a sub-announcer on "The $20,000 Pyramid."
(6) "WML?" SPONSOR WATCH: Tonight's opening sponsor is Fleischmann's Margarine, and the closing sponsor is Kool cigarettes. (The Kool "Filter Kings" cigarette ad has been omitted from GSN airings ever since the cable and satellite channel's self-imposed ban on vintage cigarette advertising took effect). - W-B (2007 & 2008)
(7) "LIVE" WATCH: This, Dorothy's "WML?" swan song, is the 68th known surviving kinescope of a live transmission wherein the opening had the word "live" edited out.
(8) "WML?" CREW CREDITS WATCH: As was the case last week, James Murphy is credited as production supervisor.
(9) After the July 16, 2007 airing of tonight's show, GSN aired the very last episode of "The Name's the Same," originally broadcast on October 7, 1955. This series finale was sponsored by Ralston Purina and hosted by Clifton Fadiman, with the panel consisting of Joan Alexander, Mike Wallace (whom Mr. Fadiman introduced as a "Broadway producer" as well as television personality), Audrey Meadows and Roger Price, and the celebrity guest was Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman (and future New York Mets manager) Gil Hodges. Interestingly, almost all the people on this installment appeared in one way or another on "WML?" - Miss Meadows as a mystery guest, Mr. Fadiman as one of only three guest "panel moderators" in "WML?'s" history, and Mr. Price and Miss Alexander as guest panelists. The only notable exception was the future "60 Minutes" co-anchor, who at John Daly's insistence was replaced at the last minute as mystery guest with Sammy Davis, Jr. on EPISODE #364 of May 26, 1957; details of which can be found in the notes to that episode. Mr. Hodges himself would appear on "WML?", as a mystery guest on EPISODE #665 of May 26, 1963 - exactly six years to the day after that earlier "WML?" show. - W-B (2007)
FLIP REPORT: John flipped all the cards for the final contestant at eight down because time had run out. As he was flipping the cards, Dorothy made her final identification, the correct guess that the contestant was a writer. - agent_0042 (2007)
THE 1965 NYC BLACKOUT: In two days, on November 9, 1965, New York City will be plunged into a blackout. On the next week's episode, Bennett Cerf mentions the blackout during questioning. The "Northeast Blackout of 1965" was a significant disruption in the supply of electricity on November 9, 1965, affecting Ontario, Canada and the U.S. states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York and New Jersey. Approximately 25 million people (covering 80,000 square miles) were plunged into darkness and left without electricity for up to twelve hours. The cause of the failure originated at a power-generating station in Ontario. Often, when a notable actor or actress passes away, the lights of Broadway are dimmed for a minute. In addition, when a notable stage entertainer dies, the lights of The Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada are likewise dimmed for a minute. Fans of Dorothy Kilgallen like to think that the enormous blackout was a similar salute to her life and career. She passed away on November 8, 1965. - Suzanne (2004)
Thoughts About Dorothy - by Jan Simonson (2004)
#1 - While she did slur her words in introducing Tony Randall, the content of what she said made perfect sense and was accurate. Randall in fact had returned a few days earlier from Africa where he filmed a movie tentatively titled "Our Man in Marrakesh." Two years and some months passed before moviegoers saw it with the title "Bang! Bang! You're Dead!" It bombed.
#2 - Dorothy never spoke out of turn in this episode, though Bennett did. When John Daly gave her her first "no" of the night, Dorothy smiled and said playfully, "Give me another, John."
#3 - If you search old Google posts dating from the day GSN aired this final Kilgallen episode in 2002, you'll notice people picking on Kilgallen for the first thing she said during Joey Heatherton's mystery guest round. "Is your real first name Norma?" The posts said that the self-destructing Dorothy, seeing her life flash before her eyes, thought Marilyn Monroe was alive. Nonsense. Marilyn had been dead for three years. What these Google posters did not know is that Peggy Lee was scheduled to open an engagement at the Copacabana nightclub four days later. Her real first name was Norma. Heatherton disguised her voice with a mannish throaty sound that Kilgallen had every right to confuse with Peggy Lee's vocal capabilities. Lee's Copacabana gig began right on schedule several hours after Kilgallen's funeral.
#4 - Dorothy said something very clever and observant in the final seconds of the program before John Daly got the final close-up. It was shortly after Elinor Kaine, writer for the "Football News," had left the stage. Bennett said, "I'd just like to say one thing about that pretty football writer. She better dig up a field goal kicker for the New York Giants or it's gonna be too bad." Dorothy shot back with, "Oh, I thought you were going to say something about a forward pass."
This was quite a decent performance by the panel. They were totally stumped by the first contestant, but they made up for it when Dorothy, with an assist from Bennett, was able to correctly guess that the second contestant sold dynamite. Bennett identified mystery guest Joey Heatherton. After he made his guess, he thanked his son Christopher for enlightening him about her! The time ran out before the panel could guess the final contestant's line, but after the cards were turned over, Dorothy correctly guessed that she was a writer. More on Joey Heatherton: She was among the new breed of American sex symbols that were coming up in the 1960s along with Raquel Welch and Jill St. John. However, Joey grew up in a showbiz family. Her father, Ray Heatherton, was a veteran song and dance man and radio performer. John Daly mentioned him with fondness. Ray was also known as the pitchman for Tropicana orange juice. In the summer of 1975, Joey and her father starred in a variety hour entitled "Joey & Dad." Joey also performed in several Vietnam USO concert tours with Bob Hope. She was promoting the one of those Christmas tours this particular evening. However, after Joey's husband Lance Rentzel was arrested for indecent exposure, her career ground to a halt. She soon became addicted to cocaine and developed an eating disorder that destroyed her good looks. However, Joey's plight isn't as sad as the events that would happen just a few hours after this broadcast. What's My Line?, as well as the panel, would be changed forever with the tragic death of Dorothy Kilgallen. Ironically though, this was not Dolly Mae's last appearance on television. A few days earlier, both she and Arlene taped an appearance on Goodson-Todman's other panel show, To Tell the Truth. They acted as imposters, pretending to be Joan Crawford. The show didn't air until the afternoon of Dorothy's death, thus making TTTT her final television appearance. - Sargebri (2004)
From Suzanne (2004)
New York Journal-American article, November 15, 1965: The death of Dorothy Kilgallen, Journal-American columnist and famed TV personality, was contributed to by a combination of moderate quantities of alcohol and barbiturates, a medical examiner's report stated today. As many personalities whose multiple duties and responsibilities demand unceasing attention, Miss Kilgallen experienced recurring tensions in meeting her deadlines for performances - both as a newspaperwoman and TV performer. In his report today, Dr. James Luke, Assistant Medical Examiner, said that although Miss Kilgallen had only "moderate amounts of each," the effect of the combination had caused depression of the central nervous system "which in turn caused her heart to stop."
ESPN's "Lost Treasures of NFL Films" reports that Elinor Kaine was the first woman to write extensively about pro football. Kaine blazed the trail for the modern day female football reporters by successfully suing the NFL for the right to cover a 1974 Jets-Giants game at the Yale Bowl from the male-only press box at Yale Stadium. In that game, the Jets won in an exciting 26-20 overtime victory over the Giants. "People tell me I was ahead of my time because there was nobody reporting who was female." said Kaine. "I wrote about it as a writer who was a fan, but the great communicator in me wanted to teach people how to have more fun watching the games." - Suzanne (2004)
Split Screen Camera Work: During Joey Heatherton's mystery guest appearance, a split-screen technique is again used. We first saw this special effect on the episode of October 24, 1965 with Bette Davis. The panelist appears on the left side of the screen and the guest appears on the right side of the screen. This camera effect was used only during the appearance of the mystery guest, and was not used during the other guest appearances. - Laguna74 (2004)
Strange lighting: The lighting on this episode seems different from previous episodes. Most of the show members, especially Dorothy and John, appear to have very shiny faces. Maybe the studio had installed brighter lights, or changed the lighting angles? Maybe not enough powder dusted on their faces? - Arnette (2004)
When GSN aired this episode on April 14, 2002, there was a glitch in the opening credits with a time code shown on the screen. It did not appear when this episode was next shown on July 7, 2004. - Suzanne (2004)
The Hollywood Wax Museum at 6767 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028 is still in business some 40 years later and is still run by Spoony Singh! The even have a web site. - Kirk Morgan (2004)
Spoony Singh-Sundher is an entrepreneur at heart. According to his son, Jay Sundher, he's dabbled in several unusual ventures, including farms, and copper and gold mines. In 1965, he opened the Hollywood Wax Museum, and later, the Guinness World of Records Museum. After purchasing land in Newbury Park, CA, he took on the business of self-storage, opening the first phase of Thousand Oaks Self Storage (now Hollywood Storage Center, a Hollywood-themed self-storage facility) in 1982. - Teri L. Lanza (2004)
Tidbits: We see a new sponsor, Fleischmann's Margarine. Bennett's new book, "Laugh Day: A New Treasury of Over 1000 Humorous Stories and Anecdotes" has been published by Doubleday. This weekend, Bennett is going to be honored with an honorary Doctorate of Letters degree. - Suzanne (2004)
Dorothy Watch: This is Dorothy Kilgallen's final What's My Line? appearance. Tragically, she would die within several hours of the taping of this show, in the small hours of November 8, 1965. She was only 52 years old. She wore a light-colored, V-neck, sleeveless, knee-length dress. She accessorized her dress with hoop earrings, but no necklace. Unlike the previous five episodes, Dorothy again subtly displayed signs that she was not fully sober. She had obviously been drinking before the broadcast this evening. Her voice was slightly slurry and she spoke out of turn. Dorothy's voice is definitely not "crisply perfect" as author Lee Israel incorrectly claims in her 1979 biography of Dorothy titled "Kilgallen." In spite of this, Dorothy still played the game well and appeared cheerful. Dorothy left behind her husband Dick Kollmar and her three beloved children. Her oldest, Dickie Kollmar, was 24 years old. Her middle child, daughter Jill Kollmar, had married Larry Grossman in the summer of 1963. Her youngest child, son Kerry Kollmar, was 11 years old. - Suzanne (2004)
Panel: Dorothy Kilgallen, Tony Randall, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf.
Even though Dorothy guessed two lines tonight, she just did not look good. In the introductions, she looked like she was sweating more than normal. She looked a bit confused and unsure of herself. As the show went on, old pro that she was, she seemed to become more comfortable. The show would never be the same without her. - Ed Casey (2004)
Click "All Episode Notes" to see all the notes, as they don't all show up on the summary overview page.
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