Arthur Gordon Linkletter (born Arthur Gordon Kelly, or Gordon Arthur Kelley (sources differ), July 17, 1912 – May 26, 2010) was a Canadian-born American radio and television personality. He was the host of House Party, which ran on CBS radio and television for 25 years, and People Are Funny, on NBC radio and TV for 19 years. He became a naturalized United States citizen in 1942.
One of Linkletter's lasting legacies are the many light hearted interview segments with children which appeared regularly on his daytime House Party program entitled Kids Say the Darndest Things. A best selling series of books soon followed which contained the humorous comments made on-air by these children.
Linkletter in a promotional photo for People Are Funny in 1957
July 17, 1912
|Died||May 26, 2010 (aged 97)|
Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Lois Foerster (1915-2011)|
(m. 1935–2010; his death, 5 children)
|Children||Jack Linkletter (1937–2007)|
Dawn (born 1939)
Sharon (born 1946)
Diane Linkletter (1948–1969)
Linkletter was born Arthur Gordon Kelly in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. In his autobiography, Confessions of a Happy Man (1960), he revealed that he had no contact with his natural parents or his sister or two brothers since he was abandoned when only a few weeks old. He was adopted by Mary (née Metzler) and Fulton John Linkletter, an evangelical preacher.
When he was five, his family moved to San Diego, California, where he graduated from San Diego High School at age 16. During the early years of the Great Depression, he rode trains around the country doing odd jobs and meeting a wide variety of people. In 1934, he earned a bachelor's degree in teaching from San Diego State Teachers College (now San Diego State University), where he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. While attending San Diego State, he played for the basketball team and was a member of the swimming team. He had previously planned to attend Springfield College, but did not, for financial reasons.
In 1935 he met Lois Foerster. They were married at Grace Lutheran Church in San Diego, November 28, 1935. Their marriage lasted until Linkletter's death, 74 1⁄2 years later.
After receiving his teaching degree, Linkletter decided to go to work as a radio announcer at KGB in San Diego, because radio paid better than teaching. He directed radio programs for fairs and expositions in the mid-1930s. Afterwards, he moved to San Francisco and continued his radio career. In 1943, Linkletter pleaded guilty to falsely claiming US citizenship; he was fined $500 and permitted to apply for citizenship. In the 1940s, Linkletter worked in Hollywood with John Guedel on their pioneering radio show, People Are Funny, which employed audience participation, contests and gags. The series served as a prototype for future radio and television game shows. People Are Funny became a television show in 1954 and ran until 1961.
Other early television shows Linkletter worked on included Life With Linkletter with his son Jack (1969–1970) and Hollywood Talent Scouts (1965–1966). He also acted in two movies, People Are Funny (1946) and Champagne for Caesar (1950).
Linkletter declined the opportunity offered by his friend Walt Disney to invest in the Disneyland theme park project along with building and operating the Disneyland Hotel due to Linkletter's doubts about the park's prospects. But, out of friendship for Disney, Linkletter volunteered his experience as a live program broadcaster to help organize ABC's coverage of the Disneyland opening in 1955 on what was his 43rd birthday. Besides being an on-air host, he recruited his two co-hosts: Ronald Reagan and Bob Cummings. The park opening experience convinced Linkletter that Disneyland was going to be a huge success. When Disney asked what he could do to show his gratitude for the broadcast's role in the successful launching of the park, Linkletter asked for Disneyland's camera and film concession for its first ten years, a request that was quickly granted. This turned out to be extremely lucrative. He appeared for two stints of two weeks each, as a guest host of The Tonight Show in 1962 between Jack Paar's departure and Johnny Carson's arrival as its new host.
In the 1950s, Linkletter became a major investor in and promoter of the hula hoop. In 1963, Linkletter became the endorser and spokesman for Milton Bradley's The Game of Life. His picture appeared on the game's $100,000 bills and also on the box, framed by the statement "I heartily endorse this game."
After three public meetings in 1967, an eight-member Los Angeles City Council committee cleared Linkletter and City Council Member Tom Shepard of charges that they were linked in a scheme to influence city purchase of the "financially troubled" Valley Music Theater in Woodland Hills.
In 1988, he appeared as himself on the syndicated sitcom Small Wonder in the episode "Come Fly With Me." At one point he was a spokesman for National Home Life, an insurance company.
A registered Republican who campaigned for his old friend Ronald Reagan for President of the United States, Linkletter became a political organizer and a spokesman for the United Seniors Association, now known as USA Next, an alternative to the AARP. As part of this role, Linkletter was active in campaigning for more stringent restrictions on elderly motorists. He was also a member of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation (which ended in November 2008).
In 1978, he wrote the foreword to the bestselling self-help book Release Your Brakes! by James W. Newman, in which he wrote, "I believe none of us should ever stop growing, learning, changing, and being curious about what's going to happen next. None of us is perfect, so we should be eager to learn more and try to be more effective persons in every part of our lives."
In 2005, at the age of 93, he opened the Happiest Homecoming on Earth celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Disneyland. Half a century earlier, he had been the commentator on the opening day celebrations in 1955. For this, he was named a Disney Legend.
Linkletter invested wisely, enabling his considerable philanthropy. A member of Pepperdine University's Board of Regents, Linkletter was also a long-term trustee at Springfield College, where he donated funds to build the swimming center named in his honor, the Art Linkletter Natatorium.
Linkletter received a lifetime achievement Daytime Emmy award in 2003. He was inducted into the National Speakers Association Speaker Hall of Fame. He also received honorary degrees from several universities, including his alma mater, San Diego State University; Pepperdine University; and the University of Prince Edward Island. For his contribution to television, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located on 1560 Vine Street.
Linkletter had one of the longest marriages of any well-known person in America, at nearly 75 years. He married Lois Foerster on November 25, 1935, and they had five children: Arthur Jack, Dawn, Robert, Sharon and Diane. Lois Foerster Linkletter died at the age of 95 on October 11, 2011. Art and Lois Linkletter outlived three of their five children.
On October 4, 1969, 20-year-old Diane died after jumping out of her sixth-floor kitchen window. Linkletter claimed that her death was drug related because she was on, or having a flashback from, an LSD trip (toxicology tests later determined there were no drugs in Diane's system at the time of her death). After Diane's death, Linkletter spoke out against drugs to prevent children from straying into a drug habit. His record, "Kids Die the Darndest Ways", recorded after her death, featured a discussion about permissiveness in modern society, along with a rebuttal by Diane, titled "Dear Mom and Dad". The record won a 1970 Grammy Award for the "Best Spoken Word Recording".
After his death, Phyllis Diller stated, "In a couple of months Art Linkletter would have been 98 years old, a full life of fun and goodness, an orphan who made it to the top. What a guy." He was survived by his wife, Lois and daughters Dawn Griffin and Sharon Linkletter, as well as seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Alexis Linkletter, his oldest great grandchild has pursued a career in broadcasting and hosts a number of popular crime podcasts and produces documentary television.
Chapter 8 of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson is titled "Genius' round the world stands hand in hand, and one shock of recognition runs the whole world 'round". The quote is attributed to Linkletter.
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The 5th Emmy Awards, retroactively known as the 5th Primetime Emmy Awards after the debut of the Daytime Emmy Awards, were presented at the Hotel Statler in Los Angeles, California on February 5, 1953. The ceremonies were hosted by Art Linkletter.8th Primetime Emmy Awards
The 8th Emmy Awards, later referred to as the 8th Primetime Emmy Awards, were held on March 17, 1956, to honor the best in television of the year. The ceremony was held at the Pan Pacific Auditorium in Hollywood, California and was hosted by Art Linkletter and John Charles Daly. All nominations are listed, with winners in bold and series' networks are in parentheses.
The top shows of the night were The Phil Silvers Show, and Producers' Showcase. Each show won a record four major awards. Producers' Showcase, with its twelve major nominations, became the first show to receive over ten major nominations. (Both of these records were subsequently passed by multiple shows).Champagne for Caesar
Champagne for Caesar is a 1950 American comedy film about a television quiz show contestant, directed by Richard Whorf and written by Fred Brady and Hans Jacoby. The movie stars Ronald Colman, Celeste Holm, Vincent Price, Barbara Britton and Art Linkletter. The film was produced by Harry M. Popkin for his Cardinal Pictures and released by United Artists.Condingup
Condingup is a town in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia. The town is in the Shire of Esperance local government area, 782 kilometres (486 mi) south east of the state capital, Perth. At the 2006 census, Condingup and the surrounding region had a population of 429.Condingup was declared a townsite on 3 May 1963. The name is thought to be derived from the Aboriginal word Kunjinup, a local wildflower. Local industry includes cattle, sheep and grain production.From the 1950s to the 1970s a range of celebrities owned property in the area including Art Linkletter, Anne Baxter and Rhonda Fleming. Linkletter helped the town establish its first school, school bus and shop.Diane Linkletter
Diane Linkletter (October 31, 1948 – October 4, 1969) was the daughter and youngest child of popular American media personality Art Linkletter, and his wife Lois Foerster. She was 20 years old when she committed suicide in 1969.Formula 409
Formula 409 is a brand of home & Industrial cleaning products well known in North America, but virtually unknown in other countries. It includes Formula 409 All-Purpose Cleaner, Formula 409 Glass and Surface Cleaner, Formula 409 Carpet Cleaner, and many others. The brand is currently owned by Clorox.
The flagship product was invented in 1957 by Morris D. Rouff which manufactured industrial cleaning supplies. Formula 409’s original application was as a commercial solvent and degreaser for industries that struggled with particularly difficult cleaning problems.
The inventor's family claim that it was named for the birthday of the inventor's wife, Ruth, on April the 9th (rendered in the American style with the month first as "4/09"). The company, however, claims that it was named simply as the 409th compound tested by the inventors. Other theories exist as urban legends such as 409 being the telephone area code where it was invented (this area code, which served southeastern Texas, was not introduced until 1983), the birthday being that of other people such as the inventor's daughter and even a reference to a powerful Chevrolet car engine.
In 1960, Rouff sold Formula 409 to Chemsol, a New York firm, for an amount in the low six-figure range. In the mid-1960s, entrepreneur Wilson Harrell, along with longtime friend David Woodcock and television personality Art Linkletter, bought Formula 409. Harrell, Woodcock & Linkletter bought it for $30,000 and took it national. Linkletter also promoted the product in television commercials. The company eventually took Formula 409 to a 55 percent share of the spray-cleaner market, and six years later, Harrell, Woodcock & Linkletter sold the company to Clorox for $7 million.Grand Marshals of the Rose Parade
The following is a list of Grand Marshals of the Rose Parade.
Ten time GRAMMY awards winner Chaka Khan was chosen by Tournament of Roses Association president Gerald Freeny as the Grand Marshal for the 2019 Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.Actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise was chosen as the 2018 Tournament of Roses Grand Marshal by its president Lance Tibbet on October 30, 2017. Sinise is known for playing the role of Lt. Dan Taylor in Forrest Gump.
The Disney family is the only family to have more than one member serve as Grand Marshal: Walt Disney was the 1966 Grand Marshal, then his nephew Roy E. Disney held the post in 2000. Additionally, Mickey Mouse was the grand marshal for the 2005 parade. A number of years have featured multiple grand marshals, with the most in one parade being 1952, when seven Medal of Honor recipients were the grand marshals. Dr. Francis F. Rowland has been the grand marshal more than any other person - a total of seven times, in 1890, 1892, 1894, 1904, 1905, 1910 (this year sharing this duty with Prof. Charles F. Holder), and 1916. Former child actress Shirley Temple Black holds the runner-up position, having been grand marshal three times in 1939, 1989 and 1999, the latter year where she shared this honor with astronaut Buzz Aldrin, baseball player Jackie Robinson (who was also the first ever posthumous grand marshal) and film producer David L. Wolper.
On May 9, 2014, Louis Zamperini was selected as the Grand Marshal for the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade, though he would die of pneumonia two months later, and six months before the parade was set to begin. Rather than select a new Grand Marshal, the Tournament announced that it was "committed to honoring him as the Grand Marshal of the 2015 Rose Parade," making him the first posthumous grand marshal since Jackie Robinson in 1999.On November 3, 2016, the 2017 Grand Marshals were revealed to be three Olympic athletes: Greg Louganis, Janet Evans and Allyson Felix. The Olympians were deliberately chosen to reflect on Los Angeles' bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. This was the first year with multiple Grand Marshals since 2003, when Bill Cosby, Art Linkletter and Fred Rogers all shared this duty.House Party (radio and TV show)
House Party is an American radio daytime variety/talk show that aired on CBS Radio and on ABC Radio from January 15, 1945 to October 13, 1967. The show had an equally long run on CBS Television as Art Linkletter's House Party and, in its final season, The Linkletter Show, airing from September 1, 1952 to September 5, 1969.The series was launched when producer John Guedel learned that an ad agency wanted to do a new daytime audience participation show, and he pitched a series that would star Art Linkletter. Asked to provide an outline, Guedel and Linkletter came up with a format that would give Linkletter great freedom and allow for spontaneity.Jack Linkletter
Jack Linkletter (November 20, 1937 – December 18, 2007) was an American game show and television host and entertainer. He was the son of Art Linkletter.Joseph Sheppard
Joseph Sheppard (born 1958, Houston, Texas) is an American actor. His first public appearance was in 1968 as a child guest on the Art Linkletter House Party television program.
Sheppard was graduated Verdugo Hills High School (1977( where he appeared in numerous plays. He was a member of the exclusive Los Angeles City College Theatre Department and Academy program (Associate of Arts in Theater, 1979).
Sheppard started the Roadshow Players traveling theater troupe. It entertained thousands of children in Southern California in the 1970s and 1980s.
In 1987 Sheppard was the Sysop of The Ledge PCBoard, a Bulletin Board System, and ran it for ten years. The Ledge became one of the most popular BBS systems in the pre-internet online world.
After his father's death in 1995, Sheppard left acting to manage SDC Convention Services. The company provides equipment and union labor for trade shows in the western United States.
He is a member of Electronic Frontier Foundation, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Actor's Equity, and Screen Actors Guild. He and his wife, the former Jane Sweet, have three children.Linkletter
Linkletter is a surname found primarily in the Orkney Islands, but possibly subject to Old Norse influence:
Art Linkletter and his descendants:
Art Linkletter (1912–2010), Canadian-born radio and television personality
Jack Linkletter (1937–2007), actor & journalist
Diane Linkletter (1948–1969), celebrity family member
Nicole Linkletter (born 1986), American modelList of Primetime Emmy Awards ceremonies
This is a list of Primetime Emmy Awards ceremonies, the years which they were honoring, their hosts, and their ceremony dates.People Are Bunny
People Are Bunny is a 1959 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon, directed by Robert McKimson, starring Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. People Are Bunny spoofs the Art Linkletter show People are Funny (where people performed different "stunts" to win money) where the parody of Art Linkletter is voiced by an uncredited Daws Butler.People Are Funny (film)
People Are Funny is a 1946 American musical comedy film directed by Sam White based on the popular radio show of the same name.People are Funny
People Are Funny is an American radio and television game show, created by John Guedel that ran from 1942 to 1960 in which contestants were asked to carry out stunts in order to prove that "People Are Funny." Many of these stunts lasted weeks, months, or even years. But contestants who were successful received prizes. "People Are Funny" rarely had celebrities, focusing instead on everyday people. As a result, few recordings of the show were saved.San Diego State Aztecs men's basketball
The San Diego State Aztecs men's basketball team is the college basketball program that represents San Diego State University, located in San Diego, California. The school's team currently competes in the Mountain West Conference, and play their home games in Viejas Arena. The team began play in 1921 and have been to 6 NAIA tournaments winning in 1941, 3 NCAA Division II tournaments, 5 NIT tournaments, and 12 NCAA Division I tournaments. Since joining the Mountain West Conference, the Aztecs have won 5 MWC tournaments. Former players who went on to achieve notable success in other areas are Art Linkletter and Tony Gwynn.The Game of Life
The Game of Life, also known simply as Life, is a board game originally created in 1860 by Milton Bradley, as The Checkered Game of Life. The Game of Life was America's first popular parlour game. The game simulates a person's travels through his or her life, from college to retirement, with jobs, marriage, and possible children along the way. Two to four or six players can participate in one game. Variations of the game accommodate up to ten players.
The modern version was originally published 100 years later, in 1960. It was created and co-designed by toy and game designer Reuben Klamer and was "heartily endorsed" by Art Linkletter. It is now part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and an inductee into the National Toy Hall of Fame.There's No Tomorrow
"There's No Tomorrow", written by Al Hoffman, Leo Corday and Leon Carr, is one of two popular songs based on the Italian song "O Sole Mio" (music by Eduardo di Capua). (The other was "It's Now or Never", popularized by Elvis Presley.)
The biggest hit version of the song was recorded by Tony Martin which charted in 1949. The recording was released by RCA Victor Records as a 78rpm record (catalog number 20-3582) and a 45rpm record (catalog number 47-3078). The record first reached the Billboard Magazine charts on November 4, 1949 and lasted 27 weeks on the chart, peaking at number two. Martin was attending a Friars Club of Beverly Hills roast for Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on November 24th, 1958, in Los Angeles. Right after comedian Harry Einstein (alias "Parkyarkarkus") brought the house down with his amusing testimonial, Einstein suddenly suffered a heart attack, slumping into Milton Berle's lap. Emcee Art Linkletter then directed Martin to sing a song to divert the crowd's attention; the singer's unfortunate choice was "There's No Tomorrow". Einstein's heart attack proved fatal, and Martin was a pallbearer at the comedian's funeral.Wheeler Springs, California
Wheeler Springs is an unincorporated community in Ventura County, California. It is located 6 miles north of the Ojai Valley, within Los Padres National Forest. It is named for Wheeler Blumberg, who was the founder of town in 1891, and the many natural hot springs.Wheeler Springs is most known for its former resort, natural hot springs and as home to the smallest post office in the U.S. It is also where TV personality Art Linkletter opened the theme park Kiddyland Park. Wheeler Springs is home to numerous campgrounds, including Wheeler Gorge Campground by Matilija Creek, as well as multiple hiking trails and open-space nature areas.
Awards for Art Linkletter
King Features Syndicate comics