Jim Perry, Game Show Host, Died at 82


Jim Perry was born on November 9, 1933, and died on November 20, 2015 from cancer.

He was an American television game show host, singer, announcer, and performer in the 1970s and 1980s.

He had success on both Canadian and American television, and was best known for his roles as a host of the American game shows Card Sharks and $ale of the Century, as well as the Canadian game show Definition and Headline Hunters.

Perry was also known as the host of the Miss Canada pageant in the 1970s and 1980s.

Perry was born James Edward Dooley in Camden, New Jersey.

His mother, Genevieve, Perry, was a record holding swimmer, as well as a known marathon dancer. His father, Edward Dooley, was a musician.

Perry started out as a singer in Special Services after college (University of Pennsylvania), working on Armed Forces Radio during the Korean War.

After the service, he worked for a short time at General Electric and then replaced Eddie Fisher as the staff vocalist at Grossingers in the Catskill Mountains and later did comedy working with Sid Caesar as his straight man for several years (which included a three-year stint with Caesar in Las Vegas).

These were under his birth name of Jim Dooley. Due to a name conflict with AFTRA, he adopted his mother’s maiden name of Perry when he began his television work.

While briefly attending Pleasanton High School in Pleasanton, California, Perry was an outstanding basketball player thanks in part to his height (at 6’4″); he graduated in 1952.

He was often nicknamed Big Jim because of his height. His first appearance as a TV host came in Canada with the popular game show Fractured Phrases (1965).

Afterwards he presided over several other game shows, including Eye Bet and The Money Makers (aka Bingo at Home), the latter also airing on syndicated television in some US markets for 13 weeks in 1969.

Although Perry was American by birth, he and his family emigrated to Canada in the early 1970s and moved back to the U.S. in the late 1970s when he was hired to host Card Sharks. Jim Perry held citizenship in both countries.

Jim Perry passed away at age 82 in November 2015.