Eugene Rubessa

Born: Dec 22, 1917 AD
Died: 1999 AD, at 81 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: TV Personality

1917 - Born on the 22nd of December in Christopher, Illinois.

1955 - He took over as host of the summer replacement game show, Make the Connection, from original host, Jim McKay. From there he hosted shows such as Choose Up Sides, Dough Re Mi, and Tic Tac Dough.

1960 - He occasionally substituted for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show.

1961 - Rayburn became one of the many hosts of the popular NBC program Monitor and remained with the show until 1973.

1962 - Rayburn first hosted The Match Game.

1967 - Carson would make a surprise appearance on the original black and white version of The Match Game during the same week that Tonight announcer Ed McMahon was a guest celebrity.

1973 - Rayburn recalled his guest-hosting duties as "the hardest job" he ever had.

         - Was #1 among all game shows, fueled mostly by the zany questions and Rayburn's witty style.

1983 - A year after the syndicated Match Game disappeared, the show was revived as part of the Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour, with Rayburn hosting the Match Game segment and sitting on the panel of the Hollywood Squares segment.

         - He also hosted a pilot for Reg Grundy Productions called Party Line, which later became Bruce Forsyth's Hot Streak

1989-1990 - Rayburn was fired after 13 weeks and replaced by Joe Farago, and The Movie Masters, an AMC cable game show that ran.

1998 - Rayburn's last TV appearance was interview with Access Hollywood intended to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the CBS Match Game.

1999 - Died on the 29th of November at his daughter's home of congestive heart failure, one month after receiving a Lifetime Achievement award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Page last updated: 4:04am, 02nd May '07
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