Hal March

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Bob Sweeney and Hal March (right) (1946)

Hal March (born April 22, 1920 in San Francisco , † January 19, 1970 in Los Angeles , California as Harold Mendelson ) was an American comedian , actor , television presenter and screenwriter . He is best known for hosting the game show "The $ 64,000 Question".

Live and act

In 1944 March came into contact with Bob Sweeny and moderated a comedy show with him on the radio. The duo came to be known as " Sweeney & March ". In 1950 he played with Mary Jane Croft on another radio show entitled "Too many cooks" . In the early 1950s he appeared in various shows and series, such as the Imogene Coca Show and I Love Lucy .

Hal March's greatest role was that of the host of the game show " The $ 64,000 Question " from 1955 to 1958, to which he sang one of the theme songs in 1956. The show was produced and broadcast by the US broadcaster CBS . In terms of play, it was about a more difficult form of the game Trivial Pursuit , which appeared around 25 years later and which now rewarded “knowledge” not only with recognition, but also with financial wealth. In order to guarantee the success of the show, the producers soon selected only those candidates who aroused strong sympathy among the television audience and thus guaranteed good ratings. So it was important that these candidates stayed on the show as long as possible. And that was only possible if you answered all the questions correctly. They were only asked questions from their respective areas of expertise. As a result of the quiz show scandal that resulted from it , the show was discontinued and with the exception of a few roles in a few series and films, such as Schick mir keine Blumen , March hardly got any roles. In 1955, entertainer and actor Jack Benny appeared as a candidate on the show. Benny's specialty was violin. After correctly answering the first question, he stopped and took his one dollar profit. In 1957, at the height of March's career with "The $ 64,000 Question", he was invited to participate in "The Jack Benny Program". Within this format, Benny ran a game show in which March was desperately trying to win back his dollar.

In 1955, March shared the lead role in the television series "The Soldiers" with Tom D'Andrea , in which Bud Yorkin directed.

In 1956 he married the actress Candy Toxton , with whom he stayed until his death. They had three children together, Toxton had two children from her first marriage to Mel Tormé , the future actors Steve March and Melissa Torme-March .

In 1961 he played the leading role in the pilot of the television series "I married a dog", in which the life of the protagonist was continually messed up by his wife's dog.

In July 1969 he made a promising comeback with the game show "It's Your Bet". But after 13 weeks he complained of severe symptoms of exhaustion. On a visit to the doctor, Hal March was diagnosed with lung cancer as a result of chain smoking , from which he died in 1970 at the age of 49. He was buried in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery .

In 2009 the album "The Moods of March" was released, and in 2014 the albums "Famous Hits by Hal March" and "Titanium Hits" each with different labels and each with three songs by Hal March. The song "Candy" is on all three albums.


Hal March was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame . One each for his work on the radio and one on television.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. newspapers.com: [1] . MJ Croft Too Many Cooks
  2. ^ Everything2.com: [2] . Sixty-four dollar question
  3. Imdb: [3] . Biography of Hal March
  4. The Classic TV Archive: Archived copy ( memento of the original from October 6, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / ctva.biz archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . The Soldiers
  5. a b Imdb: [4] . Biography on the IMDB
  6. ^ Find a Grave: [5] . Hal March