Jim Perry, the quick-talking host of such game shows as Card Sharks and Sale of the Century, died today of cancer in Oregon, WME said. He was 82.
The native of Camden, NJ, worked on Armed Forces Radio during the Korean War and afterward teamed with Sid Caesar for a touring comedy act that played three years in Las Vegas. He later would host the Miss Canada Pageant for 23 years starting in 1967, was the announcer on Joan Rivers’ syndicated That Show, and worked as a DJ at WABC Radio in New York.
But Perry was best known as the host of popular TV game shows. He started in 1967 on It’s Your Move, which was produced in Canada and aired in the States, and later hosted the Canadian game shows Headline Hunters and Definition.
In 1978, the dapper Perry started as host of Card Sharks, beginning his long-standing relationship with NBC. He hosted a version of the game show and the two pilots that preceded it from April 24, 1978, until Oct. 23, 1981.
NBC then named Perry as the host of a revamped edition of Sale of the Century in 1982. That show aired for six years and spun off into a nightly syndicated version, which saw Perry doing double duty as the host of both shows. In 1978, he took the microphone for Card Sharks, a Mark Goodson-Bill Todman game, and later moved to Reg Grundy Productions’ updated version of Sale of the Century.
Perry is survived by his wife of 56 years, June; children Sean and Erin; and three grandchildren.