Popular television talk show host, Mike Douglas died on this date in 2006, his 81st birthday.
"In the old days, I was often confused with Merv Griffin," he said. "We were the same height, the same weight and we were both Irish tenors."
Born Michael Delaney Dowd (1925-2006) in Chicago, Illinois, he served in the Navy during World War II, then became a featured singer in Kay Kyser's popular radio show. Douglas was the voice of Prince Charming in Walt Disney's Cinderella (1950).
Douglas began his popular weekday afternoon show in 1961. A likeable everyman, he was immediately popular with viewers. By 1967, the show was available in 171 media markets and had over 6 million daily viewers.
For 21 memorable years with about 6,000 syndicated shows, 90-minutes long, he featured the top personalities of the day--musicians, comedians, and sports and political personalities.
The show was a priceless time capsule and his guests included seven former, present, or future presidents... John and Yoko. And a two-year-old golf prodigy named Tiger Woods. The show's producer Roger Ailes went on to create Fox News.
“It was really a music show, with a whole lot of talk and laughter in between numbers,” Douglas explained. His show featured a different co-host each week.
"It's going to sound corny, but I couldn't wait to go to work," he said.
No greater honor, respect.