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Bert Parks

Bert Parks

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Also Known As: Bert Jacobson Died: February 2, 1992
Born: December 30, 1914 Cause of Death: inoperable lung cancer
Birth Place: Atlanta, Georgia, USA Profession: TV host, singer, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Best known as a popular TV game show host in the 1950s and the ever-smiling master of ceremonies for the Miss America beauty pageant. At age 19 Parks moved to New York, working first as a singer/straight man on "The Eddie Cantor Show" and then as a staff announcer for CBS radio before finding his niche as the enthusiastic host of the popular radio quiz programs "Break the Bank" and "Stop the Music" in the late 1940s. Parks' eager, affable style translated well to TV and by the early 1950s he was the ubiquitous host of both daytime and primetime game shows and variety series. Parks virtually became an American institution as the host of the annual Miss America pageant from its second telecast in 1955 until he was fired by producers seeking a younger image for the show (in the shape of Ron Ely) in 1980. A letter-writing campaign organized by Johnny Carson resulted in his return to his ceremonial post in 1990, and he once again serenaded the newly crowned Miss America with his signature song "There She Is, Miss America" at the pageant's finale. Although he received a standing ovation, the program was marred by gaffes and he was not asked to return. Parks' career was centered almost entirely on radio and...

Best known as a popular TV game show host in the 1950s and the ever-smiling master of ceremonies for the Miss America beauty pageant.

At age 19 Parks moved to New York, working first as a singer/straight man on "The Eddie Cantor Show" and then as a staff announcer for CBS radio before finding his niche as the enthusiastic host of the popular radio quiz programs "Break the Bank" and "Stop the Music" in the late 1940s. Parks' eager, affable style translated well to TV and by the early 1950s he was the ubiquitous host of both daytime and primetime game shows and variety series. Parks virtually became an American institution as the host of the annual Miss America pageant from its second telecast in 1955 until he was fired by producers seeking a younger image for the show (in the shape of Ron Ely) in 1980. A letter-writing campaign organized by Johnny Carson resulted in his return to his ceremonial post in 1990, and he once again serenaded the newly crowned Miss America with his signature song "There She Is, Miss America" at the pageant's finale. Although he received a standing ovation, the program was marred by gaffes and he was not asked to return. Parks' career was centered almost entirely on radio and TV, although in the 1960s he replaced Robert Preston as the title character in the Broadway hit, "The Music Man" and performed in road companies of musicals; he made his feature debut in "That's the Way of the World" (1975) and made a quirky cameo appearance as himself in "The Freshman" (1990).

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 The Freshman (1990) Bert Parks
2.
 That's The Way Of The World (1975) Franklyn Page
5.
 U.S. Man of the Year (1988) Host
6.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Joined local Atlanta radio station WGST at age 16 (earned $15 per week)
:
Quit WGST job and moved to New York at age 19
:
Hired as a singer and straight man on radio's "The Eddie Cantor Show"
1933:
Worked as a staff announcer for CBS radio
:
Served in WWII as an infantry captain in the Burma-India theater
1945:
Breakthrough came as emcee on radio quiz program, "Break the Bank"
1947:
First job as TV quiz show host, "Party Line"
1948:
Emceed radio hit, "Stop the Music"
:
Hosted TV quiz show, "Break the Bank"
:
Emceed TV show, "Stop the Music"
:
Served as master of ceremonies for the Miss America Pageant
1951:
Hosted daytime version of TV quiz show, "The Big Payoff"
:
Played ringmaster on TV series, "Circus"
1990:
Returned as emcee for the Miss America Pageant
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Marist College: - 1926 - 1932

Notes

Parks received the City of Hope Award (1948)

He was given the TV Forecast Award (1950)

Parks received Poor Richard Award (1957)

He was named March of Dimes Man of the Year (1963)

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Annette Liebman. Married on June 8, 1943 until his death.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Aaron Jacobsen.
mother:
Hattie Jacobsen.
son:
Joel Parks. Born c. 1946; twin of Jeffrey; mother Annette Liebman.
son:
Jeffrey Parks. Born c. 1946; twin of Joel; mother Annette Liebman.
daughter:
Annette Parks Jr. Born c. 1949; mother Annette Liebman.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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