Merv Griffin

Singer and Television Game Show Producer
Born Jul 6, 1925

Mervyn Edward "Merv" Griffin, Jr. was an American television host, musician, actor, and media mogul. He began his career as a radio and big band singer who went on to appear in movies and on Broadway. From 1965 to 1986 Griffin hosted his own talk show, The Merv Griffin Show on Group W (Westinghouse) Broadcasting.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Merv Griffin.


1925 Birth Griffin was born July 6, 1925, in San Mateo, California to Mervyn Edward Griffin, Sr., a stockbroker, and Rita Elizabeth Griffin (née Robinson), a homemaker. … Read More


1942 17 Years Old He attended San Mateo High School, graduating in 1942, and continued to aid in financing the school. … Read More


1945 20 Years Old By 1945, Griffin had earned enough money to form his own record label, Panda Records, which produced Songs by Merv Griffin, the first U.S. album ever recorded on magnetic tape.
1947 22 Years Old In 1947, he had a 15-minute Monday–Friday singing program on KHJ in San Francisco.
1950 25 Years Old He became increasingly popular with nightclub audiences, and his fame soared among the general public with his 1950 hit "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts". … Read More
1953 28 Years Old Griffin did not get the part, but the screen test led to supporting roles in other musical films such as So This Is Love in 1953. … Read More


1958 33 Years Old From 1958 to 1962, Griffin hosted a game show produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman called Play Your Hunch. … Read More
1959 34 Years Old …  Griffin is survived by his son, Tony, born in 1959 during Griffin's marriage to Julann Wright from 1958 to 1976, as well as two grandchildren.
1963 38 Years Old In 1963, NBC offered him the opportunity to host a new game show, Word for Word, which Griffin produced.


1965 40 Years Old 1 More Event
He also produced Let's Play Post Office for NBC in 1965; Reach for the Stars for NBC in 1967; and One in a Million for ABC in 1967. … Read More
1970 45 Years Old After Treacher left the show in 1970, Griffin would do the announcing himself, and walk on stage with the phrase: "And now, here I come!" According to an obituary article on August 24, 2007 in Entertainment Weekly, The Merv Griffin Show was on the air for 21 years and won eleven Emmy Awards during its run. … Read More
1974 49 Years Old Arnold Schwarzenegger, later the 38th Governor of California, made his talk show debut in the United States on Griffin's talk show in 1974 after moving from Austria.


1975 50 Years Old 1 More Event
Griffin dedicated two shows to the topic of Transcendental Meditation and its founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, one in 1975, the other in 1977. … Read More


1986 61 Years Old Upon his retirement, Griffin sold his production company, Merv Griffin Enterprises, to Columbia Pictures Television, at the time a unit of The Coca-Cola Company, for US$250 million on May 6, 1986, the largest acquisition of an entertainment company owned by a single individual at that time. … Read More
1988 63 Years Old Griffin ventured into real estate, purchasing the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. He also purchased Resorts Hotel and Casino, formerly Chalfonte-Haddon Hall Hotel in Atlantic City from Donald Trump in 1988.
1989 64 Years Old This was a most unsuccessful venture, and Griffin subsequently sought bankruptcy court protection on Dec. 23, 1989 for Resorts International Inc., his troubled hotel and casino operator. … Read More
1991 66 Years Old 1 More Event
Griffin kept many details of his personal and business life private. In 1991, he was sued by Deney Terrio, the host of Dance Fever, another show Griffin created, alleging sexual harassment. … Read More
2004 79 Years Old Griffin was also an honorary pallbearer at the funeral of President Ronald Reagan in 2004. … Read More
2005 80 Years Old In 2005, he accepted the degree Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from the National University of Ireland, Galway.
In 2007, Griffin's production company, Merv Griffin Entertainment, began production on a new syndicated game show Merv Griffin's Crosswords (originally titled Let's Play Crosswords and Let's Do Crosswords). … Read More
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