Tom Kennedy, a veteran host of game shows including Name That Tune, Split Second and Password Plus, has died. He was 93.
Kennedy died Wednesday night at his home in Oxnard, California. Steve Beverly, host of Steve Beverly’s TV Classics who was a friend of Kennedy, shared the news on Facebook via Kennedy’s daughter Linda. No cause of death was given.
Over the years, Kennedy hosted a total of 16 shows, including Dr. I.Q. and You Don’t Say!
Kennedy was born Jim Narz in Louisville, Ky. in 1927. He was inspired by his brother, TV host Jack Narz, to pursue a career in broadcasting.
He attended a radio/television arts school and then got a job as an announcer/engineer. After 10 years working in radio in Kentucky and Missouri, he married his college sweetheart, Betty Gevedon, in Lexington, Kentucky, and the duo took a honeymoon trip to Hollywood.
He began working in radio and TV commercials before landing a job hosting game shows, like his brother Jack. Due to confusion among TV viewers between Jack and Jim, the latter changed his name to Tom Kennedy.
Kennedy also had guest roles on shows like That Girl and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and a starring role on Hardcastle and McCormick. He also acted onstage in The Odd Couple, Tunnel of Love and There’s a Girl in My Soup.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Betty, who passed in 2011, and their daughter Julia Kathleen Norz, who died in 2015. He is survived by daughter Linda Ann Narz, son James Narz Jr. and daughter Courtney Ellen Narz, along with his daughter-in-law Linda Papulis Narz, his granddaughter Abigail Norah Narz and his sister Mary Lovett Scully.
The family is not planning a memorial services and asks that anyone wishing to honor Kennedy should make a donation to the American Cancer Society in his name.