To Tell the Truth (1969-1981)

Garry Moore had a long, glorious career hosting game shows. You’d think someone would know how to spell his name on a ticket. This one was for the syndicated daytime version of To Tell the Truth, which ran from 1969 to 1981. Moore hosted until 1977 and then mysteriously disappeared. All of a sudden, Bill Cullen, and then Joe Garagiola were filling in for him “while Garry is off on a much-deserved vacation.” Audiences sensed something was wrong and began bombarding the show with mail asking what was really happening, and was the rumor true that Garry had died? No, it wasn’t — but the correspondents were right that something was wrong.

Moore had developed a cancerous node in his throat, and was off for a few months while it was removed and he got his voice back. He decided not to return to the daily or weekly grind and to retire but to deal with the rumors, he came back and hosted To Tell the Truth for one last time. His surprise walk-on at the beginning stunned the studio audience and they gave him one of the most enthusiastic, loving ovations ever on television, then later in the show fell properly silent as he explained about his operation and his retirement. Thereafter, Garagiola became the permanent host.

In deference to all the tobacco sponsors he’d had over the years — you can see him smoking incessantly on I’ve Got A Secret, brought to you by Winston cigarettes — Moore did not reveal that he’d had cancer. He died in 1993 and the cause of death was listed as emphysema.