Bert Parks

TV host, Actor, Singer
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 ... Read more »

Born: 12/29/1914 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Filmography

Actor (16)

The 1990 Miss America Pageant 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

The Freshman 1990 (Movie)

Bert Parks (Actor)

Roseanne 1989 (Tv Show)

Actor

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

U.S. Man of the Year 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The 38th Annual Emmy Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

NBC's 60th Anniversary Celebration 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The Night of 100 Stars II 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Life's Most Embarrassing Moments 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

WKRP in Cincinnati 1978 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

That Second Thing on ABC 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

That's the Way of the World 1974 (Movie)

Franklyn Page (Actor)

Stop the Music 1948 - 1956 (TV Show)

Actor
Music (1)

Memphis 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Song Performer

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 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).

Relationships

Aaron Jacobsen

Father

Hattie Jacobsen

Mother

Annette Liebman

Wife
married on June 8, 1943 until his death

Annette Parks

Daughter
born c. 1949 mother Annette Liebman

Jeffrey Parks

Son
born c. 1946 twin of Joel mother Annette Liebman

Joel Parks

Son
born c. 1946 twin of Jeffrey mother Annette Liebman

EDUCATION

Marist College

1926 - 1932

Milestones

1990

Returned as emcee for the Miss America Pageant

1951

Hosted daytime version of TV quiz show, "The Big Payoff"

1948

Emceed radio hit, "Stop the Music"

1947

First job as TV quiz show host, "Party Line"

1944

Breakthrough came as emcee on radio quiz program, "Break the Bank"

1933

Worked as a staff announcer for CBS radio

Served as master of ceremonies for the Miss America Pageant

Emceed TV show, "Stop the Music"

Joined local Atlanta radio station WGST at age 16 (earned $15 per week)

Quit WGST job and moved to New York at age 19

Played ringmaster on TV series, "Circus"

Hired as a singer and straight man on radio's "The Eddie Cantor Show"

Hosted TV quiz show, "Break the Bank"

Served in WWII as an infantry captain in the Burma-India theater

Bonus Trivia

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Parks received the City of Hope Award (1948)

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He was given the TV Forecast Award (1950)

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Parks received Poor Richard Award (1957)

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

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