August 14, 2007
Family games. Merv Griffin, who died Sunday at 82, is being remembered as a singer, talk-show host, impresario, casino owner, and all-round celeb. But his biggest contribution was to help to shape American culture in a profound way, for which millions of families should thank him. He was the man behind Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, two of the most popular of all TV game shows. Both invite the folks at home to play along - and both let you get a snack or take a pit stop, plop back on the couch, and resume playing.
July 3, 1989 |
At Bally's Grandstand Under the Stars, Bruce Springsteen, the Boss himself, made a surprise appearance Friday night, joining Jackson Browne. The young women squealed with delight, and there was a rush to the front of the stage for a closer look at these two rock heros. About this same time, up the Boardwalk at Resorts International Casino Hotel, Toni Tennille was joining Merv Griffin on stage, and while there were no squeals, large numbers of patrons crowded as close as they could to the stage.
March 8, 1991 |
Marty Brill didn't set out to be a comedian. In fact, Brill says, he didn't talk for the first 30 years of his life. He was too busy establishing himself as a concert pianist. "I was on my way," he said Wednesday night before the first of his four shows at Mr. G's (formerly the Rendezvous Lounge) in Merv Griffin's Resorts Casino Hotel. "There are so many other deserving musicians who never got that far. But I was recording. I was on my way. " Then at age 30, Brill was in a car accident.
August 24, 2007 |
MOST OF ALL, I remember his eyes. They were bold and brilliant and blue. They were the eyes of a man who had seen a lot and done a lot. They were eyes that could joke and eyes that could smile. They were eyes that never lied. It was a dark and stormy night when the two of us shared a lobster the size of Camden down at Bookbinder's. I asked him if he wanted a table in the corner, away from the crowd. "These are my people," he said. "If it weren't for them, where would I be?"
December 6, 1988 |
IS ALEX TREBEK IN JEOPARDY? Merv Griffin may produce his hot TV game show "Jeopardy" from Atlantic City and his newly acquired Resorts International Hotel Casino. Gossip scribe Liz Smith reports, however, that current host Alex Trebek does not want to move from Los Angeles to A.C. (We don't think Alex has much of a vote.) STREET TALK Producer David Merrick is thinking about an all-black version of his hit Broadway show "42nd Street" with Lou Rawls. Female co-stars may include Shirley Bassey, Eartha Kitt, Gladys Knight, Suzette Charles, Isabel Sanford and Marilyn McCoo.
March 24, 1995 |
Mark Leder must have been one of the most annoying kids at summer camp. While the other children were busy making macaroni necklaces, little Mark was memorizing the camp roster. He knew every name and every home town of every kid in the camp, helping to gain him what he called "a reputation for being a vast repository of otherwise useless knowledge. " Yesterday, Leder, lanky 47-year-old personal injury lawyer from Manchester, Conn., was trying to parlay some of that stored-up minutiae into a spot on Jeopardy!
May 31, 1990 |
Four documents that deal with the connections between a former key aide of Merv Griffin's and an alleged organized-crime associate will not be made public in a civil breach-of-contract suit, U.S. District Judge Dickinson Debevoise ruled in Newark yesterday. The documents, which include a private investigative report and a report by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), are part of a sealed court record in a wrongful termination suit filed earlier this year against Griffin by Michael Nigris, former president of The Griffin Co. Both reports raise questions about Nigris' longtime friend and business associate, Ernest G. Barbella.
January 7, 1994 |
Kitt Moran and Merv Griffin happened to catch the same Marlene Dietrich movie about a year ago. The film had a greater impact on Griffin at the time, but it would change the direction of Moran's singing career. Moran doesn't remember the name of the movie, but it had Dietrich playing a singer in a smoky bistro. This, of course, could have been one of any number of Dietrich flicks. Moran was singing in Mr. G's, the lounge in Resorts' lobby area, where she had performed off and on for about three years.
May 4, 1990 |
Oprah Winfrey has confirmed a report that, as a teenager, she gave birth to a premature baby. "It is true that when I was 14 years old, I became pregnant," says Winfrey in Sunday's Parade magazine. "The baby . . . died shortly after birth. The experience was the most emotional, confusing and traumatic of my young life. I had hoped that this matter could stay private until I was fully able to deal with my own deep emotions and feelings so that I could share this experience in a way that could best help educate other young girls who are trying to cope with all the ramifications of sexual abuse.
December 8, 1988 |
A Chicago investment banking firm has sued Resorts International Inc. for $4.5 million, saying the new owner, Merv Griffin, refuses to pay fees it negotiated last year with a committee of Resorts directors. Last year, when New York developer Donald Trump tried to buy the troubled gambling firm for a bargain price, those directors not affiliated with Trump hired Chilmark Partners to try to get a higher price from him. Chilmark originally expected to earn $1.2 million in fees, according to documents in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Camden.