Saturday, August 12, 2006

Talk show host Mike Douglas dies on 81st birthday



[Associated Press]

Mike Douglas, whose affable personality and singing talent earned him 21 years as a television talk show host, died Friday on his 81st birthday.

He died at 5:30 a.m. in a Palm Beach Gardens hospital, said his wife, Genevieve Douglas. She wasn't sure of the cause, but said he had been admitted Thursday.

Douglas' afternoon show aired from 1961 to 1982. It featured his ballad and big-band singing style, other musicians, comedians, sports figures and political personalities, including seven former, sitting or future presidents.

Douglas was genial most of the time, but confided in his memoir that his composure was sorely tested one week in 1972 when former Beatle John Lennon and wife, Yoko Ono, were his unlikely guest hosts. One of the guest celebrities they selected was well-known anti-war activist Jerry Rubin.

"He just got on my nerves. It sounded like this guy hated the president, the Congress, everyone in business, the military, all police and just about everything America stands for," Douglas said.

He recalled becoming confrontational with Rubin. But Lennon "picked up the mantle of Kind and Gentle Host, and he did it quite well, reinterpreting Jerry's comments to take some of the sting out and adding a little humor to keep things cool," Douglas said.

Full story here

No comments: