TV host Tom Kennedy passed away at age 93. Kennedy captured audiences as the host of game shows Name That Tune and You Don’t Say.
His friend Steve Beverly, nephew Ben and his daughter Courtney confirmed the TV host’s passing. Kennedy died on Oct. 7 while at his home in Oxnard, California. His family hasn’t released a cause of death yet.
“He passed away peacefully,” Ben told Fox News.
In a Facebook post, Beverly said his friend had been ill in recent months but remained in good spirits. Beverly is heartbroken by the loss, writing, “After I have time to clearly process this, I will offer my own remembrances of a relationship that evolved from his being my childhood icon to a genuine friendship I will always cherish.”
Tom Kennedy spent decades as a game show host
Kennedy’s birth name was James Edward Narz. He was born Feb. 26, 1927, in Louisville, Kentucky. Kennedy’s older brother Jack inspired him to become a TV show host. Kennedy also changed his name to avoid confusion with his TV host sibling. At the age of 20, he moved to Los Angeles to start his career in broadcast and worked in radio for 10 years.
Fans will remember Kennedy as the host of several game shows from the ’50s to the ’80s. From 1963 until 1969, Kennedy hosted You Don’t Say on NBC, followed by Name That Tune from 1974 to 1981. In the early ’80s, he briefly hosted Password Plus for two years. For a year, he also hosted the nighttime version of The Price is Right, sharing host duties with Bob Barker.
In 1989, Kennedy retired from his duties as a game show host. For his work in game shows, Kennedy received the Game Show Congress’ Bill Cullen award for lifetime achievement as a result.
Kennedy’s brother Jack passed away in 2008 after having two strokes. Additionally, Kennedy’s wife of 59 years Betty and daughter Julia passed away in 2011 and 2015, respectively.
Kennedy is survived by his children Linda Ann Narz, James Narz Jr. and Courtney Ellen Narz; his granddaughter Abigail Norah Narz and his sister, Mary Lovett Scully.