Dallas (1978 TV series)
Dallas is an American prime time television soap opera that aired on CBS from April 2, 1978 to May 3, 1991. The series revolves around a wealthy and feuding Texas family, the Ewings, who own the independent oil company Ewing Oil and the cattle-ranching land of Southfork; the series focused on the marriage of Bobby Ewing and Pamela Barnes, whose families were sworn enemies with each other. As the series progressed, Bobby's older brother, oil tycoon J. R. Ewing, became the show's breakout character, whose schemes and dirty business became the show's trademark; when the show ended in May 1991, J. R. was the only character to have appeared in every episode. The show was famous for its cliffhangers, including the "Who shot J. R.?" mystery. The 1980 episode "Who Done It" remains the second highest rated prime-time telecast ever; the show featured a "Dream Season,” in which the entirety of season 9 was revealed to have been a dream of Pam Ewing. After 14 seasons, the series finale "Conundrum" aired in 1991.
The show is an ensemble cast, with Larry Hagman as greedy, scheming oil tycoon J. R. Ewing, stage/screen actress Barbara Bel Geddes as family matriarch Miss Ellie and Western movie actor Jim Davis as Ewing patriarch Jock, his last role before his death in 1981; the series won four Emmy Awards, including a 1980 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series win for Bel Geddes. With its 357 episodes, Dallas remains one of the longest lasting full-hour prime time dramas in American TV history, behind Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order, Gunsmoke. In 2007, Dallas was included in TIME magazine's list of "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME". Dallas spawned the spin-off series Knots Landing in 1979 which lasted 14 seasons. In 2010, TNT announced it had ordered a updated continuation of Dallas; the revival series, continuing the story of the Ewing family, premiered on TNT on June 13, 2012, ran for three seasons, ending its run on September 22, 2014. Dallas debuted on April 2, 1978, as a five-part miniseries on CBS.
Producers had no plans for expansion. The first five episodes considered a miniseries, are now referred to as season 1—making fourteen seasons in total; the show is known for its portrayal of wealth, intrigue and power struggles. Throughout the series, the main premise is the longtime rivalry between the Ewings and the Barnes which came to head when the Barnes' daughter Pamela eloped with a Ewing son, Bobby, in the first episode; the back story was that, in the 1930s, wildcatter John Ross "Jock" Ewing, Sr. had cheated his one-time partner, Willard "Digger" Barnes, out of his share of their company Ewing Oil, married Digger's only love, Eleanor "Miss Ellie" Southworth. Ellie's family were -- in contrast to Jock -- ranchers, with great love for the cattle. Following the marriage of Ellie and Jock, the Southworth family ranch, became the Ewings' home, where Jock and Miss Ellie raised three sons: J. R. Gary and Bobby. J. R. the eldest Ewing son and unhappily married to a former Miss Texas, Sue Ellen Shepard, was at odds with his youngest brother, who had the morals and integrity that J.
R. lacked. Middle son Gary was Ellie's favorite. R. since was dismissed as a weak link. While still young, Gary had married waitress Valene Clements, who produced the first heir, the petite and saucy Lucy. Years prior to the series beginning, J. R. had driven Valene off Southfork, leaving Lucy to be raised by her grandparents. During the first episodes of the series, the teenaged Lucy is seen sleeping with ranch foreman Ray Krebbs. In season 4, Ray would be revealed as Lucy's uncle, an illegitimate Ewing son through an extramarital affair that Jock Ewing had during World War II. Unhappy with his small, one-dimensional role, Kanaly had considered leaving the show. R. Gary, Bobby, noting his resemblance to Davis; the episodes where Ray and his niece Lucy had a fling is, as Kanaly told Dinah Shore in an appearance on her show, "prayerfully forgotten, I hope.” Ray had engaged in a short fling with Pamela Barnes, the daughter of Digger Barnes. However, Pam fell in love with Bobby, the pilot episode begins with the two of them arriving at Southfork Ranch as newlyweds, shocking the entire family.
J. R. who loathed the Barnes family, was not happy with Pam's living at Southfork, tried to undermine her marriage to Bobby. Meanwhile, Pam's brother Cliff, who had inherited Digger's hatred towards the Ewings, shared J. R.'s objections to the marriage, continued his father's quest to get revenge. Most of the seasons ended with ratings-grabbing cliffhangers, the most notable being the season 3 finale "A House Divided", which launched the landmark "Who shot J. R.?" Storyline and was ranked #69 on TV Guide's list of "TV's Top 100 Episodes of All Time". Other season finale cliffhangers include the finding of an unidentified floating female corpse in the Southfork swimming pool.
Robert Taylor (actor)
Robert Taylor was an American film and television actor, one of the most popular leading men of his time. Taylor began his career in films in 1934, he won his first leading role the following year in Magnificent Obsession. His popularity increased during the late 1930s and 1940s with appearances in A Yank at Oxford, Waterloo Bridge, Bataan. During World War II, he served in the United States Naval Air Corps, where he worked as a flight instructor and appeared in instructional films. From 1959 to 1962, he starred in the series The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor. In 1966, he took over hosting duties from his friend Ronald Reagan on the series Death Valley Days. Taylor was married to actress Barbara Stanwyck from 1939 to 1951, he married actress Ursula Thiess in 1954, they had two children. A chain smoker, Taylor was diagnosed with lung cancer in October 1968, he died of the disease on June 8, 1969 at the age of 57. Born Spangler Arlington Brugh in Filley, Taylor was the only child of Ruth Adaline and Spangler Andrew Brugh, a farmer turned doctor.
During his early life, the family moved several times, living in Oklahoma. By September 1917, the Brughs had moved to Beatrice, where they remained for 16 years; as a teenager, Taylor played the cello in his high school orchestra. Upon graduation, he enrolled at Doane College in Nebraska. While at Doane, he took cello lessons from Professor Herbert E. Gray, whom he idolized. After Professor Gray announced he was accepting a new position at Pomona College in Claremont, Taylor moved to California and enrolled at Pomona, he joined the campus theater group and was spotted by an MGM talent scout in 1932 after a production of Journey's End. He signed a seven-year contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with an initial salary of $35 per week, which rose to $2500 by 1936; the studio changed his name to Robert Taylor. He made his film debut in the 1934 comedy Handy Andy, his first leading role was in 1935 in the MGM crime short Buried Loot. The same year, Irene Dunne requested him for her leading man in Magnificent Obsession.
This was followed by Camille with Greta Garbo. Throughout the late 1930s, Taylor appeared in films of varying genres including the musicals Broadway Melody of 1936 and Broadway Melody of 1938, the British comedy A Yank at Oxford with Vivien Leigh. In 1940, he reteamed with Leigh in Mervyn LeRoy's drama Waterloo Bridge. After being given the nickname "The Man with the Perfect Profile", Taylor began breaking away from his perfect leading man image and began appearing in darker roles beginning in 1941; that year, he portrayed Billy Bonney in Billy the Kid. The next year, he played the title role in the film noir Johnny Eager with Lana Turner. After playing a tough sergeant in Bataan in 1943, Taylor contributed to the war effort by becoming a flying instructor in the U. S. Naval Air Corps. During this time, he starred in instructional films and narrated the 1944 documentary The Fighting Lady. After the war he appeared including Undercurrent and High Wall. In 1949, he co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor in Conspirator.
In 1950, Taylor landed the role of General Marcus Vinicius in Quo Vadis with Deborah Kerr. The epic film was a hit; the following year, he starred in the film version of Walter Scott's classic Ivanhoe, followed by 1953's Knights of the Round Table and The Adventures of Quentin Durward, all filmed in England. Taylor filmed Valley of the Kings in Egypt in 1954. By the mid-1950s, Taylor began to concentrate on his preferred genre, he starred in a comedy western Many Rivers to Cross in 1955 co-starring Eleanor Parker. In 1958, he shared the lead with Richard Widmark in the edgy John Sturges western The Law and Jake Wade. In 1958, he left MGM and formed his own production company, Robert Taylor Productions, the following year, he starred in the hit television series The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor. Following the end of the series in 1962, Taylor continued to appear in films and television shows, including A House Is Not a Home and two episodes of Hondo. Robert Taylor received the 1953 World Film Favorite -- award at the Golden Globes.
In 1963, NBC filmed, but never aired, four episodes of what was to have been The Robert Taylor Show, a series based on case files from the United States Department of Health and Welfare. The project was dropped for lack of coordination with HEW. In 1964, Taylor co-starred with his former wife Barbara Stanwyck in William Castle's psychological horror film The Night Walker. In 1965, after filming Johnny Tiger in Florida, Taylor took over the role of narrator in the television series Death Valley Days when Ronald Reagan left to pursue a career in politics. Taylor would remain with the series until his death in 1969. After three years of dating, Taylor married Barbara Stanwyck on May 14, 1939 in San Diego, California. Zeppo Marx's wife Marion was Stanwyck's matron of honor and her godfather, actor Buck Mack, was Taylor's best man. Stanwyck divorced Taylor in February 1951; the couple had no children. Taylor met German actress Ursula Thiess in 1952, they married in Jackson Hole, Wyoming on May 23, 1954.
They had son Terrance and daughter Tessa. Taylor was stepfather to Thiess' two children from her previous marriage and Michael Thiess. On May 26, 1969, shortly before Taylor's death from lung
Casino Royale (Climax!)
"Casino Royale" is a live 1954 television adaptation of the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. An episode of the American dramatic anthology series Climax!, the show is the first screen adaptation of a James Bond novel and stars Barry Nelson, Peter Lorre, Linda Christian. Though this marks the first onscreen appearance of the secret agent, Nelson's Bond is played as an American spy with "Combined Intelligence Agency" and is referred to as "Jimmy" by several characters. Most of the forgotten show was located in the 1980s by film historian Jim Schoenberger, with the ending found afterward. Both copies are black and white kinescopes; the rights to the program were acquired by MGM at the same time as the rights for the 1967 film version of Casino Royale, clearing the legal pathway and enabling it to make the 2006 film of the same name. Act I "Combined Intelligence" agent James Bond comes under fire from an assassin: he manages to dodge the bullets, enters Casino Royale. There he meets his British contact, Clarence Leiter, who remembers "Card Sense Jimmy Bond" from when he played the Maharajah at Deauville.
While Bond explains the rules of baccarat, Leiter explains Bond's mission: to defeat Le Chiffre at baccarat and force his Soviet spymasters to "retire" him. Bond encounters a former lover, Valerie Mathis, Le Chiffre's current girlfriend. Act II Bond beats Le Chiffre at baccarat, when he returns to his hotel room, is confronted by Le Chiffre and his bodyguards, along with Mathis, who Le Chiffre has discovered is an agent of the Deuxième Bureau, France's external military intelligence agency at the time. Act III Le Chiffre tortures Bond in order to find out where Bond has hidden the check for his winnings, but Bond does not reveal where it is. After a fight between Bond and Le Chiffre's guards, Bond shoots and wounds Le Chiffre, saving Valerie in the process. Exhausted, Bond sits in a chair opposite Le Chiffre to talk. Mathis gets in between them, Le Chiffre grabs her from behind, threatening her with a concealed razor blade; as Le Chiffre moves toward the door with Mathis as a shield, she struggles, breaking free and Bond is able to shoot Le Chiffre.
Barry Nelson as James Bond Peter Lorre as Le Chiffre Linda Christian as Valerie Mathis Michael Pate as Clarence Leiter Eugene Borden as Chef De Partie Jean Del Val as Croupier Gene Roth as Basil Kurt Katch as Zoltan Unknown actor as Zuroff William Lundigan as Host/Himself Herman Belmonte as Doorman In 1954 CBS paid Ian Fleming $1,000 to adapt his first novel, Casino Royale, into a one-hour television adventure as part of their dramatic anthology series Climax!, which ran between October 1954 and June 1958. It was adapted for the screen by Charles Bennett. Due to the restriction of a one-hour play, the adapted version lost many of the details found in the book, although it retained its violence in Act III; the hour-long Casino Royale episode aired on October 21, 1954 as a live production and starred Barry Nelson as secret agent James Bond, with Peter Lorre in the role of Le Chiffre and was hosted by William Lundigan. The Bond character from Casino Royale was re-cast as an American agent, described as working for "Combined Intelligence", supported by the British agent, Clarence Leiter.
Clarence Leiter was an agent for Station S, while being a combination of Felix Leiter and René Mathis. The name "Mathis", his association with the Deuxième Bureau, was given to the leading lady, named Valérie Mathis, instead of Vesper Lynd. Reports that toward the end of the broadcast "the coast-to-coast audience saw Peter Lorre, the actor playing Le Chiffre, get up off the floor after his'death' and begin to walk to his dressing room", do not appear to be accurate. Four years after the production of Casino Royale, CBS invited Fleming to write 32 episodes over a two-year period for a television show based on the James Bond character. Fleming began to write outlines for this series; when nothing came of this, Fleming grouped and adapted three of the outlines into short stories and released the 1960 anthology For Your Eyes Only along with an additional two new short stories. This was the first screen adaptation of a James Bond novel and was made before the formation of Eon Productions; when MGM obtained the rights to the 1967 film version of Casino Royale, it received the rights to this television episode.
The Casino Royale episode was lost for decades after its 1954 broadcast until a black and white kinescope of the live broadcast was located by film historian Jim Schoenberger in 1981. It aired on TBS as part of a Bond film marathon. However, the original 1954 broadcast had been in color; the missing footage was found and included on a Spy Guise & Cara Entertainment VHS release. MGM subsequently included the incomplete version on its DVD and Blu-ray releases of the 1967 spoof version of Casino Royale. David Cornelius of Efilmcritic.com remarked that "the first act gives in to spy pulp cliché" and noted that he believed Nelson was miscast and "trips over his lines and lacks the elegance needed for the role." He described Lorre as "the real main attraction here, the veteran villain working at full weasel mode. Peter Debruge of Variety praised Lorre, considering
Barbara Bel Geddes
Barbara Bel Geddes was an American stage and screen actress and children's author whose career spanned six decades. She was best known for her starring role as Miss Ellie Ewing in the television series Dallas. Bel Geddes starred as Maggie in the original Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1955, her notable films included I Remember Vertigo. Throughout her career, she was the recipient of nominations. Bel Geddes was born on October 31, 1922, in New York City, the daughter of Helen Belle and stage and industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes, she married theatrical manager Carl Sawyer in 1944. They divorced in 1951; that year, she married stage director Windsor Lewis, with whom she had a daughter, Betsy. When Lewis became ill in 1967, Bel Geddes suspended her career to care for him. Bel Geddes came to prominence in the 1946 Broadway production of Deep Are the Roots; the performance garnered her the Clarence Derwent Award, the Donaldson Award presented to her by Laurette Taylor, for "Outstanding Achievement in The Theatre".
From 1951 to 1953, Bel Geddes played 924 performances of the F. Hugh Herbert hit comedy. In 1955, she created the role of Maggie "The Cat" in Elia Kazan's original Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, in 1961 created the title role in the Jean Kerr comedy Mary, Mary which became Broadway's longest-running show with over 1,500 performances. Both roles earned her Tony Award nominations. Other highlights include John Steinbeck's Burning Bright, Edward Albee's Everything in the Garden, Silent Night, Lonely Night with Henry Fonda. In 1952, she received the prestigious "Woman of the Year" award from Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatricals, America's oldest theater company. Bel Geddes began her film career starring with Henry Fonda in The Long Night, a remake of the 1939 French film Le Jour Se Lève. "I went out to California awfully young," she remarked. "I remember Lillian Hellman and Elia Kazan telling me,'Don't go, learn your craft.' But I loved films." The following year, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the George Stevens film I Remember Mama.
She played Richard Widmark's wife Nancy in Kazan's 1950 film noir Panic in the Streets. In 1958, Alfred Hitchcock cast her with James Stewart in Vertigo as the long-suffering bohemian, Midge. Bel Geddes starred with Danny Kaye and Louis Armstrong in the screen musical The Five Pennies; when an investigation from the House Un-American Activities Committee had Bel Geddes's name put on the Hollywood blacklist during the 1950s, it stalled her film career for a time, she carried on with her acting on Broadway and an occasional part on television. Bel Geddes found new opportunity in television when she was cast in four episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, including "Lamb to the Slaughter", in which she played a housewife who killed her husband by bludgeoning him to death with a frozen leg of lamb, cooking the murder weapon, serving it to the investigating police, she appeared in series such as Playhouse 90, CBS Playhouse, Riverboat, Dr. Kildare, Death Valley Days. In 1977, she starred in the acclaimed production of the Thornton Wilder classic Our Town with Hal Holbrook.
In 1978, Bel Geddes was the first artist signed to star in Dallas. The role of the family matriarch, Miss Ellie, brought her renewed international recognition, she appeared in many episodes, in every season of the series, for a total of 276 episodes from 1978 to 1990 and remains the only cast member to win the Emmy Award and the Golden Globe. In 1985, she received Germany's Golden Camera Award. Larry Hagman, who played J. R. Ewing, told the Associated Press: "She was the rock of Dallas, she was just a nice woman and a wonderful actress. She was kind of the glue that held the whole thing together." In a interview for the website "Ultimate Dallas", Hagman said, "The reason I took the show, they said Barbara Bel Geddes is going to play your mother, I said,'Well, that's a touch of class, you know,' so of course I wanted to work with her." In 1971, Bel Geddes underwent a radical mastectomy, an experience that she relived while playing Miss Ellie in the 1979–80 season of Dallas. The performance garnered her the Emmy Award.
She was honored by former First Lady Betty Ford for helping to raise breast cancer awareness. On March 15, 1983, Bel Geddes narrowly avoided a heart attack, but the media falsely reported that she had had a heart attack. Only days after she completed filming for the 1982–83 season, her doctor discovered a condition that required emergency quadruple bypass surgery. Bel Geddes underwent heart surgery, she missed the first 11 episodes of the 1983–84 season and was replaced with actress Donna Reed for the 1984–85 season. With her health improved, CBS-TV persuaded Lorimar Productions to return Bel Geddes to the role of Miss Ellie for the 1985–86 season, she remained in the role until the stages of the penultimate season of Dallas in 1990. Bel Geddes retired from acting in 1990 and settled in her home in Northeast Harbor, where she continued to work as a fine artist, she was
Myrna Loy was an American film and stage actress. Trained as a dancer, Loy devoted herself to an acting career following a few minor roles in silent films, she was typecast in exotic roles as a vamp or a woman of Asian descent, but her career prospects improved following her portrayal of Nora Charles in The Thin Man. Born in Helena, Loy was raised in rural Radersburg throughout her early childhood, before relocating to Los Angeles with her mother in her early adolescence. There, she began studying dance, trained extensively throughout her high school education, she was discovered by production designer Natacha Rambova, who helped facilitate film auditions for her, she began obtaining small roles in the late 1920s portraying vamps. Her role in The Thin Man helped elevate her reputation as a versatile actress, she reprised the role of Nora Charles five more times. Loy's career began to slow in the 1940s, she appeared in only a few films in the 1950s, including a lead role in the comedy Cheaper by the Dozen, as well as supporting parts in The Ambassador's Daughter and the drama Lonelyhearts.
She would go on to appear in only eight films between 1960 and 1981, after which she formally retired from acting. Although Loy was never nominated for a competitive Academy Award, in March 1991 she was presented with an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of her life's work both onscreen and off, including serving as assistant to the director of military and naval welfare for the Red Cross during World War II, a member-at-large of the U. S. Commission to UNESCO. Loy died in December 1993 in New York City, aged 88. Loy was born Myrna Adele Williams on August 2, 1905, in Helena, the daughter of Adelle Mae and rancher David Franklin Williams, her parents had married in Helena in 1904, one year before Loy was born. She had David Frederick Williams. Loy's paternal grandfather, David Thomas Williams, was Welsh, immigrated from Liverpool, England to the United States in 1856, arriving in Philadelphia. Unable to read or write in English, he settled in the Montana Territory where he began a career as a rancher.
Loy's maternal grandparents were Swedish immigrants. During her childhood, her father worked as a banker, real estate developer, farmland appraiser in Helena, was the youngest man elected to the Montana state legislature, her mother had studied music at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, at one time considered a career as a concert performer, but instead devoted her time to raising Loy and her brother. Loy's mother was a lifelong Democrat, she was raised in the Methodist faith. Loy spent her early life in Radersburg, Montana, a rural mining community 50 miles southeast of Helena. During the winter of 1912, Loy's mother nearly died from pneumonia, her father sent his wife and daughter to La Jolla, California. Loy's mother saw great potential in Southern California, during one of her husband's visits, she encouraged him to purchase real estate there. Among the properties he bought was land he sold at a considerable profit to Charlie Chaplin so the filmmaker could construct his studio there.
Although her mother tried to persuade her husband to move to California permanently, he preferred ranch life and the three returned to Montana. Soon afterward, Loy's mother needed a hysterectomy and insisted Los Angeles was a safer place to have it done, so she and Loy's brother David moved to Ocean Park, where Loy began to take dancing lessons. After the family returned to Montana, Loy continued her dancing lessons, at the age of 12, Myrna Williams made her stage debut performing a dance she had choreographed based on "The Blue Bird" from the Rose Dream operetta at Helena's Marlow Theater. After the November 1918 death of Loy's father from the 1918 flu pandemic, Loy's mother permanently relocated the family to California, where they settled in Culver City. Loy attended the exclusive Westlake School for Girls while continuing to study dance in downtown Los Angeles; when her teachers objected to her extracurricular participation in theatrical arts, her mother enrolled her in Venice High School, at 15, she began appearing in local stage productions.
In 1921, Loy posed for Venice High School sculpture teacher Harry Fielding Winebrenner for the central figure "Inspiration" in his allegorical sculpture group Fountain of Education. Completed in 1922, the sculpture group was installed in front of the campus outdoor pool in May 1923 where it stood for decades. Loy's slender figure with her uplifted face and one arm extending skyward presented a "vision of purity, youthful vigor, aspiration", singled out in a Los Angeles Times story that included a photo of the "Inspiration" figure along with the model's name—the first time her name appeared in a newspaper. A few months Loy's "Inspiration" figure was temporarily removed from the sculpture group and transported aboard the battleship Nevada for a Memorial Day pageant in which "Miss Myrna Williams" participated. Fountain of Education can be seen in the opening scenes of the 1978 film Grease. After decades of exposure to the elements and vandalism, the original concrete statue was removed from display in 2002, replaced in 2010 by a bronze duplicate paid for through an alumni-led fundraising campaign.
Loy left school at the age of 18 to help with the family's finances. She obtained work at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre, where she performed in elaborate musical sequences that were related to and served as prologues for the feature film. During this period, she saw Eleonora Duse in the
What's My Line?
What's My Line? is a panel game show that ran in the United States on the CBS Television Network from 1950 to 1967, with several international versions and subsequent U. S. revivals. The game requires celebrity panelists to question a contestant in order to determine his or her employment, i.e. "line," with panelists being called on to identify a weekly celebrity "mystery guest" while blindfolded. It is the longest-running U. S. primetime network television game-show. Moderated by John Charles Daly and with regular panelists Dorothy Kilgallen, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf, What's My Line? won three Emmy Awards for "Best Quiz or Audience Participation Show" in 1952, 1953, 1958 and the Golden Globe for Best TV Show in 1962. After its nullification by CBS in 1967, it returned in syndication as a daily production, moderated by Wally Bruner and by Larry Blyden, which ran from 1968 to 1975. There have been several international versions, radio versions, a live stage version. In 2013, TV Guide ranked it #9 in its list of the 60 greatest game shows ever.
Produced by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman for CBS Television, the show was called Occupation Unknown before deciding on the name What's My Line? The original series, broadcast live, debuted on Thursday, February 2, 1950, at 8:00 p.m. ET. After airing alternate Wednesdays alternate Thursdays on October 1, 1950, it had settled into its weekly Sunday 10:30 p.m. ET slot where it would remain until the end of its network run on September 3, 1967. Starting in July 1959 and continuing for 8 straight years, until July 1967, when John Daly was due to appear in Moscow, the show would record episodes onto Quadruplex videotape for playback at a future date; this was state-of-the-art technology, Daly praised it upon his return from Moscow. In such instances, there would be two shows a day; the cast and crew began taking "Summer breaks" from the show in July 1961, through July 1967. The host called the moderator, was veteran radio and television newsman John Charles Daly. Clifton Fadiman, Eamonn Andrews, Random House co-founding publisher and panelist Bennett Cerf substituted on the four occasions when Daly was unavailable.
The show featured a panel of four celebrities. On the initial program of February 2, 1950, the panel was former New Jersey governor Harold Hoffman, columnist Dorothy Kilgallen, poet Louis Untermeyer, psychiatrist Richard Hoffmann; the panel varied somewhat in the following weeks, but after the first few broadcasts, during the show's earliest period the panel consisted of Kilgallen, actress Arlene Francis and comedy writer Hal Block. At various times, a regular panelist might take a vacation or be absent from an episode due to outside commitments. On these occasions, a guest panelist would take their spot; the most frequent guest panelist was Arlene Francis's husband Martin Gabel, who appeared 112 times over the years. Publisher Bennett Cerf replaced Untermeyer as a regular panelist in 1951, comedian Steve Allen replaced Block in 1953. Allen left in 1954 to launch The Tonight Show, he was replaced by comedian Fred Allen, who remained on the panel until his death in 1956. Following Fred Allen's death, he was not replaced on a permanent basis.
For the majority of the show's network run, between 1956 and 1965, the panel therefore consisted of Kilgallen, Francis and a fourth guest panelist. After Kilgallen's death in 1965, she was not replaced with a permanent panelist. For the show's final two years, the panel consisted of Cerf and two guests. Regular announcers included Lee Vines, who served from 1950 to 1955, Hal Simms, who served from 1955 to 1961, Ralph Paul, whose tenure was confined to 1961, Johnny Olson the best known of Goodson-Todman's television announcers, whose tenure began in 1961 and ran till 1967. What's My Line? was a guessing game in which the four panelists attempted to determine the occupation of a guest. In the case of the famous mystery guest each week, the panel sought to determine the identity of the contestant. Panelists were required to probe by asking only yes-no questions. A typical episode featured two standard rounds plus one mystery guest round. On the occasions on which there were two mystery guests, the first would appear as the first contestant.
For the first few seasons, the contestant would first meet the panel up close, for a casual inspection, the panel was allowed one initial guess. Beginning in 1955 Daly greeted and seated the contestant, who met the panel at the end of the game. Additionally, starting April 17, 1955, the panel stopped taking initial guesses; the contestant's line was revealed to the studio and home audiences, Daly would tell the panel whether the contestant was salaried or self-employed, from 1960 on, dealt in a product or a service. A panelist chosen by Daly would begin the game. If his question elicited a yes answer, he continued questioning; when a question was answered no, questioning passed to the next panelist and $5 was added to the prize. The amount of the prize was tallied by Daly. A contestant won the top prize of $50 by giving ten no answers, or if time ran out, with Daly flipping all the cards; as Daly noted, "Ten flips and they are a flop!" Daly explained, after the show had finished its run on CBS, the maximum payout of $50 was to ensure the game was played only for enjoyment, that there could never be the appearance of impropriet