Friday, November 5, 2010

Announcer Charlie O'Donnell Passes On

Charlie O'Donnell, long time announcer on Wheel of Fortune and other game shows, passed on October 31, 2010 at the age of 78.

Charlie O'Donnell was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 12, 1932. He started his career while still a teenager at radio station WCHA in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. By 1956 he was programme director at radio station WHAT in Philadelphia. in 1957 he became news director at WIBG. In 1958 he then joined a local programme at WFIL called American Bandstand as an announcer. Through his stint on American Bandstand Mr. O'Donnell became a disc jockey at various Los Angeles radio stations, before joining KCOP-TV as an anchorman.

In 1967 Charlie O'Donnell was the announcer on the short lived game show Everybody's Talking. That same year he started out as the announcer on the rock music programme Where the Action Is. In 1973 he was the announcer on Wizard of Odds. He would be an announcer on Card Sharks in 1980 and again from 1986 to 1989 and Tic Tac Dough from 1982 to 1986. Over the years he would serve as the announcer for such game shows as The Dating Game, The Joker's Wild, The Newlywed Game, To Tell the Truth, and others.

It would be The Wheel of Fortune with which Mr. O'Donnell would be most closely associated. He was an announcer on the show from 1975 to 1980. He returned in 1980 and stayed until his death. October 29, 2010 was the last show taped featuring him.

Charlie O'Donnell was one of the legendary television announcers. He had a rich, booming voice, well trained as a disc jockey. It proved well suited to announcing game shows, where he could lend even more a sense of excitement to winning such prizes as "a new car!" or "$30,000!" Indeed, he has announced Wheel of Fortune for so long and did it so well, the show simply won't be the same without his voice.

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