John Davidson

Although he was the host of two of America's favorite shows, Hollywood Squares and That's Incredible!, John Davidson was a singer and dancer first He was born in Pittsburgh, the son of a minister. He made his Broadway debut in the 1964 production of Foxy, which also starred Bert Lahr, known for his performance as the Cowardly Lion in the 1939 MGM classic The Wizard of Oz. Television producer Bob Banner, who discovered such stars as Carol Burnett and Bob Newhart, was impressed with Davidson's performance and molded him into a TV entertainer. Banner instilled in Davidson that being a TV personality meant not only adapting yourself to many different television roles but also knowing when to be yourself. He learned to be a singer, actor, and a TV personality. In 1964 he appeared on the unsuccessful variety show The Entertainers. Several prime-time variety shows followed, including Kraft Summer Music Hall and two versions of The John Davidson Show. It wasn't until 1980 that Davidson became a household name when he hosted That's Incredible! The show lasted for four years and was co-hosted by Cathy Lee Crosby. He began a successful climb in television when he became a regular on Hollywood Squares, finally becoming the host of the popular game show in 1986. This version of Hollywood Squares included such celebrities as Joan Rivers, Shadow Stevens, Louie Anderson, and others. In 1991 he took over for Dick Clark on the syndicated game show The $100,000 Pyramid. During his hosting career, Davidson also found time to act and sing, his first loves. In 1973 he starred with Sally Field in the television series The Girl with Something Extra. He recorded 12 albums, performed in various musicals, and played Angie Duke in the Disney musical The Happiest Millionaire. His other film credits include Airport '79, The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, and Edward Scissorhands. Davidson has been performing on and off in the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical State Fair for years. One of his premier accomplishments is that he has made a name for himself in the entertainment industry just by being himself. ~ Kim Summers

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