Jim Lange

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Jim Lange
Born(1933-08-15) August 15, 1933 (age 79)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
OccupationTV presenter/Game show presenter
Years active1965–1989
Spouse(s)Nancy Fleming (1978-present)
 
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Jim Lange
Born(1933-08-15) August 15, 1933 (age 79)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
OccupationTV presenter/Game show presenter
Years active1965–1989
Spouse(s)Nancy Fleming (1978-present)

Jim Lange (born August 15, 1933) is a former American game show host and disc jockey. He was particularly well known to listeners in the San Francisco and Los Angeles radio markets with stints at several stations in both markets, racking up over 45 years on the air. Lange was also known to television viewers as an announcer and host of several game shows, including The Dating Game.

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Early career

Lange began his radio broadcasting career in the Twin Cities after winning an audition as a teenager. He graduated from St. Thomas Academy high school, before going to the University of Minnesota. After graduating from the University of Minnesota and serving in the Marines, Lange moved to San Francisco. After making his Bay Area broadcast debut as "The All-Night Mayor" on KGO, he moved to afternoons on KSFO in 1960.

Game shows

His network television career began in San Francisco with The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show in 1962, where Lange was announcer and sidekick to Ford. Three years later, he would sign on to host The Dating Game. While still on-air at KSFO, he commuted to Los Angeles to tape the TV program.

His other game shows include $100,000 Name That Tune, Bullseye and The $1,000,000 Chance of a Lifetime, as well as short-lived shows including, Spin-Off, Triple Threat, Give-n-Take., and The Newlywed Game (Valentines Week Special 1984 on ABC).

He also appeared as himself in Bewitched, Laverne & Shirley, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, Parker Lewis Can't Lose and Moesha. He also appeared during the week of December 9, 2002 on Hollywood Squares for their "Game Show Week", which also featured Monty Hall, Carol Merrill, Bob Eubanks, Peter Marshall, Wink Martindale, Brett Somers, Charles Nelson Reilly and Chuck Woolery.

Later work

He was introduced to Los Angeles local audiences on KMPC in 1970, in order to limit his commute while taping "The Dating Game". He returned to Gene Autry/Golden West station KSFO by 1971 and remained there till the station was sold in 1984. He then returned to KMPC, where he did mornings and afternoons (at different times) until the end of the decade.

In the early 1990s, he returned to full-time radio in the Bay Area, when he originally worked afternoons on 610/KFRC and eventually accepted an offer to broadcast weekday mornings on "Magic 61," by then owned by real estate magnate Peter Bedford (Bedford Broadcasting). Magic 61 was formatted as "American pop standards" (Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Harry Connick, Jr., Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, et al.). During this period Jim also hosted promotional events for Magic 61, including Big Band Dances and a resurrection of his popular "Leo Birthday Party," which he'd initiated on KSFO years before.

The "Lange Gang" show on Magic 61 was produced by Steve "Dino" Donikian, whose background cackling laugh punctuated Lange's jokes, jibes and ad-libs. They would work together for much of the next decade.

After the sale of KFRC AM and FM (99.7) FM (the new owners decided to simulcast the FM "oldies" format on 610 AM), Jim and the show decamped for a run on KKSJ, San Jose.

In 1997, Lange became morning host of The Lange Gang on KABL in San Francisco. Lange retired in 2005 after KABL - by then owned by Clear Channel - went off the air.

He currently lives in Marin County, California, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, with his wife, Nancy Fleming, a former Miss America; she had been Lange's co-host on a local KGO-TV morning TV show in San Francisco decades previously in the 1970s.

Lange appeared in the critically acclaimed movie Confessions of a Dangerous Mind as himself.

External links

Preceded by
First Host
Host, The Dating Game
1965–1980
Succeeded by
Elaine Joyce in 1986
Preceded by
Tom Kennedy (1974-1981)
Host, Name That Tune
1984–1985
Succeeded by
Defunct