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Encyclopedia > This Is Your Life

This Is Your Life was a television documentary series hosted by its producer, Ralph Edwards. It originally aired in the United States from 1952 to 1961, and again in 1972 on NBC. It originated as a radio show airing from 1948 to 1952 on NBC Radio. A version of it continued to air in the United Kingdom on BBC1 from 1955 to 2003 and ITV 2007 - , and another version is still running in Australia. It has also been broadcast from time to time in New Zealand. Documentary film is a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt, in one fashion or another, to document reality. ... Ralph Livingstone Edwards (January 13, 1913 – November 16, 2005) was a television host and producer. ... NBC (a former acronym for National Broadcasting Company) is an American television network headquartered in the GE Building in New York Citys Rockefeller Center. ... The 1986 Peacock logo, designed by Chermayeff & Geismar. ... BBC One (or BBC1 as it was formerly styled) is the oldest United Kingdom, and indeed, the world. ... It has been suggested that Channel 3 (UK) be merged into this article or section. ...

Contents

The concept

The format of the show was simple: the host would surprise someone (usually a celebrity or public figure, occasionally an ordinary citizen) and, consulting his "red book," conduct a biography of the subject in a television studio. The subject would be presented with family members and old friends, reunited with old acquaintances, and often shed a tear when a personal tragedy was recounted.


The 1950s edition of the show was aired live before a theater audience. The celebrity guests were ambushed by Ralph Edwards and confronted by the microphone and cameras. They made their way to the studio during the first commercial break. Most of the honorees quickly got over their initial shock and enjoyed meeting bygone friends again. Pioneer movie producer Mack Sennett's response was typical: he hated being caught off-guard, but as the tribute progressed he relaxed, and by the end of the show he was quite pleased with the experience. Mack Sennett (1880 - 1960) Mack Sennett (January 17, 1880 – November 5, 1960) was an innovator of slapstick comedy in film. ...


Advance planning for the broadcast meant that, inevitably, certain celebrities would know in advance about the surprise. Carl Reiner later admitted that he knew beforehand about his appearance. Carl Reiner (born March 20, 1922) is an American actor, film director, producer, writer and comedian. ...


Some celebrities were unpleasantly surprised. Angie Dickinson refused to appear,[1] and Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy was angered by being "tricked" into what would be the team's only American television appearance on December 1, 1954. The meticulous Laurel later said, "[Oliver Hardy] and I were always planning to do something on TV. But we never dreamed that we would make our television debut on an unrehearsed network program... I was damned if I was going to put on a free show for them," although he mellowed in later years when so many viewers told him how much they enjoyed the show. Lowell Thomas was probably the most hostile and annoyed on-air guest. When host Ralph Edwards tried to assure him that he would enjoy what was to come, Thomas replied, "I doubt that very much." Angie Dickinson (born September 30, 1931) is a famous American television and film actress who is probably best-known for her Golden Globe-winning role as sultry Sgt. ... Laurel and Hardy, in a promotional still from their 1937 feature film Way Out West. ... December 1 is the 335th (in leap years the 336th) day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Lowell Jackson Thomas (April 6, 1892 – August 29, 1981) was an American writer, broadcaster, and traveller best known as the man who made Lawrence of Arabia famous. ...


Attempted revivals

Edwards would revive the series twice in syndication, the first one with Edwards again as host and in 1983 with Joseph Campanella. Both failed to capture the magic of the original series, mostly due to the series being filmed or taped and in the case of the '71-'72 version some stations that aired it gave away the surprise elements in ads and promos for the show. Joseph Campanella (born November 21, 1933 in New York, New York) is an American actor who has appeared in over 200 TV and film roles since 1955, including a recurring role on the soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful from 1997 to 2003. ...


In November 2005, ABC announced that it was developing a new version of the show, to be hosted by Regis Philbin. Coincidentally, the show's creator, Ralph Edwards, died not long after the announcement was made. In August 2006, Philbin decided not to renew his contract with the show (he was committed to hosting America's Got Talent on NBC), and ABC is considering moving forward with another host. [2] [3] The American Broadcasting Company ( oftenly known as ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. ... Regis Francis Xavier Philbin (born August 25, 1931) is an Emmy Award-winning American television personality best known for his roles as a talk show host, game show host, singer and presenter at various events. ... Americas Got Talent is an American television show on NBC. The talent show is a search for Americas next best amateur talent act. ... NBC (a former acronym for National Broadcasting Company) is an American television network headquartered in the GE Building in New York Citys Rockefeller Center. ...


In May 2007, on the popular television series American Idol, Sir Trevor McDonald presented Simon Cowell with the infamous red book. The full version of the revived show was broadcast on Saturday June 2nd on British television. AMERICAN IDOL HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO DEATH OF SIMON ... McDonald anchoring the ITV News at 10. ... Simon Cowell (born 7 October 1959) is an English artist and repertoire (A&R) executive for Sony BMG in the United Kingdom, but is best known as a judge on the television programs Pop Idol, The X Factor and American Idol. ...


The UK version

The show was adapted in several countries, including the United Kingdom, where it was launched in 1955 on the BBC and was presented by Eamonn Andrews (who also ended up being the first "victim"). It ended in 1964 when Eamonn Andrews moved to ABC, but it was revived on ITV (produced by Thames Television) in 1969, and Michael Aspel (himself a "victim" in 1980) became presenter after Andrews died in 1987. It returned to the BBC in 1993, though it was still produced independently by Thames Television, and was axed in 2003. The show made its return on the ITV Network in June 2007, produced by SMG Productions and ITV Productions. One notable difference to previous UK runs is that the programme's subject was trailed in advance. This Is Your Life is a television documentary series airing in the United Kingdom, originally on BBC One, and now ITV. It originally aired in the United States from 1952 to 1961, and again in 1972 on NBC. The UK version was launched in 1955 on the BBC and was... The British Broadcasting Corporation, usually known as the BBC, is the largest broadcasting corporation in the world in terms of audience numbers, employing 26,000 staff in the United Kingdom alone and with a budget of more than GB£4 billion. ... Eamonn Andrews Eamonn Andrews (19 December 1922 – 5 November 1987) was a Irish born television presenter in the United Kingdom. ... Eamonn Andrews Eamonn Andrews (19 December 1922 – 5 November 1987) was a Irish born television presenter in the United Kingdom. ... Associated British Corporation (otherwise known as ABC Television or ABC Weekend TV) was one of a number of commercial television companies set up in the 1950s by cinema chains in an attempt to safeguard their business by getting involved in television which was taking away their cinema audiences. ... It has been suggested that Channel 3 (UK) be merged into this article or section. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Michael Aspel (b. ... SMG Productions is the network television production arm of the Scottish media group SMG plc, and incorporates Ginger Productions. ... Granada Productions UK is one of Europe’s leading commercial television production and distribution companies. ...


The Australian version

In Australia, the show was aired on the Nine Network on Thursday nights for a relatively short annual season. It began in 1975 on the Seven Network, hosted by Michael Willesee. Subsequent seasons were compered by Digby Wolfe (1976) and Roger Climpson (1977 - 1980). The program was re-launched on the Nine Network in 1995, hosted by Mike Munro. The Nine Network is an Australian television network, available in major markets across Australia. ... The Seven Network is an Australian television network. ... Michael Willesee (Born June 29, 1942) is an Australian journalist. ... Roger Climpson is an Australian journalist, who was the presenter of the Seven Networks Sydney news bulletin in the 1980s and early 1990s. ... Michael Munro (born April 12, 1952) is an Australian television presenter. ...


The New Zealand version

37 New Zealanders have been honoured in the New Zealand version of the show, which has been broadcast on and off since 1984[1] on Television New Zealand's Channel One. It was originally hosted by Bob Parker (1984-1996), but more recent episodes have been presented by Paul Holmes (1996-2000) and Paul Henry (2007). Most recently, Mark Inglis (who lost his legs on Mt Cook in 1982) was the subject of an episode that was broadcast on 5 June 2007, and before that former All Blacks winger Jonah Lomu was honoured in a show that aired on 9 April 2007. Prior to that, the last This Is Your Life programme in New Zealand was broadcast in September 2000. The subject of that episode was the great New Zealand runner, Peter Snell. Previous subjects of the show have included prominent figures in sports (such as John Walker, Sir Peter Blake, Mark Todd, Lance Cairns and Colin Meads), the arts (like Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who also once appeared on the British edition of the show, Dame Malvina Major, Rob Guest, Rowena Jackson and Sir Howard Morrison), politics (e.g. Sonja Davies and Dame Catherine Tizard), broadcasting (like Sir Geoffrey Cox, Nola Luxford, Selwyn Toogood and Davina Whitehouse), literature (Barbara Ewing and A.K. Grant), science (Brian Harold Mason and William Pickering) and the military (Johnny Checketts and Charles Upham). The show has also featured iconic New Zealanders such as mountaineer and explorer Sir Edmund Hillary and Maori activist Dame Whina Cooper. Television New Zealand (TVNZ) is the main and state broadcaster of television in New Zealand. ... Paul Holmes could refer to: Paul Robert Holmes, Liberal Democrat MP for Chesterfield. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Mark Joseph Inglis (born September 27, 1959) is a mountaineer, researcher, winemaker and motivational speaker. ... First international Australia 3 - 22 New Zealand (15 August 1903) Largest win New Zealand 145 - 17 Japan (4 June 1995) Worst defeat Australia 28 - 7 New Zealand (28 August 1999) World Cup Appearances 5 (First in 1987) Best result Champions, 1987 The All Blacks are New Zealands national rugby... Jonah Tali Lomu (born May 12, 1975) is a New Zealand rugby union footballer who has played 73 times (63 caps) as an All Black after debuting in 1994. ... Peter George Snell, DCNZM, OBE (born December 17, 1938 in Opunake) is a New Zealand former athlete. ... John Walker is the name of: politicians John Walker (politician), (1744–1809), U.S. Senator and Continental Congressman from Virginia John Randall Walker (1874-1942), United States Representative from the state of Georgia John Walker (Missouri politician) (1770-1838), State Treasurer of Missouri John Williams Walker (1783-1823), a United... There have been several notable individuals named Peter Blake. ... Mark Todd can refer to Mark Todd (UK) - United Kingdom politician Mark Todd (equestrian) - New Zealand equestrian horse rider This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Lance Cairns (born on October 10, 1949 in Picton, New Zealand) was a champion all-rounder who played for the New Zealand cricket team, and is the father of New Zealand cricketer Christopher Cairns. ... Colin Earl Meads (born June 3, 1936 in Cambridge, New Zealand) nicknamed Pinetree, is a former New Zealand rugby union footballer who played 133 times (55 of these were test matches) as an All Black from 1957 until 1971. ... Kiri Te Kanawa Dame Kiri Te Kanawa ONZ DBE AO (March 6, 1944), is a well-known New Zealander opera singer of Maori ancestry. ... Dame Malvina Major DBE (b. ... Rowena Othlie Jackson is a New Zealand prima ballerina, who was born in 1926 in Invercargill. ... Marching On is the second volume of Sonja Davies autobiography Sonja Davies, ONZ (November 11, 1923 – 12 June 2005) was a New Zealand trade unionist, peace campaigner, and Member of Parliament. ... Selwyn Toogood (1916–2001) was a New Zealand radio and television personality. ... Davina Whitehouse, OBE (16 December 1912 - 25 December 2002) was a stage, film and television actress acclaimed in both her native UK as well as Australasia. ... Barbara Ewing is a New Zealand film and television actress and novellist. ... Brian Harold Mason is one of the pioneers in the study of meteorites. ... William Pickering (April 2, 1796 – 1854), British publisher and bookseller (biography: Keynes, Geoffrey Kt. ... Wing Commander Johnny Checketts DSO DFC (20 February 1912 - 24 April 2006) was a World War 2 Flying ace. ... Charles Upham Captain Charles Hazlitt Upham VC and bar (September 21, 1908 – November 22, 1994) was a New Zealand soldier who won the Victoria Cross twice during the Second World War: in Crete in May 1941, and at Ruweisat Ridge, Egypt, in July 1942. ... Edmund Hillary on the New Zealand 5 dollar note Sir Edmund Percival Hillary, KG, ONZ, KBE (born July 20, 1919) is a New Zealand mountaineer and explorer, most famous for the first successful climb of Mount Everest. ... Te Puni, Māori Chief Māori is the name of the indigenous people of New Zealand, and their language. ... Dame Whina Cooper ONZ DBE, (9 December 1895 - March 26, 1994), was born at Te Karaka, Hokianga, in northern New Zealand, the daughter of a Māori leader of the Te Rarawa iwi. ...


Spoofs

Your Show of Shows was a live sketch comedy television series appearing weekly in the United States, from 1950 until June 5, 1954, featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. ... In contemporary usage, a parody is a work that imitates another work in order to ridicule, ironically comment on, or poke some affectionate fun at the work itself, the subject of the work, the author or fictional voice of the parody, or another subject. ... Merrie Melodies end title Merrie Melodies is the name of a series of animated cartoons distributed by Warner Bros. ... 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Elmer J. Fudd is a fictional cartoon character and one of the most famous Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies characters. ... Bugs Bunny is an Academy Award-winning fictional animated rabbit who appears in the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series of animated films produced by Warner Bros. ... For the shortwave radio station, see Yosemite Sam (shortwave). ... Ralph Livingstone Edwards (January 13, 1913 – November 16, 2005) was a television host and producer. ... Flip Wilson in character as Geraldine Jones, on a recently released best of DVD set. ... The Mike Douglas Show was an American daytime television talk show hosted by Mike Douglas. ... Are You Being Served? was a long-running British sitcom broadcast from 1972 to 1985. ... The following is a list of episodes for the British sitcom Are You Being Served? that aired from 1972 to 1985. ... The Fairly OddParents is one of the most popular cartoons on Nickelodeon The Fairly OddParents is an animated series created by Butch Hartman and was first aired in March 30, 2001. ... Sesame Street is an American educational childrens television series for preschoolers and is a pioneer of the contemporary educational television standard, combining both education and entertainment. ... Bernhard Victor Christoph Carl von Bülow (short: Vicco von Bülow, born November 12, 1923), more commonly known under the pseudonym Loriot, is a German humorist, graphic artist and director. ... Space Ghost Coast to Coast (often abbreviated as SGC2C) is an animated spoof talk show on the cable TV channel Cartoon Network in the United States, Bravo in the UK, and Teletoon in Canada. ... Zorak is a cartoon character and former villain who first appeared in the Hanna-Barbera cartoon Space Ghost. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Mick Foley Sr. ... Dwayne Douglas Johnson (born May 2, 1972) is an American actor and third-generation professional wrestler, best known for his time in World Wrestling Entertainment as The Rock. ... This Is Your Life was a television documentary series hosted by its producer, Ralph Edwards. ... Happy Tree Friends is a black comedy Flash cartoon series by Mondo Mini Shows, created by Kenn Navarro, Aubrey Ankrum and Rhode Montijo. ... Jimmy Akins rendition of Jack Chick. ...

References

  1. ^ Armor Archerd: This is Angie Dickinson's Life, 16 November 2005
  2. ^ "ABC Contemplates Life Without Regis", Broadcasting & Cable, August 30, 2006.
  3. ^ "TV Q&A with Rob Owen", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 25, 2006.

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
This is Your Life (568 words)
This Is Your Life, which was broadcast from 1952 to 1961, is one of the best remembered television series from the 1950s.
The format of This is Your Life was based on the rather simple principle--guests were surprised with a presentation of their past life in the form of a narrative read by host Ralph Edwards and reminisces by relatives and friends.
In its network television years, This is Your Life alternated in presenting the life stories of entertainment personalities and "ordinary" people who had contributed in some way to their communities.
This Is Your Life - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (916 words)
This Is Your Life was a television documentary series hosted by Ralph Edwards, which originally aired in the United States from 1952 to 1961, and again from 1972 on NBC.
Your Show of Shows made a spoof of this show, titled This Is Your Story.
Sesame Street also had a recurring spoof, called Here is Your Life, showing the life and times of several everyday items, like a loaf of bread, an oak tree, a shoe, etc.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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