San Mateo, California, United States:- Mervyn Edward Merv Griffin Jr. July 6, 1925 – August 12, 2007 was an American television host and media mogul. He began his career as a radio and big band singer who went on to appear in film and on Broadway. From 1965 to 1986 Griffin hosted his own talk show The Merv Griffin Show. He also created the internationally popular game shows Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune through his television production companies Merv Griffin Enterprises and Merv Griffin Entertainment. During his lifetime Griffin was considered an entertainment business magnate.
Career:- Singing Griffin started as a singer on radio at age 19 appearing on San Francisco Sketchbook a nationally syndicated program based at KFRC. Griffin was overweight as an adolescent and a young man, which disappointed some radio fans when they saw him in person. He wrote years later in his autobiography that originally there was a deliberate effort to keep the public from finding out how he looked. Embarrassed by the weight issue Griffin resolved to change his appearance, losing 80 pounds in four months.
Freddy Martin heard him on the radio show and asked Griffin to tour with his orchestra which he did for four years.
Griffin had an uncredited role as a radio announcer in the 1953 horror science fiction classic The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.
By 1945, Griffin had earned enough money to form his own record label Panda Records which produced Songs by Merv Griffin the first U.S. album ever recorded on magnetic tape. In 1947 he had a 15-minute Monday–Friday singing program on KFRC in San Francisco.
He became increasingly popular with nightclub audiences, and his fame soared among the general public with his 1950 hit I Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts”. The song reached the number one spot on the Hit Parade and sold three million copies.
At one of his nightclub performances, Griffin was discovered by Doris Day. Day arranged for a screen test at the Warner Bros. Studios for a role in By the Light of the Silvery Moon. Griffin did not get the part but the screen test led to supporting roles in other musical films such as So This Is Love in 1953. The film caused a minor controversy when Griffin shared an open mouthed kiss with Kathryn Grayson. The kiss was a first in Hollywood film history since the introduction of the Production Code in 1934.
Griffin would go on to film more pictures The Boy from Oklahoma and Phantom of the Rue Morgue but soon became disillusioned with movie-making. Griffin bought his contract back from Warner Bros. and decided to devote his attention to a new medium television.
In the summer of 1954 Merv Griffin and Betty Ann Grove sang & danced for a show called Summer Holiday and Song Snapshots from a Summer Holiday. The premise of the show was a Live musical show with two singers simulating a trip to various places in the world. The show name had alternating titles for the same show different nights but were filled with the patter of songs and feet by the two hosts. Merv and Betty were brought together by Byron Paul producer of The Jane Froman Show and Irving Mansfield the show creator. Mansfield remembered Merv for his singing in the Grace Moore picture and for his hit song I Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts. The producer of the show Byron Paul had already considered Miss Grove for the summer replacement show but it was just a matter of finding a boy Byron said. I quite excited. They both young, fresh work well together work well independently. And I never met two people who are easier to get along with. The show ran for one summer.
In March 2001 Griffin returned to singing with the release of the album It’s Like a Dream.