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Peter Marshall (entertainer)

Peter Marshall
Marshall in 1965.
Born Ralph Pierre LaCock
(1926-03-30) March 30, 1926
Huntington, West Virginia, U.S.
Occupation Actor, singer, TV host, radio personality
Years active 1950–present
Spouse(s) Laurie Stewart (m.1989-present)
Sally Carter-Ihnat (m.1977-1983)
Nadene R. Teaford (m.1947-1973; divorced; 4 children)

Ralph Pierre LaCock, better known by his stage name Peter Marshall (born March 30, 1926), is an American television and radio personality, singer, and actor. He was the original host of The Hollywood Squares, from 1966 to 1981. He has almost fifty television, movie, and Broadway credits. His stage name reportedly derived from the college in his home town (Marshall College, which became Marshall University in 1961).


  • Biography 1
  • Early career 2
  • The Hollywood Squares 3
  • Post Hollywood Squares 4
    • Television 4.1
    • American Senior Association 4.2
    • Feature films 4.3
  • Theatrical career 5
    • Broadway 5.1
    • West End 5.2
  • Recent activities 6
  • Personal life 7
  • Awards 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Peter Marshall was born Ralph Pierre LaCock on March 30, 1926 to Ralph and Jean LaCock,[1] in Huntington, West Virginia, to a show business family. Following his father's death, he moved to New York City when he was a teenager to be with his mother, a costume designer. His elder sister, Joanne Dru, was an actress who is best remembered for her roles in the films Red River, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, and All the King's Men.

Early career

At the age of 14 he was a theater usher. In the 1950s, Marshall earned his living as part of a comedy act with Tommy Noonan, and they appeared in night clubs, on television variety shows, and in films including Starlift (1951), The Rookie (1959) and Swingin' Along (1962). He appeared in the 1958 episode "The Big Hoax" of the syndicated television series Harbor Command.

The Hollywood Squares

Although Marshall occasionally worked in film and television, he could not find regular work in the industry until his friend Morey Amsterdam recommended him to fill in for Bert Parks (who emceed the pilot) as the host of the game show The Hollywood Squares in 1966.

The show had a long run on daytime network TV and in syndication, making Marshall as familiar to viewers as the celebrities who appeared on the show. The easy-going and unflappable Marshall was a perfect foil for the wicked wit of such panelists as Amsterdam and his Dick Van Dyke Show castmate Rose Marie; Paul Lynde, Jan Murray, and Wally Cox. The Hollywood Squares was canceled by the NBC network in 1980, but production continued in syndication into 1981.

Post Hollywood Squares


After the completion of the initial run of The Hollywood Squares in 1981, Marshall continued working in game shows and playing character roles. He appeared on the game shows Fantasy (1982) with cohost Leslie Uggams; All-Star Blitz (1985), Yahtzee (1988), and Reel to Reel (1998). In 1989, Marshall hosted the unaired pilot for 3rd Degree!, a Burt & Bert Production in association with Kline & Friends. Although Marshall was originally slated to host 3rd Degree!, it was hosted by show co-producer Bert Convy.

American Senior Association

In 2005 Marshall began an association with the American Senior Association (ASA). His actual company involvement in company direction or operations is unspecified, however Marshall has said, "I joined with retired business executive Jerry Barton and some of the most talented folks in a wide array of backgrounds and careers to establish the American Seniors Association," and Peter Marshall is listed as an "honorary chairman" of the ASA.[2]

Feature films

One of his memorable post-Squares roles was a cameo in the 1982 film version of the musical Annie playing fictional radio personality "Bert Healy."

As of February 2009, Marshall's last feature film acting credit was in the 1993 film Sista Dansen (aka The Last Dance).

Theatrical career


Marshall's Broadway credits include Skyscraper,[3] La Cage aux Folles[4] and The Music Man.

West End

In London's 1962 West End production, Marshall appeared in the stage musical Bye Bye Birdie,[5] a satire on American popular culture in the 1950s inspired by singer Elvis Presley receiving a draft notice into the Army. Marshall played the lead character of Albert Peterson, who writes a song for the pop-singing sensation Conrad Birdie (played by Marty Wilde). The production ran for 268 performances.

Recent activities

In 1979, he sang Back Home Again in Indiana at the Indianapolis 500. In 1986, he portrayed Bob Kenny, game show host who's been accused of murder of a game show contestant on an episode "To Live and Die on TV" on Sledge Hammer!. In 2002, he published a book about his show business experience, Backstage With The Original Hollywood Square.[6]

In 2002, he returned to the new version of The Hollywood Squares as a panelist during a Game Show Week hosted by Tom Bergeron. Marshall occupied the prestigious center square. For one day that week, Marshall took his old position at the podium to host while Bergeron was the center square.

In addition to having played a radio host in Annie, Marshall has been a radio personality in real life, hosting a popular mid-day show on the Music of Your Life adult standards national radio network, which is also live-streamed via the internet here. On October 13, 2007, Marshall was one of the first inductees into the American TV Game Show Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. In 2009, Marshall appeared on television promoting compact disc hits from the Big Band era, and also hosted a two-hour PBS special, The Big Band Years. In 2010, Marshall, along with Monty Hall and Wink Martindale, appeared with their wives on a special Game Show Legend version of The Newlywed Game. The special was hosted by Bob Eubanks; the Martindales won the game.

In 2014, Marshall returned to West Virginia to host four games of The West Virginia Squares as part of Charleston's FestivALL. The game, which featured questions about the state's history, included West Virginia notables such as Joyce Dewitt and Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.[7][8]

Personal life

He is married to his third wife, Laurie Stewart, and has four children and two stepchildren from his previous marriages. He has a home in Palm Desert, California.[9]

His son, Pete LaCock, is a former Major League Baseball player. The retired first baseman spent nine years playing for the Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs.


In 2006, Marshall, who had already won an Emmy as Outstanding Game Show Host, also received the annual Bill Cullen Award for Lifetime Achievement, from the non-profit organization, Game Show Congress.

In November 2013, Marshall was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame.[10] He was introduced by his friend, Nick Clooney.

Preceded by
Bert Parks
in CBS Pilot
Host of The Hollywood Squares
1966 – 1981
Succeeded by
Jon Bauman in the Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour
Preceded by
First Winner
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
1974 – 1975
Succeeded by
Allen Ludden
Preceded by
Dick Clark
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
1980 – 1981
Succeeded by
Bob Barker


  1. ^ and born in 1926 (4 years old in April 1930) as per the 1930 United States censusPierre LacockKnown as
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ 1965 stage musical at Internet Broadway DatabaseSkyscraper
  4. ^ cast replacements and transfers at Internet Broadway DatabaseLa Cage Aux Folles
  5. ^ West End production at BroadwayWorld.comBye Bye Birdie
  6. ^ (2002) at Amazon.comBackstage with the Original Hollywood SquareBook:
  7. ^ "WV Music Hall of Fame Presents "West Virginia Squares" starring Peter Marshall | FestivALL: A City Becomes A Work of Art, June 21-30, 2013". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  8. ^ "Game Show Features West Virginia Music and History | West Virginia Public Broadcasting". 2014-06-24. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  9. ^ Meeks, Eric G. (2012). Palm Springs Celebrity Homes: Little Tuscany, Racquet Club, Racquet Club Estates and Desert Park Estates Neighborhoods (Kindle). Horatio Limburger Oglethorpe. p. 429 (Kindle location number).  
  10. ^ Johnson, Shauna (2013-11-15). "Peter Marshall calls Hall of Fame induction the 'epitome' of awards". WV MetroNews. Retrieved 2013-12-26. 

External links

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