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From his boundary-pushing game shows to his strange claims of being a CIA assassin, Chuck Barris lived large.The host of “The Gong Show” and the creative force behind “The Dating Game,” “The Newlywed Game” and many other game shows died Tuesday at 87 in Palisades, N. Barris loaded ’60s and ’70s television with game shows, and later made waves when in an autobiography he claimed to be an assassin for the CIA, which the agency flatly denied.The gimmick: a young female questions three males, hidden from her view, to determine which would be the best date.Sometimes the process was switched, with a male questioning three females.SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Jim Lange, the first host of the popular game show "The Dating Game," has died at his home in Mill Valley, Calif. He died Tuesday morning after suffering a heart attack, his wife Nancy told the Associated Press Wednesday.Though Lange had a successful career in radio, he is best known for his television role on ABC's "The Dating Game," which debuted in 1965 and on which he appeared for more than a decade, playing host to many celebrity guests.
He grew up with show business aspirations and climbed upward — one menial job after another. He was also a songwriter, penning “Palisades Park,” which was turned into an uptempo hit in 1962 by Freddie Cannon.Michael Jackson, Steve Martin and Arnold Schwarzenegger, among others, appeared as contestants.Even a pre-"Charlie's Angels" Farrah Fawcett appeared on the program, introduced as "an accomplished artist and sculptress" with a dream to open her own gallery.And one made news for reasons having nothing to do with show business.PHOTOS: Notable deaths of 2014Does the onetime self-proclaimed King of Pop surprise you? And without Lange’s charm, his voice, and his grin (oh, his grin! While he began his career on the radio — his true love till the end, his wife tells the AP — it was reality dating that skyrocketed him to fame.At the end of the show, she chose her date based solely on their answers. It ran for 11 of the next 15 years, during which young celebrities such as Farrah Fawcett, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jackson and Suzanne Somers appeared as contestants.Jim Lange, who died of a heart attack Tuesday at age 81, hosted many game shows during his decades-long career, but it was his work on "The Dating Game" that made him the most famous.Chuck Barris, whose game show empire included "The Dating Game," ''The Newlywed Game" and that infamous factory of cheese, "The Gong Show," has died. Barris died of natural causes Tuesday afternoon at his home in Palisades, New York, according to publicist Paul Shefrin, who announced the death on behalf of Barris' family.Barris made game show history right off the bat, in 1966, with "The Dating Game," hosted by Jim Lange.