George Clooney

A man of many guises, Chuck Barris was often ahead of his time

A man of many guises, Chuck Barris was often ahead of his time

Chuck Barris, who died Tuesday at the age of 87, was an American wildflower genius, a creator and producer of game shows, including "The Dating Game" and "The Newlywed Game," and eventually the host of one, "The Gong Show.”

He was also a one-hit songwriter — Freddy Cannon took his “Palisades Park” nearly to the top of the charts in 1962 — and a cameo player in the actual movie of his life, George Clooney's 2002 "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," based on his 1984 "unauthorized autobiography.” In that book, Barris claimed to have worked as an assassin for the CIA, even as he was producing "The Dating Game.”

Barris' later refusal to...

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