Jim Perry, the genial host of NBC game shows "Card Sharks" and "$ale of the Century" in the 1970s and 1980s, died Friday at his home in Ashland, Ore. He was 82.
The cause was cancer, his family said.
Perry led both shows with wholesome wisecracks. He hosted "Card Sharks" from 1978 until 1981, its first run (later versions were hosted by Bob Eubanks and Pat Bullard); and the 1983 reboot of "$ale of the Century" until 1989.
"Card Sharks" was based on the idea of an over-under bet: Contestants tried to guess whether the next card would be higher or lower than one currently visible.
"$ale of the Century" was a more conventional trivia show in which contestants answered questions to amass money and other prizes.
Perry also hosted game shows in Canada. He sometimes worked on three at a time, the Canadian shows "Headline Hunters" and "Definition" while also shooting "Card Sharks" or "$ale of the Century" in the United States.
Born Nov. 9, 1933, in Camden, N.J., Perry grew up in Chester, Pa. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and worked for Armed Forces Radio during the Korean War.
After the war he became a singer at Grossinger's resort in the Catskills and spent some years working as the comedian Sid Caesar's straight man. He broke into game shows in the late 1960s.
He married the former June Wiatrak in 1959. She survives him, as do a daughter, Erin; a son, Sean; two sisters, Janice Campbell and Patti Castillo; and three grandchildren.
Saeed Jaffrey, 86, an Indian-born character actor known internationally for his work in films like "Gandhi," "The Man Who Would Be King" and "My Beautiful Laundrette," died Nov. 14 in London. The cause was a brain hemorrhage, his wife, Jennifer Jaffrey, said.
In his native India, Jaffrey was best known for playing roles he once characterized as "the naughty uncle" in a host of Bollywood films. But he had a rare crossover career in radio, film and television and on the stage that encompassed three continents.
After working in the theater in New York — he appeared on Broadway in a stage version of E.M. Forster's novel "A Passage to India" — he moved to London, where he appeared on the West End and worked for the BBC, writing and broadcasting scripts in Urdu, Hindi and English.
In "The Man Who Would Be King," John Huston's 1975 adaptation of a Rudyard Kipling novel, he played an interpreter who helped two former British soldiers in India, played by Michael Caine and Sean Connery, in their efforts to amass a fortune. It was his breakout role.
His first Indian film, "The Chess Players," directed by the celebrated Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray, was released two years later. While appearing in scores of films in India, Jaffrey also continued acting in movies and on television in Britain and America.
He played the Indian statesman Vallabhbhai Patel in Richard Attenborough's "Gandhi" in 1982 and was in the British miniseries "The Jewel in the Crown" in 1984 and, in 1985, in a major part as a hustling businessman in Stephen Frears' "My Beautiful Laundrette" and in a smaller role in David Lean's "A Passage to India."
Jaffrey studied acting at the Catholic University of America in Washington.
"I said to myself it doesn't matter if it's a six-line part," he said in an interview with the British newspaper the Independent in 2011. "If they offer it to you, take it — enrich it with your background and everything — so much that people will never forget it. That became my religion."
Rex Reason, 86, a dashing movie star who played opposite Rita Hayworth and Clark Gable and starred in science fiction movies and two television series, died on Thursday at his home in Walnut, Calif.
The cause was bladder cancer, his wife, Shirley, said.
Reason played Cal Meacham, the heroic scientist in the 1955 science fiction film "This Island Earth," which was hailed for its color cinematography and technical effects and is paid a brief homage in a scene in "E.T." He appeared with Hayworth in "Salome" in 1953 and with Gable and Sidney Poitier in "Band of Angels" in 1957. In 1956 he played Dr. Thomas Morgan in "The Creature Walks Among Us," the last installment in the last of the so-called Gill Man trilogy.
Reason also starred as a newspaperman in the TV Western "Man Without a Gun" in the late 1950s and a TV drama set in Prohibition-era New York, "The Roaring Twenties."
Oddly, for an actor with a name made for Hollywood, Universal insisted that he change it to Bart Roberts when he appeared in "Taza, Son of Cochise" and "Yankee Pasha" in 1954. But he demanded to use his real name again starting with "This Island Earth."
Reason was born on Nov. 30, 1928, in Berlin, where his father, George, worked for General Motors Acceptance, which provided dealerships with credit to finance their inventories. His mother was the former Jean Robinson. He and his younger brother, Rhodes, who also became an actor, were reared in Los Angeles. His brother died last year.
After quitting high school and serving in the Army, Reason acted at the Pasadena Playhouse. He was given a screen test at Columbia and was cast as the star of "Storm Over Tibet," released in 1951, opposite Diana Douglas, Kirk Douglas' former wife.
He left "The Roaring Twenties" in 1961. "I have a long way to go in my career, and progress is my motto," he said. But he soon gave up acting. His last TV appearance was in a 1963 episode of "Wagon Train." He later worked as a real estate broker and recorded voice-overs until he retired.