Tomorrow, Peter Marshall turns 95. TV buffs will remember Peter’s Emmy Award-winning 15-year tenure (1966-1981) as host of the original Hollywood Squares, while kids of a certain generation – and kids at heart everywhere – will recognize him for his turn as Bert Healy, crooning “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” in director John Huston’s beloved big-screen adaptation of Annie. Indeed, music has long played a role in Peter’s extraordinary career. His stage roles include Albert in the London premiere of Bye Bye Birdie opposite Chita Rivera and Georges in the final Broadway company of Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman’s groundbreaking musical La Cage Aux Folles, and he’s also recorded albums of classic standards from The Great American Songbook including moving tributes to Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday. These three albums are now available once again from Real Gone Music on all digital streaming services. Please join The Second Disc in celebrating our dear friend Peter Marshall’s 95th birthday tomorrow evening at a special online event for a great cause near and dear to his heart. Happy Birthday, Peter!
LOS ANGELES – Peter Marshall, the multiple Emmy Award-winning host of the original Hollywood Squares (1966-1981) celebrity game show, couldn’t be more grateful to be turning 95 years old – particularly since a month ago he was sent home from the hospital to die.
On January 12, 2021, both Peter and his wife Laurie were diagnosed with COVID. During home treatment, Peter suffered an adverse reaction to an antibody infusion and was admitted to the hospital, where his condition rapidly declined.
A month later, Peter returned home for what was expected to be a hospice situation. But his wife enlisted a highly-regarded patient advocate who, along with Peter’s physician, arranged for hospital-quality care at home. The specialized treatment team turned the Marshalls’ den into an intensive care unit and, with the aid of around-the-clock nurses and a nurturing home environment, Peter’s fatal diagnosis was miraculously turned around.
In honor of Peter’s milestone and his 95th birthday, his first love of singing is also being recognized with the release of his lushly-produced albums of great American Songbook standards on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, and other streaming services from Real Gone Music. These include Boy Singer, a collection of favorites dating back to the start of Peter’s career as a big band singer in the 1940s; No Happy Endings, a romantic, melancholy set with arranger Ray Ellis that serves as a homage to Billie Holliday; and Let’s Be Frank, a tribute album/update on the Sinatra-Tommy Dorsey Orchestra’s 1940-1943 hits, arranged and conducted by Alan Copeland.
Additionally, a free-to-everyone online 95th birthday party for Peter will take place live on his YouTube channel this Tuesday, March 30 at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific Time with a video retrospective of rare footage spanning his 80 years in show business – including television, stage, film and music. Peter will also pop in for a visit along with some of his friends from Hollywood Squares and other familiar faces. Among those scheduled to appear are Loni Anderson, Pat Boone, Charo, Sandy Duncan, Jack Jones, Jackie Joseph, Ruta Lee, Kathy Lennon, Rich Little, Wink Martindale, Chita Rivera, Leslie Uggams, Karen Valentine, JoAnne Worley, and others.
For a lifelong animal lover like Peter, there’s no discounting that his beloved rescue dogs Lovey, Maizie, and Luna – plus Dixie the cat – have contributed to his recovery. To celebrate his renewed health and birthday, the Marshalls have chosen to raise funds for ACTORS AND OTHERS FOR ANIMALS, a charitable organization he’s supported since its inception fifty years ago. Peter and Laurie are asking that anyone who wants to commemorate this special occasion please go to https://actorsandothers.com/petermarshall and make a donation to help animals in need. A personal greeting to Peter may also be sent via the donation page.
More details can be found on Peter’s website at http://www.petermarshallofficial.com, his Facebook account @petermarshallofficial, or his Twitter account @petermarshallhs.
ABOUT PETER MARSHALL: Peter Marshall, born Ralph Pierre LaCock on March 30, 1926, has enjoyed a showbiz career spanning eight decades. Drafted into the United States Army in 1944, Peter developed his skills in front of the microphone as a disk jockey for Armed Forces Radio. By 1949, after singing with Bob Chester’s band, Peter joined forces with Tommy Noonan and the comedy duo appeared before audiences in nightclubs, theatres, film and television. He was signed as a contract player to 20th Century Fox in the late 1950s and in 1961 returned to the live stage to star in the London premiere of the hit Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie. Peter was tapped in 1966 to host television’s The Hollywood Squares, and over the next fifteen years won multiple Emmy Awards presiding over the game show’s panel of nine celebrity guests. Marshall continued to entertain as a Las Vegas headliner, guested on television programs including Lou Grant, WKRP in Cincinnati, and Love American Style, and appeared in the big-screen adaptation of Annie. He starred on Broadway and throughout the U.S. in La Cage Aux Folles, 42nd Street, Neil Simon’s Rumors, and Skyscraper. In recent years, the one-time “boy singer” has returned to his love of music with a trio of lush big-band albums. A lifelong animal lover, Peter has most recently been seen in a tribute to Betty White’s Pet Set and narrated the film Wait for Your Laugh dedicated to his late friend Rose Marie. Peter has been married to his wife Laurie for 32 years and lives in Encino, California.