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Art James 1929 – 2004


Art James (October 15, 1929 – March 27, 2004) was an American game show host, best known for shows such as The Who, What, Or Where Game and Pay Cards!. He was also the announcer on the game show Concentration.

He was born Artur Simeonvich Elimchik in Dearborn, Michigan to Russian immigrants (fluent in Russian, he taught English to Russian immigrants). He attended Wayne State University in nearby Detroit, where he studied engineering. He worked as an announcer for the Armed Forces Network while stationed in Germany after World War II.

An old Army friend, who was an executive with NBC, asked James to audition for a new game show, Concentration, hosted by Hugh Downs, which needed an announcer. Concentration ran from 1958 to 1973 and was NBC's longest-running game show. He went on to either announce or host over a dozen game shows, including Say When!!, Fractured Phrases, It's Academic, The Who, What, Or Where Game, Pay Cards!, Temptation, The Joker's Wild, Blank Check, The Magnificent Marble Machine, Classic Concentration, Family Feud, Catchphrase, Tic Tac Dough and appeared in the Kevin Smith movie Mallrats. He started Art James Productions in the 1990s, which taught public speaking and staged game shows specially designed to teach job skills.

One episode of Say When! included a classic blooper by James which has made the rounds on blooper specials. While James was doing an in-show plug for Peter Pan peanut butter, the bottom of the jar fell off after he put a knife in it. James continued with the plug, although he was struggling to keep from laughing. As the show was recorded live, there was no room for retakes.

He was living in Chaska, Minnesota at the end of his life, and died during a visit to his brother in Palm Springs, California.

He was married to Samantha Peitron, who was born in North Dakota, Arvilla. James is survived by two daughters, Jennifer Christie and Joy DeStefano; a son, Jeff James; and 3 grandchildren.




mography
Jump to filmography as: Actor, Self
Actor:

* 1990s
* 1980s
* 1970s
* 1960s

1. Mallrats (1995) .... Game Show Host
2. Raw Justice (1994) .... Gunman
... aka Good Cop Bad Cop (UK)
... aka Skip-Tracer

3. "Face the Music" (1980) TV series .... Announcer (unknown episodes)

4. The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) (TV) (voice) .... Announcer
... aka The 'Star Wars' Christmas Special (USA: unauthorized video title)

5. "The Who, What or Where Game" (1969) TV series .... Host (unknown episodes, 1969-1974)
6. "Temptation" (1967) TV series .... Host (unknown episodes, 1967-1968)
7. "Fractured Phrases" (1965) TV series .... Host (1965)

Self:

* 1990s
* 1980s
* 1970s
* 1960s
* 1950s

1. "Classic Concentration" (1987) TV series .... Substitute Announcer (unknown episodes, 1991)
2. "Family Feud" (1988) TV series .... Sub-Announcer (unknown episodes, 1991)
... aka Family Feud Challenge (USA: new title)
... aka The New Family Feud (USA: new syndication title)
3. "Tic Tac Dough" (1990) TV series .... Announcer

4. "Catch Phrase" (1985) TV series .... Host (unknown episodes)
5. "The New Tic Tac Dough" (1978) TV series .... Sub-Announcer (1981-1982)
... aka Tic Tac Dough (USA: syndication title)
6. "The Joker's Wild" (1972) TV series .... Announcer (unknown episodes, 1981-1982)

7. "Blank Check" (1975) TV series .... Host (1975)
8. "The Magnificent Marble Machine" (1975) TV series .... Host (unknown episodes, 1975-1976)

9. "It's Academic" (1961) TV series .... Host, New York Version (1969-1971)
10. "Pay Cards!" (1968) TV series .... Host (1968-1969 & 1981-1982)
11. "Matches 'N Mates" (1967) TV series .... Host (1967-1968)
12. "To Tell the Truth" .... Guest Panelist (1 episode, 1963)
- Episode dated 18 February 1963 (1963) TV episode .... Guest Panelist
13. "Say When!" (1961) TV series .... Host (1961-1965)

14. "Concentration" (1958) TV series .... Announcer / ... (unknown episodes, 1958-1960)

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