BERT PARKS Biography - Socialites, celebrities and People in the fashion industry


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Name: Bert Parks                                                                     
Born: 30 December 1914                                                               
Died: 2 February 1992                                                               
Bert Parks (December 30, 1914 – February 2, 1992), an American actor, singer,     
and radio and television announcer and host, is best known as the longtime host     
(1955-1979) of the annual Miss America Pageant telecast.                             
Born Bert Jacobson in Atlanta, Georgia, Parks got his first broadcasting job at     
age sixteen, for Atlanta's WGST radio. He moved to New York when he was nineteen.   
He was hired as a singer and straight man on The Eddie Cantor Show before           
becoming a CBS radio staff announcer. Parks became the host of Break the Bank,       
which premiered on radio in 1945 and went on to television from 1948-1957, and       
Stop the Music on radio in 1948, and on television 1949-1952. Other game/quiz       
shows Parks hosted in the first decade and a half of television (the debut years     
are noted here) included The Big Payoff (1951), Balance Your Budget (1952),         
Double or Nothing (1952), Two in Love (1954), Giant Step (1956), Hold That Note     
(1957), County Fair (1958), Bid 'n' Buy (1958), Masquerade Party (which debuted     
in 1952 with Parks as a panelist until he became the show's host in 1958), and       
Yours For A Song (1961). Parks also hosted the pilot for The Hollywood Squares       
but was not selected to host the series. That honor went to Peter Marshall.         
He also had a daytime variety show with The Bert Parks Show (1950). He hosted       
the Miss America telecast from 1955 until 1979. He was unceremoniously fired         
after the 1979 pageant on the grounds that he was too old. Talk show host Johnny     
Carson led a campaign on the air of The Tonight Show to have Parks rehired, but     
this was unsuccessful.                                                               
An audio tape of Parks's classic rendition of the song "There She Is, Miss           
America" is still used each year in the Miss America contest as the just-announced   
winner takes her walk down the runway in her newly-earned crown.                     
Parks did a take-off of his Miss America role in 1990's The Freshman, starring       
Matthew Broderick. In it, he plays the M.C. of the Gourmet Club dinner in which     
diners supposedly eat a Komodo Dragon. He sings a take-off of "There She Is,         
Miss America" in a salute to the dragon.                                             
Parks died of lung cancer at age 77.