tom kennedy
Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Tom Kennedy, a veteran host of game shows like Name That Tune and Split Second, died at his home in Oxnard, Calif., at the age of 93, his friend Steve Beverly shared on Sunday.

While he did not note a cause of death, Beverly said that Kennedy "had not been well in recent months."

Kennedy hosted 16 shows between 1958 and 1987, including Name That Tune, Split Second, You Don't Say!, and Dr. I.Q. He also acted in shows like That Girl, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and Hardcastle and McCormick, and stage productions like The Odd Couple, Tunnel of Love, and There’s a Girl in My Soup.

Later in his career, Kennedy appeared as a panelist on Hollywood Squares in 2003 and was profiled in a documentary about game shows like 2008's Pioneers of Television and 2018's Game Changers. 

Kennedy was born Jim Narz in Louisville, Ky., in 1927. and later changed his name to avoid confusion with his brother Jack Narz, whose career as a TV host inspired his younger brother to set out for Hollywood. Kennedy first worked as an announcer and engineer, which was followed by 10 years in radio in Kentucky and Missouri, before he found success as a host.

His wife of 59 years, Betty, died in 2011 and their daughter, Julia Kathleen Narz, died in 2015. Kennedy is survived by his three other children and one granddaughter.

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