DEAD: ON THIS DATE
American game show host
Allen Ludden (born Allen Packard Ellsworth, October 5, 1917 – June 9, 1981) was an American television personality, actor, emcee and game show host, perhaps best known for having hosted various incarnations of the game show Password between 1961 and 1980.
DEATH: After Ludden was diagnosed with stomach cancer in early 1980, he took a month-long leave of absence from Password Plus for chemotherapy treatment, with Bill Cullen filling in as host. On October 7, he slipped into a coma while on vacation in Monterey, California. It was initially reported that he had suffered a stroke, but the coma was actually caused by high levels of calcium from medication taken to help fight the cancer. Tom Kennedy assumed duties as host of Password Plus, and although Ludden hoped to return to the show, his cancer grew worse and he never returned. Ludden died in Los Angeles on June 9, 1981, at age 63, just five days before his 18th wedding anniversary. Ludden was buried beside his father in the Ellsworth family plot in Graceland Cemetery in his hometown of Mineral Point, Wisconsin.