Jim Perry, best known as the host of game shows "Card Sharks" and "$ale of the Century," died Friday in Oregon following a five-year battle with cancer, surrounded by his wife and children. He was 82.
The Camden, N.J., native was a star basketball player while growing up and was nicknamed "Big Jim" at 6-foot-4. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and joined the Special Services, where he worked on Armed Forces Radio during the Korean War, NBC News reported.
After his time in the service, Perry teamed with comedian Sid Ceasar, touring as a pair for several years. He served as host of the Miss Canada Pageant, which he emceed from 1967 until 1990; he was the announcer on 1969's syndicated program "That Show" starring Joan Rivers; and from 1969 to 1972, he was a weekend overnight DJ at WABC radio in New York.
Perry's first major American network hosting job came in 1967 with "It's Your Move." He began hosting NBC's "Card Sharks" in 1978 until 1981. In 1982, NBC named Perry as the host of revamped edition of the beloved series "$ale of the Century," which aired for six years and was spun off into a nightly syndicated version, which saw Perry doing double duty as the host of both shows.