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Actor, singer and game show host Peter Marshall was born Ralph Pierre Lacock March 30, 1926, in Wheeling. Peter’s mother moved the family to Huntington following the death of his father. He attended elementary and junior high school there, and at the age of 12 moved with his family to New York City. He worked nights as an usher at the Paramount Theater, and by the time he was 15 years old he was on the road singing with the Bob Chester Band out of Detroit, earning $50 a week. Lacock changed his name to Marshall, a surname briefly used by older sister Joanne Dru at the suggestion of John Powers, the founder of a prominent New York City modeling agency. When Marshall was 17 he returned to Huntington as Pete Lacock to finish high school.

Drafted following graduation, Marshall spent two years in the Army in Italy before becoming a disc jockey at a 50,000-watt radio station in Naples. Returning to the United States, he got a job singing on a Florida radio station. He later returned to New York where he formed a comedy act with Tommy Noonan. The duo enjoyed success in nightclubs and on television variety shows including The Ed Sullivan Show. Marshall also began appearing in Broadway shows, in films such as 1964’s Ensign Pulver, and in such television series as 77 Sunset Strip and The Lucy Show.

In 1966, after finishing the Broadway musical Skyscraper, he was offered the job as host of a new game show called The Hollywood Squares. What he thought would be a 13-week job turned into more than 5,000 episodes over 16 years. The show made Marshall as famous as some of the celebrities that appeared as panelists, and he won four Emmy awards.

After The Hollywood Squares ended in 1981, Marshall continued working in television, hosting other game shows and playing character roles. He also continued singing and performing on Broadway. In 2013, he was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame. Peter Marshall lives in California. He is married to his third wife and has four children.

Last Revised on December 14, 2017


Cite This Article

e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia "Peter Marshall." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 14 December 2017. Web. 20 April 2018.

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