Michael Delaney Dowd, Jr.
August 11, 1920
|Died||August 11, 2006 (aged 86)|
Early life and career change
Douglas was born in Chicago, Illinois, and began singing as a choirboy. He was singing on a Lake Michigan dinner cruise ship when he was a teenager. After being in the United States Navy for a short time, he moved to Los Angeles. He was on the Ginny Simms radio show. Then, he became a singer in the big band of Kay Kyser.
In the 1950s Douglas, who was living in Burbank, California, tried to keep his singing job going. He did not change to rock and roll, which shortened his chances of being a singer as big band music was becoming less popular. In the hardest years, he and his wife got by "flipping" their Los Angeles homes.
Talk show change
He next showed up in 1961 in Cleveland, where a Chicago friend hired him for $400 a week as an afternoon television host at WKYC-TV. The Mike Douglas Show quickly got popular and had national broadcasting in August 1963.
Many famous people were on the show. For example, Truman Capote, The Rolling Stones,Herman's Hermits and Kiss were on the show. The show helped show entertainers for the first time, like Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin. After the move to Philadelphia, Douglas tried to sing again, but it did not work work well.
By 1967, The Mike Douglas Show had 6,000,000 viewers each day, mostly women. It earned $10.5 million from advertisers. Douglas was paid more than $500,000. In 1967, the program got the first Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Daytime Television from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Most weeks, Douglas would be joined by a co-host, like John Lennon & Yoko Ono, and Anne Baxter. The show went off the air in 1980.
His wife Genevieve, daughters Kelly and twins Michele and Christine lived after him.