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  This Is Your Life

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> Description 
This Is Your Life was a television show hosted by Ralph Edwards, first broadcast in the United States from 1952 to 1961 on NBC. It originated as a radio show airing from 1948 to 1952.

The format of the show was simple: the host would ambush a celebrity or public figure, present them with a 'red book', and then conduct a biography of them in a television studio. The guest would be presented with family members and old friends, reunited with old acquaintances, and often shed a tear when a personal tragedy was recounted.

Officially, the celebrity guests were surprised by their appearance on the show, as they were ambushed by the show's cameras and made their way to the studio during the commercial break. (The show was initially aired live.) Advance planning for the broadcast meant that inevitably, some celebrities would know in advance about the surprise. Carl Reiner later admitted that he knew beforehand about his appearance. Some were notified in advance because of medical conditions, including Eddie Cantor, due to his heart condition, and Lillian Roth, who had recovered from alcoholism. Some celebrites were unpleasantly surprised. Angie Dickinson refused to appear, and Laurel and Hardy were angered by being "tricked" into what would be their only television appearance on December 1, 1954. Laurel later said "I was damned if I was going to put on a free show for them".

The show was exported to several countries, including the United Kingdom, where it was launched in 1955 on the BBC and was presented by Eamonn Andrews (who also ended up being the very first "victim"). It moved to ITV in 1969, and Michael Aspel (himself a "victim" in 1980) became presenter after Andrews died in 1987. It returned to the BBC in 1993, and was axed in 2003.

Guests on the UK version included Muhammed Ali, Joan Collins, Shirley Bassey, George Best, Spike Milligan, and Barbara Windsor. Only three people have turned down the 'red book' in the history of the UK version: footballer Danny Blanchflower in the 1950s, author Richard Gordon (of "Doctor in the House" fame) in 1974 and Bill Oddie (The Goodies) in 2001.

In Australia, the show is currently aired on the Nine-Network on Thursday nights for about half the year. It began in the 80s and was first hosted by Roger Climpson, later taken over by Mike Munro in the early 90s.

Show Description Credit: Wikipedia
> Airing History & Information 
Last Airing Sep 03, 1961
Premiere October 1, 1952
Network NBC
Format/Time Black & White / 30 Minutes
Country United States
Upcoming Airs Not currently airing
> Cast 
Bob Warren....   Announcer
Axel Gruenberg....   Himself (4 episodes)
Jack Benny....   Himself (3 episodes)
Richard Arlen....   Himself (3 episodes)
Harold Lloyd....   Himself (2 episodes)
Milton Berle....   Himself (2 episodes)
Ralph Edwards....   Host

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> News (News Archive) (Post a News Story)
'This Is Your Life' Creator Edwards Dies
(Posted November 17, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

Ralph Edwards, a broadcaster who moved smoothly from radio to television and created one of TV's iconic early shows, "This Is Your Life," has died.

The 92-year-old Edwards died Wednesday (Nov. 16 ... [More Information]

Source: Zap2it

ABC Reincarnating 'This Is Your Life'
(Posted August 30, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

LOS ANGELES ( One of television's early unscripted hits -- and one that would seemingly fit in with the current crop of tearjerker reality shows -- may be headed back t ... [More Information]

Source: Zap2it
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