Sonny Fox, best known as the host of the beloved 1960s show "Wonderama," has died at 95 due to complications from coronavirus. The news was shared to his official website.
"It is with sadness that we share the news of Sonny's passing in Los Angeles on Sunday January 24th of Covid Related Pneumonia," a statement read. "We will post more as we learn more of where to send your condolences."
Fox established himself in the entertainment industry in 1959 when he was hired to replace Bill Britten and Doris Faye as the host of "Wonderama," according to People. Fox was allocated a four-hour slot in the children's variety show which featured games, cartoons, celebrity guests, group exercise and more.
"I had four hours, so I could watch the kid after he said his first sentence, stop talking, and keep on watching him or her, and then pause, and then the kid would start up again, and that’s when the gold would come out," Fox recalled in a 2017 interview with Observer.
Speaking with Karen Herman for the TV Academy Foundation website, The Interviews, Fox shared how he developed his interactive hosting style.
"Just from keeping them from getting bored between takes, I started talking with them, doing some games with them, and then one of the guys said, 'Why don't you do that on the air?'" he said.
"I gradually began to understand what the show was about; the show was about me and the kids and about exploring their minds and getting to see where I could take them," Fox continued. "Then the show began to be hugely successful. After about a year, I had [the kids'] trust, their loyalty."
Fox hosted "Wonderama" until 1967. From there he went on to host various gameshows including "The $64,000 Challenge," "The Price Is Right" and "To Tell the Truth."
He is survived by daughter Meredith, sons Dana and Tracy, and his grandchildren. His son, Christopher, died in 2014.
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