Art “Mr. Gameshow” James was born to his Russian immigrant parents in 1929, and he had a modest upbringing leading to a job as an announcer for the Armed Forces Network. His modest life turned celebrity when he auditioned for NBC’s game show, Concentration, and he became one of America’s most noteworthy game show announcers/hosts.
Over the next 28 years, Art James hosted 12 different gameshows. Concentration was NBC’s longest-running game show, but “Mr. Gameshow” also hosted such favorites as Blank Check and Catch Phrase.
He eventually became an entrepreneur when he started Art James Productions, a company focused on creating educational game-show-type programs delivered to businesses to teach job skills to personnel.
Art James had a successful television career that included being the spokesperson for J.C.Penney. He also acted on stage and in television commercials.
Known for his easy-going personality, James is often remembered for a television blooper. While advertising Peater Pan Peanut Butter, the jar of peanut butter broke when James dropped a butter knife into it. The commercial was live, so James had to continue with the ad. He laughed about the obvious blooper, and the show continued. This blooper can be viewed on YouTube and is the perfect characterization of James.
This site is dedicated to the memory of Art James and everything he did for the television industry. An unassuming man from Dearborn, Michigan, James became an inspiration and a success because of his talent and winning personality. He was loved by many.
Sticking to his roots, Art James was fluent in Russian and taught English to Russian immigrants. He was an ambitious man but enjoyed reading and golfing in his free time. There is not anything negative that plagues “Mr. Gameshow’s” history, and that is why this site honors his life.
In March of 2004, Mr. James passed away while visiting his brother in Palm Springs, California. He died of natural causes and was survived by his son, daughter, and three grandchildren. He spent his later years In Chaska, Minnesota occasionally writing for TV Guide about his game show life and sharing game show knowledge.
Art “Mr. Gameshow” James lived his life to the fullest and seemingly never stopped until he reached its end. This site is a tribute to him but also a tribute to the game show industry, one that would not be complete without this man.
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