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Jay Stewart

1918 - 1989

As announcer on the classic LET'S MAKE A DEAL, Jay Stewart became famous for his wacky costumes, his delightful antics as Monty's side-kick on the Trading Floor ... and his booming voice opening each show:

 

"These people, dressed as they are, come from all over the United States to make Deals here in the Market Place of America ...  LET'S MAKE A DEAL!"

 

 

 

Trivial Pursuits Game Card

 

 

NBC Press Release - New York - July 6, 1953

Former Saxophonist is Host-Emcee of 

"It Pays To Be Married"

Jay Stewart, genial host-emcee of NBC radio’s It Pays To Be Married, started his show business career as a saxophone player. He entered radio in his native state of Indiana where he was born at Summitville on September 6, 1918.  He attended Butler University and earned part of his tuition playing his saxophone in various campus orchestras. In 1939 he received the Balfour award as the fifth most outstanding Sigma Chi graduate in the United States.

Jay first put aside his saxophone to take a radio announcing job for station WBOW, Terra Haute, Indiana. From there he went to Cincinnati’s WLW, announcing and emceeing, and appearing on a number of programs with Beverly Barnes, also of the WLW Staff.  A few months later Stewart and Beverly Barnes had teamed up permanently, with Beverly’s name changed to Mrs. Jay Stewart. She still writes and acts in radio.

In 1943 the Stewarts moved to California where Jay landed an announcing job at a local Los Angeles station. He has had few idle moments since he hit the film capitol. Jay’s hobby is editing his 8-mm, movie film library, for which he has just completed a 24-reel composite of a visit to Germany last year.

Stewart enjoys meeting the interesting couples he interviews each day on the show and is firmly convinced from talking to these people who have found happiness and contentment with one another that "It Pays To Be Married."

The Stewarts have two daughters, Jamie, age 7, and Julie, who is two and a half.

Jay is 5 feet 10 inches, weighs 165 lbs and has brown hair and blue eyes.

 

List of Jay’s Shows

(from The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows 

by David Schwartz, Steve Ryan, Fred Wostbrock)

1955 It Pays To Be Married Announcer
1955 Penny to a Million Announcer
1956-1961 It Could Be You Announcer & Associate Producer
1962 By The Numbers Host
1963-1977 Let's Make A Deal Announcer/Performer
1963-1969 You Don’t Say! Announcer
1968 Win With the Stars Announcer
1973-1974 It Pays To Be Ignorant Announcer
1974-1975 Masquerade Party Announcer
1975-1980 Cross-Wits Announcer
1977 It’s Anybody’s Guess Announcer
1977 Second Chance Announcer
1977-1978 Hollywood Connection Announcer
1977-1986 Joker’s Wild Announcer
1977-1978 Knockout Announcer
1978-1986 Tic Tac Dough Announcer
1978-1979 Love Experts Announcer
1978-1981 Card Sharks Announcer
1980 Play the Percentages Announcer
1980-1982 Bullseye Announcer
1983-1989 Sale of the Century Announcer
1984-1990 Scrabble Announcer
1988 Blackout Announcer

Jay was also the announcer for Tex Ritter's Ranch Party and the Town Hall Party Show in the late fifties. Although both were local Southern California television shows, they featured such legends of the music business as Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Merle Travis, Patsy Cline, Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran just to name a few.

Jay retired in 1988 to become an agent for other announcers.  On September 17, 1989 at the age of 71, Jay Stewart died in his Hollywood home.

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