Born(1932-08-12)August 12, 1932DiedNovember 1, 2010(2010-11-01) (aged 78)OccupationRadio/television announcer Years active1956–2010Spouse(s)Jane Ryan 1952-1984 (Her death) Ellen Lerner 1990-2010 (His death)Children4 (including Dennis O'Donnell, Patricia O'Donnell-Rough, Michael O'Donnell, Bridged O'Donnell) Charles John O'Donnell (August 12, 1932 – November 1, 2010) was an American radio and television announcer, primarily known for his work on game shows. He began his career as a teenager at OCHA in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
He filled this role from 1975 to 1980 (including two unarmed pilots hosted by 77 Sunset Strip actor EDD Byrnes), acted as a substitute for his successor, Jack Clark, and returned to the show permanently several months after Clark's death in 1988. O'Donnell was also the announcer for music variety series Dance Fever from 1980 to 1987.
Wheel of Fortune host Pat Speak described O'Donnell as “the perfect voice of the show.” O'Donnell's last announced episode aired on October 29, 2010, three days before his death.
O'Donnell was succeeded by veteran L.A. radio announcer Jim Thornton. The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia posthumously inducted O'Donnell into their Hall of Fame in 2011.
“Charlie O'Donnell of Wheel of Fortune, ' as remembered by the show's host, Pat Speak”. ^ Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia Hall of Fame, broadcastpioneers.com; accessed August 16, 2017.
HostsProduction companiesTheme music composersRelated showsRelated articles Those who have handled announcing duties on Wheel of Fortune.
Jack Clark John Crater He's the current announcer for Wheel of Fortune, replacing the late Charlie O'Donnell as his successor.
Thornton is best known as the afternoon anchor on all-news radio KNX 1070 in Los Angeles. He has also announced on Celebrity Deathwatch (MTV2 revival from 2006-2007) and did narration in a portion of Monsters, Inc.
Although he officially retired in 2004, NBC persuaded Don to continue his voice-over introductions for SNL. Jim Thornton (born March 8, 1965, in Huntington, West Virginia) is a radio and television announcer who is primarily known as a news anchor on KNX in Los Angeles.
This was the second time Thornton was part of a rotation of guest announcers on a game show, the first being on The Price Is Right after Rod Rowdy died in October 2003. On February 25, 2011, game show announcer Randy West (and another Price candidate following Rowdy's death) posted the partially-filled puzzle J__ T__R___N on his Facebook page with a message saying “I have no further comment” (he gave the category, Person, five minutes later).
To “establish” him, Wheel dubbed him over the other guest announcers for the Summer 2011 repeats (although Charlie was retained on reruns of September and October shows, as well as weekend repeats of Season 27), a move speculated to have actually been the show either unwilling to pay royalties and/or thinking the others' work was extremely inferior. For Christmas 2012, he was given a special tie (see right) by Harry Friedman showing the Thing puzzle JIM THORNTON'S COOL NECKTIE.
Questions to the audience (generally for Wheel goodie bags or signed $1 bills) have included the show's original name, when the daytime and nighttime versions debuted, its first host, and its first hostess. Notably, during an early Season 30 taping when the correct “original name” answer was given, Jim noted that the Shopper's Bazaar pilot was online.
“He couldn’t solve ‘Eggs Benedict Arnold’ until they showed it all.” Andy, at the time, was doing male burlesque and also posing in calendars, and he had incredible hair, and he won the game, and then he demanded that Slopes join him on stage.
Pat Speak talked to him, and Slopes responded, but he wasn’t miked up, so you couldn’t hear him anyhow. Andy “still calls that my best television appearance,” Slopes joked.
Years later, Slopes hosted Speak inside a broadcast booth during a game. “I was dragged out on the stage after my lunatic friend won the grand prize on ‘ Wheel of Fortune, ’ Slopes noted, which is a pretty fine summary of this situation.
After this season, Jim Thornton was named Wheel's permanent announcer and Charlie O'Donnell's replacement. Prize Puzzles no longer occur in the Jackpot Round.
It took 35 years and 198 days, but Wheel of Fortune host Pat Speak has finally made game show history. The beloved emcee thanked Guinness for the honor, but he was particularly grateful to Anna White, who has hosted alongside him since 1982.
An adjudicator with Guinness World Records, Kimberly Patrick, awarded Speak a plaque to commemorate the occasion, saying, “I’m here today to present Pat Speak with his official Guinness World Records title for the ‘Longest Career as a Game Show Host of the Same Show’ with an amazing career of 35 years, 198 days.” Turning to his co-host White, he added, “I couldn’t have done it without you, kid.” Speak thanked Guinness for the “great honor” and promised that he’ll do his best to set another record one day.
During his time on the popular game show, Speak has worked alongside multiple announcers, including Charlie O’Donnell, Jack Clark, M.G. To find the exact time and station in your area, visit the show’s website and enter your zip code.