Wheel of Fortune Announcer Dies

Charlie O’Donnell, 78, legendary announcer for Wheel of Fortune, passed away Monday at his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Although he was best known for his work as a television announcer, including 28 years as the voice behind Wheel of Fortune, O'Donnell's career was as distinguished as his voice.

In the a960s, he was a top-rated disc jockey on KRLA Radio in Los Angeles. In the ‘70s, he anchored L.A.’s top-rated afternoon newscast on KCOP-TV.

O'Donnell served as the announcer for the Beatles when they appeared at the Hollywood Bowl and Dodger Stadium in 1965, 1966 and 1967, for the Rolling Stones when they appeared at the Long Beach Auditorium in 1965 and for Pope John Paul II’s visit to Los Angeles and the Papal nationwide teleconference in 1987.

Beginning his legendary career on Dick Clark’s iconic American Bandstand, Charlie celebrated his 50th year as a television announcer and his 25th anniversary on Wheel of Fortune in 2007.

In 2009, O'Donnell was at the mic as Wheel recorded its historic 5000th episode in syndication. His resume reads like a history of the medium’s highlights and includes: The Academy Awards, The Emmy Awards, The Golden Globe Awards and The American Music Awards just to name a few.

Rounding out his illustrious career, some of his other credits include: The Dating Game, Everybody’s Talking, The Gong Show, The Guinness Game, Hot Potato, The Joker’s Wild, Let’s Go Back, Monopoly, The Newlywed Game, The Parent Game, Stompers, Tic Tac Dough, To Tell The Truth, Trivia Trap, Wedding Party, The Wizard of Odds and Wordplay.

O’Donnell is survived by his wife Ellen, his four children and two grandchildren.

Wheel of Fortune airs weekdays at 6:30 p.m., after Newscenter 11 on WTOK-TV.

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  • by Nancy Garcia Location: Rosemead, Ca. on Nov 3, 2010 at 09:40 PM
    So sad to hear. My husband & I watch Wheel every evening. I will miss his glorious voice and when he speaks with Pat on the show. I remember this last Summer when he went on camera with Pat & Vanna for just a bit. It was nice to see the man behind the voice and he will be sorely missed. Our condolences to the staff of wheel and to Pat & Vanna and of course his Family. A Phrase: 'God bless you Charlie'
  • by Arlethia Location: Meridian Mississippi on Nov 2, 2010 at 06:28 PM
    I am really going to miss hearing that nice and pleasant voice on the television and Pat and Vianna walks out on stage. My heart goes out to the family and the Cast of wheel of fortune.
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