Jan Murray was an American stand-up comedian, actor, and game show host who made his name on the Borscht Belt.
Murray was born Murray Janofsky in The Bronx, New York City. His interest in comedy began during his childhood, when he would often act out comedy routines he’d seen at the local theatre for his bedridden mother.
Murray began performing on the vaudeville stage at the age of 18, then later at the Catskills resorts popular with Jewish vacationers. In the early 50’s he became a Las Vegas marquee performer. He then segued into TV, going on to host a number of game shows such as Blind Date, Dollar a Second, his creation Treasure Hunt, Charge Account, and Chain Letter. He was later a frequent panelist on The Hollywood Squares and co-hosted the annual West Coast Chabad Lubavitch telethon for many years.
Murray’s film appearances included A Man Called Dagger, Thunder Alley, Tarzan and the Great River, Which Way to the Front?, and History of the World, Part I. He moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career and was a guest host of The Tonight Show on many occasions.