'Candid Camera' founder dead
September 6, 1999
MONTEREY, California (CNN) -- Allen Funt died late Sunday afternoon from complications following a stroke he suffered in 1993, said "Candid Camera" producer Leslie Konya. The creator and original host of the show was 84.
"Candid Camera" started as a radio show in 1947, when it was called "Candid Microphone." The next year, it moved to television, eventually appearing on all three networks. It continues as a CBS series produced and hosted by Funt's eldest son, Peter.
Allen Funt helped manage the show until he suffered his stroke. He then retired to his Pebble Beach, California home.
"Allen Funt was one of the inventors of the entire genre of reality television," said his son, Peter Funt, who has hosted "Candid Camera" since his father's retirement.
"In an age when TV shows are considered successful if they survive 13 weeks, it's unheard of for a program to still be pleasing millions of people after 51 years.
"During the last six years of my father's incapacitation, our entire family was inspired by his courage," Funt added. "He endured many hospitalizations and treatments, yet did so with good spirit and a ferocious will to live."
Allen Funt, the son of a diamond merchant, was born in New York City. He started experimenting with new, more portable radio equipment while serving in the Army Signal Corps during World War II. His work there led to the idea of "Candid Radio."
Funt is survived by five children and four grandchildren. A private memorial service is planned.
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