Woolery in 2004
|Born||March 16, 1941|
Ashland, Kentucky, U.S.
Charles Herbert Woolery (born March 16, 1941) is an American game show host, talk show host, and musician. He has had long-running tenures hosting several different game shows. Woolery was the original host of Wheel of Fortune (1975-1981), the original incarnation of Love Connection (1983-1994), Scrabble (1984-1990, and during a brief revival in 1993), Greed on Fox from 1999 to 2000, and Lingo on GSN from 2002-2007.
Woolery was born on March 16, 1941, in Ashland, Kentucky. After graduating from high school, he served two years in the US Navy. In 1963, Woolery worked as a wine consultant for Wasserstrom Wine & Import Company in Columbus, Ohio. He was also a sales representative for the Pillsbury Company.
In the early 1960s he sang and played the double bass with a folk song trio called The Bordermen. He also sang in a duo called The Avant-Garde who were in the psychedelic pop genre. The other half of the duo was Elkin "Bubba" Fowler. They signed to Columbia Records and achieved a Top 40 hit with "Naturally Stoned" in 1968, bringing the duo one-hit wonder status. During this time he worked as a truck driver to supplement his income. They released three singles.
As a solo artist he released five records with Columbia. After 1970 he signed with RCA and released "Forgive My Heart". In 1971, another single "Love Me, Love Me" failed to make any impact. He then turned to acting.
In the late 1970s, he returned to his singing career. Woolery charted on Hot Country Songs with "Painted Lady" and "The Greatest Love Affair". Between 1977 and 1980, Woolery recorded for Warner Bros. Records and Epic Records as a solo artist, with two low-charting singles on Hot Country Songs.
Woolery is credited as co-writer (with Dan Hoffman) of "The Joys of Being a Woman", the single from the 1971 Tammy Wynette album 'We Sure Can Love Each Other' (the single peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Singles chart).
As an actor, he has appeared with Stephen Boyd, Rosey Grier and Cheryl Ladd in the mid-1970s film Evil in the Deep. He appeared as himself in the 1989 film Cold Feet that starred Keith Carradine and Rip Torn.
Woolery performed as Mr. Dingle on the children's television series New Zoo Revue in the early 1970s. During that time, he made his first game show appearance on an episode of Tattletales, alongside then-wife Jo Ann Pflug. Starting as a singer, Woolery appeared on an episode of Your Hit Parade. On January 6, 1975, he began hosting Wheel of Fortune at the suggestion of creator Merv Griffin, who had seen Woolery sing on The Tonight Show. Woolery hosted the show for six years. In 1981, he was involved in a salary dispute with the program's producers; he said in a 2007 interview that he demanded a raise from $65,000 a year to about $500,000 a year because the program was drawing a 44 share at the time, and other hosts were making that much. Griffin offered Woolery $400,000 a year, and NBC offered to pay the additional $100,000, but after Griffin threatened to move the program to CBS, NBC withdrew the offer. Woolery's contract was not renewed and his final episode aired on December 25, 1981. Pat Sajak replaced him.
Woolery hosted Love Connection (1983-1994), The Big Spin (1985), Scrabble (1984-1990, 1993), The Home and Family Show (1996-1998, co-host), The Dating Game (1997-1999), Greed (1999-2000), TV Land Ultimate Fan Search (1999-2000) and Lingo (2002-2007). In addition, he was the subject of a short-lived reality show, Chuck Woolery: Naturally Stoned (originally titled Chuck Woolery: Behind the Lingo) in 2003. He also hosted his own talk show, The Chuck Woolery Show, which lasted for only a few months in 1991. He hosted The Price Is Right Live! at Harrah's casinos, and appeared in the live stage show "$250,000 Game Show Spectacular" at the Las Vegas Hilton until April 2008.
Since 2012, Woolery has hosted a nationally syndicated radio commentary show, Save Us, Chuck Woolery, which grew out of his YouTube videos. After two years as host, Woolery began a long-format podcast, Blunt Force Truth. With co-host Mark Young, Woolery expands on his conservative political ideals and current events, often inviting guest experts to join the conversation.
Woolery has spoken publicly in favor of conservative political opinions. He is an active supporter of the Republican Party, and has mainly donated to Republican and conservative causes. He is a gun rights activist.
Woolery was accused of antisemitism after a series of tweets made in May 2017 where he claimed that Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin had a Jewish heritage (when, in fact, only Marx came from a Jewish family). Lenin's maternal grandfather was Russian Jewish who had converted to Christianity and worked as a physician. The supposed Jewish origins of communism have often been amplified by anti-communists and antisemitics alike, leading to the accusations of antisemitism against Woolery. In a response to the criticism, Woolery stated in a tweet: "Amazing to me, I point out that Marx and Lenin were Jewish, Fact of history, and now I'm being called anti Semitic? why do people do this?"
Woolery is a Christian who volunteers in ministry. Woolery has been married four times, and has at least five children. Woolery and his first wife, Margaret Hayes, had two children together: Katherine and Chad. Chad was killed in a motorcycle accident in January 1986. In 1972, he married actress Jo Ann Pflug and they divorced in 1980. They had a daughter together, Melissa. With third wife Teri Nelson, the adopted daughter of actor David Nelson (and granddaughter of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson), he has two sons, Michael and Sean.
|1972||New Zoo Revue||Mr. Dingle|
|1973||Love, American Style||Mr. Thompson||Segment: "Love and the Cozy Comrades"|
|1974||Sonic Boom||Pilot Rogers||Short film|
|1975||The Treasure of Jamaica Reef||Detective||Also known as Evil in the Deep|
|1978||A Guide for the Married Woman||Tennis Pro||Made for television|
|1982||Romance Theatre||"Marisol" Parts 1-5|
|1982||Six Pack||TV Commentator #2|
|1989||227||As Himself||Episode: "A Date to Remember"|
|1997||Hey, Hey, It's the Monkees||Chuck||Cameo as the nightclub owner|
|2004||Scrubs||Himself||Season 4 Episode 6|
|1975-81||Wheel of Fortune||Replaced by Pat Sajak|
|1991||The Chuck Woolery Show||11 episodes|
|1996-98||The Home and Family Show||Co-host with Cristina Ferrare|
|1997-99||The Dating Game|
|1999-2000||TV Land Ultimate Fan Search|
|2002-07||Lingo||succeeded by Bill Engvall in 2011|
|2008||Think Like a Cat|
|2012-present||Save Us Chuck Woolery (radio show)|
|2014-present||Blunt Force Truth (podcast)||Co-host with Mark Young|
|"Take 'Er Down, Boys"||--|
|1980||"The Greatest Love Affair"||94|
|"--" denotes releases that did not chart|
as host of the 1974
pilot of Wheel of Fortune
| Host of Wheel of Fortune (daytime)
|New show|| Host of Love Connection
| Host of The Big Spin
| Host of Lingo