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Rod Roddy

Robert Ray "Rod" Roddy (September 28, 1937October 27, 2003) was an American radio and television announcer. He is known primarily for his role as the announcer on both CBS game shows, Press Your Luck, and most notably, The Price Is Right, a role he assumed after the death of that show's previous announcer, Johnny Olson, in 1985.

Biography

Early beginnings

After graduating from Texas Christian University, Roddy was a disc jockey and talk show host on KLIF and KNUS-FM (Dallas, Texas). he also worked overnights and middays at the Buffalo, New York radio station WKBW AM and at other high-profile stations.

Roddy's career

Roddy announced the situation comedy Soap (1977–1981), where he provided the opening and closing narration: "Confused? You won't be after this week's episode of Soap!" Announcing Soap, Roddy's vocal style was distinctly different, because much more low-key and laid-back, than his later announcing jobs, by which time his vocal style had become highly enthusiastic and energetic.

Rod's first work as a game show announcer was on Whew!, which aired from 1979 to 1980. From there, he went on to announce several other game shows, including Battlestars (1981–1982), the original announcer on Love Connection (1983–1985, 1986), Hit Man (1983) and Press Your Luck (1983–1986). Roddy also voiced Mike the Microphone that introduced Mickey Mouse at the beginning of every episode of Disney's animated TV series House of Mouse.

The Price Is Right

After Goodson-Todman announcer Johnny Olson died in October 1985, Roddy was chosen as one of several substitute announcers, along with Rich Jeffries, Bob Hilton and Gene Wood, to announce The Price Is Right. Within a year, he became the show's permanent announcer.

He later adopted a rigorous diet and exercise program. Overweight for much of his adult life, the program resulted in Roddy's loss of close to 200 pounds, an accomplishment often hailed by Barker on camera. With his weight loss regimen becoming a much-lauded success, he was frequently shown on-camera while he announced "the next contestant on The Price Is Right", and was occasionally featured in showcae skits.

He continued with the show until his own death in October 2003, occasionally taking time off due to illness; after his death, he was succeeded by a rotation of substitutes until Rich Fields was chosen as his successor.

Roddy was also noted for wearing brightly colored and sequined sport jackets. He first wore pastel jackets made in Hong Kong, and with the encouragement of Bob Barker, turned them into a trademark. Preferring Thai silk for its colorfulness, he traveled to Bangkok several times a year to have new clothing custom-made. He would also frequently travel to Thailand as the official ambassador to Chiang Mai.

Beginning in season 31, Rod's on-camera appearances were eliminated from The Price Is Right. Officially, FremantleMedia claimed that it was against company broadcasting standards for announcers to appear on camera.

Illness and death

On September 11, 2001, Roddy was diagnosed with colon cancer, and in 2003, he was diagnosed with breast cancer as well. The diagnoses led Roddy to become a spokesperson for early detection of cancer in his last years. In an interview with CBS, Roddy commented to the general public, "I could have prevented all this with a colonoscopy, and of course, that's the campaign I've been on since I had the first surgery. To everybody out there, get a mammogram! It can happen to men, too."

While ill with cancer for over two years, Roddy continued to announce for The Price Is Right for as long as he was able to, up until to his last hospitalization two months before his death on October 27, 2003. Rod Roddy's final announced episode aired on October 20, 2003, just one week before his death. He is interred at Greenwood Memorial Park in Fort Worth, Texas.

References

External links

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