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Bill Carruthers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Not to be confused with Bill Carrothers.
Bill Carruthers
Born September 27, 1930
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died March 2, 2003(2003-03-02) (aged 72)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation Television executive, television director, television producer

Bill Carruthers (September 27, 1930 – March 2, 2003), born in Detroit, Michigan, was a television executive who gained his first fame as the director of The Soupy Sales Show at Detroit television station WXYZ-TV. He also directed the Ernie Kovacs-helmed game show, Take a Good Look, for ABC from 1959 to 1961.

Carruthers served in the Air Force for four years, and after serving, he took up a job at Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV. One day, he showed up to the station to work when he was told at the last minute, the regular director was unable to direct The Soupy Sales Show, he stepped in to direct the show. He was named the permanent director, and moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1959 upon the show becoming nationally distributed.[1]

He went on to be the director on The Newlywed Game and The Dating Game before starting his own production company in 1968. His company, The William Carruthers Company, produced the ABC country music series The Johnny Cash Show in 1969 with his partner Joel Stein for Screen Gems. He also produced and directed game shows including Give-n-Take, The Neighbors, Second Chance (all with Warner Bros. Television), Lee Trevino's Golf for Swingers (with advertising agency McCann Erickson) and the 1975 version of You Don't Say! (with Ralph Andrews Productions and Warner Bros. Television), before hitting it big with the CBS game show, Press Your Luck, which ran from 1983-86. He was the voice for the multiple Whammy animations on the show.[2]

In the 1990s, he produced specials for The Family Channel, called Marry Me, as well as a short-lived game show for ESPN, Designated Hitter.[3]

He suffered a stroke on set in 1996. This led to his retirement, which eventually led to his death from heart failure in 2003.[4]


  1. ^ "Bill Carruthers". Variety. Variety. March 7, 2003. Retrieved February 17, 2018. In true Cinderella fashion, he showed up to work one day on the local “Soupy Sales Show” and after being told at the last minute the director was unable to do the program, volunteered to fill in — and became the show’s new director. He moved his family to Hollywood in 1959 when the show went national. A year later, he began working with other skeins including “The Steve Allen Show” and “The Ernie Kovaks Show.”
  2. ^ Pirnia, Garon (September 26, 2016). "11 Whammy-Free Facts About Press Your Luck". Mental Floss. Mental Floss. Retrieved February 17, 2018. “I [Savage Steve Holland] was asked by the producer Bill Carruthers to invent a bad creature that stole people’s money,” Holland told Collider. “I drew something on a napkin and the producer said, ‘That’s it!’ He [Bill Carruthers] did the voice, not me. I animated that little fella on the most primitive computer animation system on Earth. It was steam-powered. But I love my terribly animated Whammies!"
  3. ^ "Short Takes". Variety. Variety. July 16, 1993. Retrieved February 17, 2018. ESPN has ordered a sports trivia gameshow pilot, “Designated Hitter,” from the William Carruthers Co. and Kitchen Table Prods. Curt Chaplin will host.
  4. ^ "Bill Carruthers". Variety. Variety. March 7, 2003. Retrieved February 17, 2018. TV director-producer Bill Carruthers, who began his career in the 1950s as helmer of the pie-throwing “Soupy Sales” show, died March 2 in L.A. of heart failure, after being sidelined by a stroke six years before. He was 72.

External links

This page was last edited on 7 June 2018, at 08:46
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