This Just In...

Charles Nelson Rielly is dead. He passed away on Monday at the age of 76. He was an amazing man. I had the honor of knowing him. He had a huge talent. He had the kind of energy that could light up a room.

I first met CNR or Charley as his friends called him, when I worked along side him on the TV game show, Match Game.

He was most know for his outlandish personality and costumes. He often appeared to not even pay attention to the game. From where I was seated (across from him with Brett Somers between us) I would often see Charley making doodles of the contestants or fellow panelists. I remember this one doodle he made of "Mama" Cass Eliott eating a hoagie. He showed it to Brett who rolled her eyes and then to me. Naturally I began to laugh. It started as a chuckle and once I got my giggles under control, he would flash the drawing at me again and I would start up again. Richard Dawson got a little more than ticked-off and threw one of his "looks" at me.

It was classic Charley.

He used to love Match Game. He used to say how surprised he was that he actually was paid to be on the show. "They pay me to sit here" was his mantra.
The long day was sometimes an issue since we taped five episodes a day, six if we were shooting Match Game P.M. The highlight of the day was our "liquor lunch" which helped us get through the remainder of the day. It also explained some of the odd responses we gave.

I don't know what it is about Charley's death that is haunting me. I tried calling Brett but I couldn't get a hold of her. It seems like so long ago that we were all together. After Gene's death in 1999 most of us panelists don't speak to each other much. Richard was never our favorite to begin with and Betty White has been spending time with her pets. We used to be close. I wish I would have taken the time to see him one last time.

Rest in peace my brave little sailor.


swirlogirl 9:21 PM  

ah man i love me some match game and he was always hysterical to watch. rip pip lol sad face

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