Charlie O'Donnell, Voice of "Wheel of Fortune, Dead at 78

By Greg Wilson
|  Tuesday, Nov 2, 2010  |  Updated 10:22 AM PDT
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NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 27: The TV game show "Wheel Of Fortune" celebrates its 25th anniversary at Radio City Music Hall on September 27, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

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You probably never laid eyes on him, but unless you've been in a cave for 35 years, you've heard Charlie O'Donnell intone the intro to television's long-running game show "Wheel of Fortune."

O'Donnell, who was 78, died late Sunday, according to his agent. No cause of death was released.

A New York deejay before switching to television when he joined Dick Clark's "American Bandstand," O'Donnell was the voice of the game show even before hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White appeared.

He also served as announcer for Oscar and Emmy telecasts and other game shows including 'The Newlywed Game.'

 

His signature phrase "Wheeeeeeel of Fortune," could be heard on the show from its beginning with host Chuck Woolery in 1975. He worked on the show until 1980, and again from 1988 until his death.

Selected Reading: Popeater, Wheel of Fortune, USA Today.

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