A week ago, I happene to catch a little-known movie called "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" -- George Clooney's directoral debut.
But perhaps the thing that he is most famous for is his claim that he once worked as a hitman for the Central Intelligence Agency.
In his now infamous unauthorized autobiography 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind', he wrote that he had been enlisted by a CIA agent to work as an assassin during his time hosting 'The Dating Game' and 'The Gong Show'.
But in all cases the questions were designed by the show's writers to elicit sexy answers.
Celebrities and future celebrities who appeared as contestants included Michael Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Martin and a pre-"Charlie's Angels" Farrah Fawcett, introduced as "an accomplished artist and sculptress" with a dream to open her own gallery.
Decades before shows such as "American Idol" and "America's Got Talent" came along, Barris put everyday people who did not mind exposing their vulnerabilities or answering embarrassing questions before the cameras.
He made game show history right off the bat, in 1966, with "The Dating Game," hosted by Jim Lange.
Barris died of natural causes Tuesday afternoon at his home in Palisades, New York, according to publicist Paul Shefrin, who announced the death on behalf of Barris’ family.
The Jewish entertainer, son of Edith (Cohen) and dentist Nathaniel Barris, was known as “The King of Schlock.” He made game show history right off the bat, in 1966, with “The Dating Game,” hosted by Jim Lange.
This book was adapted into a feature film “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.” Barris began his career as a songwriter — his biggest hit was “Palisades Park” for Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon in 1962 — but he truly burst into show business in 1965 with the debut of his brainchild “The Dating Game,” an updated, televised version of a World War II radio show titled “Blind Date,” The Washington Post reported in 1965.