14 March 2006

THE ULTIMATE "WHAMMY"



SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Peter Tomarken, who gained fame hosting the 1980s game show "Press Your Luck," was flying a charity mission to pick up a needy medical patient when his plane began having engine troubles.

He was apparently trying to return to the airport just off Santa Monica Bay when the plane went down in the water Monday morning, killing the 63-year-old and his wife, authorities said.
Tomarken's first game show was "Hit Man!", which ran for 13 weeks on NBC, followed by the four-year hit "Press Your Luck" on CBS, known for its giggling "whammies."

"He was always a fun guy to be around, and he just loved the genre of game shows," said his agent, Fred Wostbrock.

Tomarken also had a compassionate streak. He flew for Angel Flight West, a nonprofit organization that provides free air transportation for needy medical patients, said Doug Griffith, a spokesman for the charity.

Griffith said Tomarken and his wife, Kathleen Abigail Tomarken, 41, were flying to San Diego on Monday to pick up a passenger who needed to get to UCLA Medical Center.

They were apparently trying to return to return to Santa Monica Airport because of engine trouble when the Beech A36 prop plane went down.

I know this has nothing to do with the Yankees, but it was a cool show and he was a cool guy trying to help others.

2 comments:

Jason Tomarken said...

I just noticed your post on March 14 about my dad, Peter Tomarken, and I wanted you to know that it had more to do with the Yankees than you could imagine. He was one of the biggest Yankee fans out there (from his childhood in NY), and he instilled in my entire family a fierce loyalty that remains to this day. I still remember the time that he and I attended a game when I was a teenager. He had developed a friendship with Clyde King, and I believe Mr. King arranged for the scoreboard to "salute us" by name. It was incredible. We still have the photo. Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge him -- it would have thrilled him.

Jason Tomarken

Pinstripe_Mike said...

Jason,

I'm glad to hear my post brought back nice memories for you.

Clyde King served the Yankees in various roles. He took over as manager in 1978 from Billy Martin when the Yankees came from 14 games back and won the A.L. East in a one game playoff, the famous Bucky Dent HR game.

I put a link to Angel Flight West on my site. If you are ever in NJ, look me up...I'll buy the beer.

PS_M.

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