Dick Carson, a television director, best known for “Wheel of Fortune” and “The Tonight Show,” has died. He was 92.
On Sunday, Dick Carson’s family announced the news, saying he died in his home after a long illness.
Though Dick Carson was best known for his television work, he originally started in radio in the early years of his career, working in Nebraska. In 1952, He graduated college with a degree in speech and radio and was named “Best Announcer” by his National Honorary Radio Fraternity.
It was not until years later that Dick Carson started in television, working as a “floor man” for local TV programming, then later directing local and commercial news and sports shows. Eventually, he got a summer job as an associate director and stage manager for ABC in LA. He went on to earn a permanent position directing children’s programs, including “Chucko the Birthday Clown.” Carson later ran “The Soupy Sales Show.”
Thanks to his older brother, Johnny Carson, Carson wound up in NY. Johnny got him an interview with “The Tonight Show” even though he was not officially hosting the show at the time. When Carson joined the show, he directed guest appearances, sketches, and musical talent.
Carson eventually left “The Tonight Show” to direct the short-lived “Don Rickles Variety Show.” Later, Carson directed “The Merv Griffin Show” until Griffin’s retirement and “Wheel of Fortune.” Dick stayed with the game show for more than two decades until his retirement.
Carson earned himself Five awards and 12 Daytime Emmy nominations throughout his career.
Carson is survived by his wife, three children, and several great-grandchildren and grandchildren.