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I will greatly mourn the passing of television game show...

July 29, 1990

I will greatly mourn the passing of television game show host Bill Cullen. I was a veteran game show player with two game shows under my belt when I had the privilege of being chosen as a contestant on Cullen's short-lived 1983 game show "Child's Play."

I had won two rounds and was playing the bonus round for $5,000 when in the middle of guessing word clues under a 30-second time clock, the producer yelled "Cut!"

Apparently, one of the technicians backstage misheard me and gave me credit for a wrong answer. I was told I had a choice of either continuing with the 13 seconds I had left on the clock or starting a new bonus round.

I was confused and didn't know what to do. Bill looked at the new set of word clues and said, "Marla, start a new game. These clues look easy. I am sure you'll guess all of them."

With a new-found confidence, I asked the producer for a new game, closed my eyes and refocused my concentration. Bill's encouragement helped me to win the $5,000. He didn't have to go out of his way for me or any other contestant. After doing 25,000 TV and radio shows, he didn't have to do anything but show up and get paid. But Bill cared about people and their dreams. For that reason, I will never forget him or his kindness.

Marla Schram Schwartz,

Woodland Hills

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