It's ironic, that Charles Nelson Reilly, who died late last week at 76, really succeeded on Broadway, but was more well-known for his appearances on TV's Match Game and Hollywood Squares.
For Reilly was a Tony Award winner for his performance as the aptly-named Bud Frump, in the wildly successful Abe Burrows/Frank Loesser How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying(1961), with Robert Morse and Rudy Vallee. Reilly also appeared as Cornelius Hackl in the original production of Hello Dolly, for which he received a Tony nomination. Other Broadway roles included Bye Bye Birdie, Skyscraper and God's Favorite.
Reilly also took a turn at directing on Broadway, including a 1997 revival of The Gin Game, with Julie Harris and Charles Durning, which won him a Tony nomination. He also directed Paul Robeson, Break a Leg, The Nerd and the Julie Harris star vehicle, The Belle of Amherst.
But Reilly delighted countless television audiences as a panelist on The Match Game. With host Gene Rayburn, and co-panelists Richard Dawson , Brett Somers and Fanny Flagg, among others, Reilly, the ever present pipe in mouth and ascot around his neck could be counted on to growl out responses to try and match a contestant's answers.
Another favorite role of his, was as Claymore Gregg in the TV series, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. He was also a frequent guest on The Dean Martin Show and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Mr. Reilly is survived by his longtime companion Patrick Hughes.