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Was the son of Croatian immigrants. Was senior class president in high school. Served in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot and bombardier in WWII. Originally wanted to enter the entertainment industry in hopes of becoming an opera singer. Was given his first job in the entertainment field as a page for NBC. Prior to acting, co-hosted a morning radio show called Rayburn & Finch in NYC in the 1940s. Contended that his career came to a halt when he was 68 and Entertainment Tonight revealed his age as being older than many thought. Given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in October 1999, only a month before his death.
Quotes from Gene Rayburn's Characters
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