When Jan Murray was in high school, his mother became ill and was confined to bed for many months. To keep his mom's spirits up, Murray would go to the local vaudeville house, memorize all the acts, then replay the entire bill for her benefit. Discovering that he enjoyed performing, he polished his craft on the Catskills circuit and as star attraction of several wartime USO troupes. After the war, Murray headlined the vaudeville programs at such choice houses as Loews State and the Paramount Theater, and labored away as a monologist at the Copacabana and other popular nightspots. An early arrival on the TV scene, Murray hosted several TV variety and quiz programs, most memorably the late-1950s favorite Treasure Hunt. He was also a frequent sitcom guest star, never more hilariously than in the 1962 Car 54 Where Are You installment "Boom, Boom, Boom!" Since 1965, Jan Murray has shown up sporadically in films; his best screen role was as the slovenly riverboat skipper in 1967's Tarzan and the Great River. His later years frequently punctuated by memorable appearances in such popular 80's-era television programs as Hunter, Hardcastle and McCormick, and It's a Living, Murray took a furlough from the screen for the majority of the 1990s before succumbing to the devestating combined effects of emphasema, heart problems, and pneumonia in early July of 2006.