In a career that has spanned for over 60 years, Wink Martindale has managed to make quite a name for himself. Known for hosting game shows, Wink’s dynamic personality enabled him to present the best version of himself every time he took to the stage. In years of his career as a host, Martindale would often use his experience as a radio personality. A star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, Wink was presented the prestigious award on the 2nd of June 2006. A kind man at heart, Wink is a regular part of charities and also works as a volunteer for Dream Factory.
|Full name||Winston Conrad Martindale|
|Date of birth||December 4, 1933|
|Place of birth||Jackson, Tennessee, U.S.|
|Occupation(s)||Disc jockey, radio personality, game show host, television producer|
|Net Worth||$20 million|
|Spouses||Madelyn Leech (m. 1954; div. 1971), Sandy Ferra (m. 1975)|
|Children||4 (Lisa, Lynn, Wink Jr., and Laura)|
|Education||Memphis State University (Bachelor of Science degree, 1957)|
|First radio station||WPLI in Jackson, Tennessee|
|First television show||What’s This Song? (1964)|
|Hit record||“Deck of Cards” (1959)|
|Most famous game shows||Gambit, Tic-Tac-Dough, High Rollers, Debt|
|Acting credits||The Lively Set (1964), Second Honeymoon (1987)|
|production credits||Boggle: The Interactive Game(1994), Second Honeymoon(1987), Headline Chasers(1985)|
|As a writer||Bumper Stumpers (1987-1990)|
|Charity work||Dream Factory, a charity for sick children|
|Awards and honors||Star on the Walk of Fame Television (2006 Winner); Game Show Special or Series, Second Honeymoon (1989 Nominee)|
Winston Conrad ‘Wink’ Martindale was born on the 4th of December 1933 in Jackson, Tennessee. Born and raised in Jackson, Wink comes from humble beginnings. His father’s name was James Martindale and mother’s name was Frances Geraldine Martindale. Winks also had an older brother, Leo Martindale, who joined the US Army but died at the age of 75 on the 11th of March 2003. Wink’s mother was a huge fan of soap operas and it was her that influenced Wink to make a career in the entertainment industry. Wink graduated from a local high school in Jackson but was determined to finish college. He later enrolled at the University of Memphis and graduated in Bachelor of Science degree, in1957.
Wink was fascinated by the radio and wanted to make a name for himself. Following this yearning, he took up his first job as a disc jockey at the age of 17. His first proper job at a radio station came when he was 18. Wanting to climb up in the world, Wink later moved to the WHBQ radio station. Wink continued to work as a radio host and was heard across several radio stations including KRLA, KGIL, KFWB, and KHJ. In 1971, Wink was asked to make an appearance as the mid-day personality on Gene Autry’s flagship show, Station of the Stars. He held the position for 12 years before leaving his career as a radio host to move into TV.
Career on Television
Wink’s first appearance on television came on the Memphis TV channel WHBQ-TV, where he hosted a science-fiction show for children entitled, Mars Patrol. He later hosted the reality show Teenage Dance Party before moving onto game shows.
Wink’s first appearance as a game show host came from 1964 to 1965, when he hosted the series What’s This Song?. This was followed by a similar show entitled, Words and Music.
Wink’s first tasted success with the 1972 game show, Gambit. He continued his newfound success with another hit show, Tic-Tac-Dough which aired from 1978 to 1985. His newfound success enabled Wink to establish his own company, Wink Martindale Enterprises.
The first show to come out of the newly formed Martindale Enterprises was Headline Chasers. The series didn’t enjoy much success and was replaced by Bumper Stumpers. Wink continued to make TV shows and was the host behind, Trivial Pursuit, Jumble, and Boggie.
Wink’s highest-rated TV show was the 1996’s game show, Debt. The series featured competitors who were competing to get rid of their debts. The 2000s put a stop on Winks production career and the man eased into his retirement life.
Wink Martindale has had two marriages and four children in his life. He married his first wife, Madelyn Leech, in 1954, but they divorced in 1972 after 18 years of marriage. He married his second wife, Sandy Ferra, in 1975. And they are still happily married after more than 48 years. He once said about his wife Sandy, “She’s my best friend, my lover, my partner, my everything.”
Wink Martindale’s net worth as of 2023 is estimated to be around $20 million. His main sources of income are his career as a radio DJ, a television host, and a producer. He has hosted over 20 different game shows, such as Gambit, Tic-Tac-Dough, High Rollers, and Debt, and also co-produced some of them. He also had a hit record in 1959 with the spoken-word song “Deck of Cards” . He is still active in the entertainment industry at the age of 89.
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