As we reflect on Gary’s prolific and Emmy Award winning television career that spanned over four decades, he will be warmly remembered for his time as the Miss America Pageant’s host which marked a special era in our Organization. He will always be remembered for his genuine smile and engaging personality, both of which he brought to the telecasts each year. Gary's television career began after serving in the U.S. Army.
Sam Haskell, Chairman of the Board for The Miss America Organization, expressed his condolences, “We were truly saddened to learn the news of my friend’s passing who was such a talented television actor and who made wonderful contributions to the television industry for over 40 years, his legacy will be lasting. Our hearts are heavy today, for we extend our deepest sympathies to my friend and fellow Mississippian, Mary Ann, our Miss America 1959. We will forever remember Gary’s incredible smile, his welcoming personality and the style that he brought to the Miss America stage during the 1980’s. On behalf of the Miss America family, we send our love and prayers to Mary Ann and her family.”
In addition to hosting the Miss America Pageant during the 1980s, Gary also hosted the television shows Hour Magazine for which he won a Daytime Emmy in 1983 and The Home Show. Gary appeared in numerous movies and was a fixture on television in the 1960s and 1970s, playing a variety of guest roles in comedies and dramas including Perry Mason, The Love Boat and Ironside, among others. He also starred in regular series including The Wackiest Ship in the Army and The Iron Horse in the 1960s and The Sixth Sense in the 1970s. He also appeared in Charlie’s Angels, Fantasy Island and so many other memorable television shows from that time.
Our thoughts and our prayers are extended to our Miss America 1959 Mary Ann and their daughter, Clancy Collins White at this time of sorrow. We will treasure the memories of our dear friend, Gary.