Peter Tomarken, host of the hit 1980s game show "Press Your Luck," and his wife were killed Monday when their small plane crashed in Santa Monica Bay shortly after takeoff on a volunteer medical transportation flight, authorities said.
Tomarken appeared in at least four other game shows in addition to "Press Your Luck," which was well known for contestants shouting the slogan "Big bucks, no whammies!"
The Beech A36 went down about 9:35 a.m. while apparently trying to return to Santa Monica Airport because of engine trouble, said FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer. The airport is about two miles inland from the ocean.
The plane, found in 19 feet of water 200 yards offshore, was registered to Tomarken, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.
Tomarken's agent, Fred Wostbrock, said his client's first game show was "Hit Man!," which ran 13 weeks on NBC, followed by the four-year hit "Press Your Luck" on CBS.
"He was always a fun guy to be around, and he just loved the genre of game shows," Wostbrock said.
In 1987, Tomarken was on ABC with a show called "Bargain Hunters," and then went to the syndicated "Wipe-Out" in 1990. He returned to game shows in 2000 with the program "Paranoia."
[My thanks to TVTattle.com for the link to this story.]