Gil Fates, a television executive best known for executive producing the hit panel gameshow “What’s My Line?” died May 1 of cancer at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Medical Center. He was 86.
Born and raised in Newark, N.J., Fates attended the U. of Virginia where he was active in the drama department. He served as a commanding officer in World War II for the U.S. Coast Guard.
Fates left the legit world and began his TV career as one of the CBS TV network’s first 15 employees. He produced and hosted the first regularly scheduled gameshow for the web, “The CBS Television Quiz.” He left CBS in 1950 for a stint producing “The Faye Emerson Show.”
His career in gameshows continued when he joined Goodson-Todman Prods. in 1953, executive producing many of the classic panel quizshows, which included “I’ve Got a Secret” and “To Tell the Truth.”
Fates stayed with Goodson-Todman for more than 50 years, produced more than 3,000 hours of programming and traveled the world supervising production of foreign-language versions of the hit gameshows “The Match Game” and “Password.”
Fates is survived by his wife, Fay Appleberry, two daughters and a son.