‘Life’ will live on with DVD collection

500 programs come to homevid

Celebrity profile series “This Is Your Life” — which ran for 41 years — is coming to DVD.

Direct-response and retail distrib R2 Entertainment, which has released the entire collection of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” on DVD, has partnered with Ralph Edwards Prods. to bring all 500 programs to homevideo for the first time.

The first three-disc installment of “This Is Your Life — The Ultimate Collection,” to be released initially through direct-response exclusively April 18 before hitting retail stores on May 31, includes 18 half-hour episodes featuring “surprise” tributes to the likes of Milton Berle, Laurel & Hardy, Bobby Darin, Dick Clark, Bette Davis, Lou Costello, Shirley Jones, Johnny Cash, the Carpenters, Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Jesse Owens.

“This Is Your Life,” which ran from 1952-93, featured host Edwards bringing celebrities to a specific location under a false pretense and then paying tribute to them by introducing them to prominent people in their personal and professional lives, from family members to schoolteachers and friends. The guests would first be introduced by voice only until the celebrity guessed who they were and they came out to greet them in person.

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