Gene Rayburn

Gene Rayburn: Army, Host & Net Worth

Gene Rayburn was a well-known game show host. Between 1962 and 1982, he was most recognized for the various incarnations of Match Game.

Moreover, “The Match Game” was Rayburn’s hallmark show.

The show included celebrity guests who responded to dirty fill-in-the-blank queries.

Gene Rayburn at a young age.
Gene Rayburn at a young age.

Gene also has featured in television game shows from the 1950s to the 1980s.

In addition, Make the Connection, Dough Re Mi, and Break the Bank are just a few of Gene Rayburn’s shows.

The article discusses the personal life, career, early life, hit show, net worth, and social media of the late great Gene Rayburn.

Quick Facts

Here are some quick facts about Gene Rayburn: 

Full Name Gene Rayburn
Birth Date December 2, 1917
Birth Place Christopher, Illinois, United States of America
Residence United States of America
Nationality American
Food Habit Not Available
Hobbies Needlepoint
Education Knox College and Lindblom Math & Science Academy. 
Religion Not Available
Zodiac Sign Sagittarius 
Father’s Name Milan Rubessa (stepfather)
Mother’s Name Mary Hikec Rubessa
Siblings Alfred Rubessa and Milan Rubessa Jr. 
Age 81 (at the time of death) 
Height 6 feet 1 inch
Reach Not Available
Weight 64 kg (141 pounds)
Eye Color Not Available
Hair Color Black
Profession TV and Radio Personality, Game Show Host & Actor
Partner Helen Tickner (died 1996) 
Children Lynne Rayburn 
Net Worth  $4 million
Social Media Not Active
Last Update [current-month], [current-year]

Gene Rayburn: Age, Height, and Weight 

When Rayburn died, he was only 81 years old. In addition, the well-known TV host stood 6 feet and 1 inch tall.

Gene was born under the sign of Sagittarius. People born under the Sagittarius sign are amorous and gifted.

Moreover, they tend to use their abilities to shield themselves from the outside world on occasion. The carnation is the official flower of this zodiac.

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Gene Rayburn: Personal Life

Gene was born in the United States of America on December 22, 1917, in Christopher, Illinois.

In addition, he was born to Croatian immigrants. Mary Hikec Rubessa is his mother’s name.

Gene’s father died while he was only a toddler. In addition, after relocating to Chicago in 1919, his mother remarried.

Additionally, she married Milan Rubessa, and Gene adopted his new father’s surname.

Moreover, Rayburn had an elder brother named Alfred, who passed away while he was a child.

Millan Rubessa Jr, Gene’s second half-brother, joined the family following his mother’s second marriage.


Gene went to Knox College after graduating from Lindblom Technical High School.

Rayburn also demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities at the educational institution.

Moreover, the host also served as the senior class president. He showed a strong interest in acting from a young age.

During his college years, he also had the opportunity to perform in Robert of Sicily and Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch.


In 1940, Gene Rayburn married Helen Ticknor, the legendary Match Game host.

Moreover, the couple had a child. Furthermore, Lynn Rayburn was the name of Gene Rayburn’s daughter.

In 1942, Lynn was born. In addition, she was the couple’s only child.

Gene and Helen were married from 1940 till 1996. Unfortunately, Helen died in October of 1996.

World War II 

Gene Rayburn also served in the United States Army Air Force during his early years. 

Rayburn fought for the United States in World War II. Rayburn was his theatrical name, which he got from a phone directory.

He poked his fingers in the book at a whim and found the name.

Gene Rayburn: Early Life and Opportunity

After completing his schooling, Rayburn was interested in performing and singing in the opera.

However, after relocating to New York City, he was unable to secure suitable employment.

He landed a job as an article and touring guide at the NBC studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Moreover, Rayburn’s distinguished tenure in the media world began with this chance after operating in the same capacity for three years.

Eventually, Gene was also allowed to broadcast on other radio stations. Rayburn returned to New York for the presenting job at WNEW.

Gene Rayburn: Career


Rayburn worked as an actor and a radio entertainer before making his television debut.

In addition, he hosted a New York City morning drive-time radio show.

Furthermore, he also collaborated alongside Dee Finch in Rayburn & Finch and Jack Lescoulie in Anything Goes.

Moreover, Rayburn’s collaborations with Lescoulie and Finch also popularized the now-familiar morning drive radio format.


When Dick Van Dyke quit the Broadway show Bye Bye Birdie, Rayburn was cast in the lead role.

Dyke, on the other hand, left to be in The Dick Van Dyke Show.


Rayburn debuted on television as the first announcer on Steve Allen’s Tonight.

In addition, in 1953, Rayburn established a lengthy relationship with game show producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman.

Furthermore, Gene also made his debut in the show Robert Q; Lewis’s The Name’s the Same.

Moreover, Rayburn also filled in for regular panelist Carl Reiner regularly.

Gene Rayburn with celebrity guest

Subsequently, the original host, Jim McKay, left the game show Make the Connection, and Gene took over as the replacement in 1955.

Moreover, Rayburn went on to host shows including Choose Up Sides, Dough Re Mi, and the daytime edition of Tic Tac Dough.

Furthermore, he also appeared in the Doris Day film “It Happened to Jane.” Moreover, he appeared as a TV interviewer in an uncredited appearance.

Moreover, Gene apparently did not want his name to be mentioned.

Subsequently, Rayburn was also a regular panelist on What’s My Line? And To Tell the Truth in the 1960s and 1970s.

Gene Rayburn: Match Game

From 1962 to 1969, Rayburn presented Match Game.

Furthermore, the show’s original version was broadcast on NBC from New York.

Rayburn read questions to two panels. Moreover, each panel consists of one celebrity and two audience members.

He kept things serious most of the time, but when the situation called for it, he’d crack a joke.

However, in 1969, the show was discontinued to make way for the topical but short-lived quiz show Letters to Laugh-In.

Subsequently, Goodson-Todman resurrected Match Game for CBS in 1973 as a California-based game program.

Gene Rayburn during the TV show
Gene Rayburn during the TV show “The Match Game.”

Rayburn returned as a presenter and offered a new concept in which two participants attempted to match six celebrity comments.

Furthermore, in particular, Rayburn was enthralled by this freewheeling new style and frequently used amusing voices.

Gene also engages in banter with the celebs and pretends to fight with the technical crew regularly.

It quickly rose to the top of daytime television ratings.

In addition, Match Game was the most popular daytime television game show from 1973 until 1977.

However, this television show was discontinued in 1982. The show was reintroduced as part of the Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour.

Rayburn participated on the panel for the Hollywood Squares portion and presented the Match Game and “Super Match” segments.

Furthermore, Jon Bauman also served as the show’s host. Rayburn was dissatisfied with the outcome of the show’s new format.

Gene Rayburn: Net Worth 

Gene Rayburn had an estimated net worth of $4 million at the time of his death. He had amassed a significant portion of this sum during his career.

Furthermore, he was also a panelist for several shows and became a well-known TV host.

In addition, Gene was also well-known for his exceptional hosting skills. In the 1950s, he established a legacy and became a household name.

Moreover, Gene is one of the best TV show hosts of all time.

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Gene Rayburn: Social Media 

The late TV show host is not available on any social media platforms. Furthermore, social media was not a thing during his youth. 

Gene Rayburn with Betty White and Gloria DeHaven.
Gene Rayburn poses for a photo with Betty White and Gloria DeHaven.

However, his photos and videos can be found all over social media platforms.

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Gene Rayburn: Death

Rayburn was sick for a long time. Moreover, Gene was troubled by illness, mainly because he struggled with memory loss.

Reportedly, Gene Rayburn had Alzheimer’s disease.

He got the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the profession.

Furthermore, he was declared dead on November 29, 1999. After a long battle with illness, he passed away quietly.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Was Gene Rayburn nominated for the Emmy Award? 

For The Match Game, Rayburn was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in 1967.

Rayburn was also nominated for Daytime Emmy Awards three times in 1975, 1977, and 1978 for the same show. 

Where did Gene Rayburn die? 

Gene Rayburn died at his daughter’s home in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Moreover, he died of heart failure.

In addition, at the time of his death, he was 81 years old.

Who is Eugene Peter Jeljenic? 

Gene Rayburn was born as Eugene Peter Jeljenic. Furthermore, he adopted the name Rayburn from a phonebook later in his life. 

When did Gene Rayburn join the NBC program Monitor? 

Rayburn joined the NBC program Monitor in 1961 as one of the numerous hosts. Moreover, he stayed with NBC until 1973.

How many Match Games episodes are recorded? 

The Match Games only has a few recorded episodes due to the show being filmed live.

Furthermore, only four episodes are known to exist.

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