Charlie O’Donnell is not a household name, but if you’ve watched “Wheel of Fortune” anytime over the last three decades, you know his voice. O’Donnell, the announcer of the long running game show died Sunday night at the age of 78.
O’Donnell was actually a part of “Wheel of Fortune” before Pat Sajak and Vanna White signed on. He was the announcer from 1975 to 1980. He returned to the show in 1988 and served announcing roles until his death.
In addition to his work on “Wheel,” O’Donnell’s career spans over different mediums. He was a disk jockey in the 1960s and news anchor in the 1970s. O’Donnell also worked with Dick Clark on “American Bandstand” and served as the announcer for The Beatles during appearances at the Hollywood Bowl and Dodger Stadium from 1965-1967.
O’Donnell worked on some of the most popular game shows in history, such as “The Jokers Wild,” “Tic Tac Dough,” and “The $100,000 Pyramid.” For a time, he was the announcer for the American Music Awards, Emmy Awards and the Academy Awards.
“Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak tweeted, “Heavy hearts at ‘Wheel.’ Our wonderful announcer, Charlie O’Donnell, has passed away. We’re all in a haze right now. More later.” The cause of death has not been released.