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Peter Tomarken

Peter Tomarken was an American TV personality best-known for hosting the popular game show Press Your Luck (1983-86).

He began his career in the 1960's as an editor for the magazines Women's Wear Daily, and shortly after, Business Week. He later served as game show host on Bargain Hunters, Wipeout, and Paranoia. In addition to his game show gigs, Peter occasionally guest-starred on television shows such as Ally McBeal, 240-Robert, Medical Center and The Rockford Files.

His 2006 death was the result of a plane crash in Southern California, while on a volunteer mission for Angel Flight West.

Biographical fast facts

Full or original name at birth: Peter David Tomarken

Date and place of birth: December 7, 1942, Olean, New York, U.S.A.

Date, time, place and cause of death: March 13, 2006, at 9:41 a.m.*, Santa Monica, California, U.S.A. (Plane crash)

Marriage #1: Dana Tomarken

Marriage #2: Kathleen Abigail Tomarken

Son: Jason Tomarken (b. November 21, 1969)
Twin daughters: Alexis Tomarken and Candace Tomarken

Note: Peter's three kids are all from his first marriage.

Father: Barnet Tomarken (Businessman/Jeweler)
Mother: Pearl Tomarken

Burial site: Hillside Memorial Park (a.k.a. Hillside Cemetery), Culver City, California, U.S.A.

Error correction or clarification

* Various times of death were reported by news organizations following his plane crash. These ranged from as early as "9:30 a.m." to as late as "9:45." Almost all of them were estimates based on eyewitnesses, and most were off the mark by several minutes.
By 9:38 a.m. he'd reached an altitude of 2900 feet, but began experiencing engine trouble. It was approximately three minutes after takeoff from Santa Monica Municipal airport that his 1973 Beechcraft Bonanza A-36 began losing altitude, and he'd turned back toward Santa Monica. Cockpit audiotapes show that he initially attempted to return to Santa Monica Airport, but later, as he rapidly lost altitude, he said he would try to land on the beach. At 9:39 a.m. he'd dropped to 1800 feet, and by 9:40 a.m. he was down to an altitude of just 1000 feet. The plane crashed into Santa Monica Bay south of the Santa Monica Pier before horrified beachgoers at 9:41 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Tomarken, an experienced private pilot, was on a volunteer mission for Angel Flight West, a nonprofit organization that provides free air transportation to needy medical patients.

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