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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
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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