Sonny Fox, 'Wonderama' Host, Dies at 95 of Complications From COVID-19

Sonny Fox attends Sonny Fox: Forty Years In Television: A Conversation With Whoopi Goldberg at The Paley Center for Media on September 24, 2012 in New York City.
John Lamparski/WireImage

Rest in peace, Sonny Fox. The pioneering host of the local New York-area children's variety program Wonderama, died on Sunday. He was 95. 

Fox died of pneumonia induced by COVID-19, his daughter, Meredith Fox, told The Hollywood Reporter

"We are heartbroken, but are also celebrating having had him in our lives for so long," Meredith added in a statement to ET. "95 is a good run!  We know he meant a lot to so many, and we appreciate the outpouring of love and wonderful memories that are being shared with us. "

Fox, a Brooklyn native and prisoner of war during World War II, hosted Wonderama for eight years between 1959 and 1967, taking over from Bill Britten and Doris Faye. The show ran for four hours every Sunday morning when Fox was on board, and featured sketches, games and contests, in addition to segments in which Fox interacted with the show’s studio audience of children.

Fox reflected on his legacy in a 2017 interview with Observer

"I am as amazed as you are at the vividness of the memories [from fans of the show]," he said. "That’s both wonderful and it’s frightening; it’s frightening to the extent that we continue to put stuff out there for kids without thinking about what we’re doing without realizing what a terrific and impressive thing you are doing for kids, and how they will carry along those memories for years and well into their adulthood."

Throughout his career, Fox also served as a wartime correspondent for the Voice of America, hosted game shows like The $64,000 Challenge and The Price Is Right and was the inaugural producer on Tom Snyder's late-night talk show, Tomorrow. 

In addition to his daughter Meredith, Fox is survived by sons Dana and Tracy and grandchildren Shaun, Kelley, Corrin, Casey, Melissa, Rachel and Kelly. His son Christopher died in 2014.

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