Ingmar, Michelangelo . . . and Merv

Antonioni_5 Merv_6 The answer is: Dying within two weeks of each other, these three titans influenced visual media immeasurably.

Who were Ingmar Bergman, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Merv Griffin?

That's correct for $1,000!

Ah yes, in the Arts & Entertainment world, they always die in groups of three. And so, complementing the two great film directors and their art, comes (and goes) Merv and his pure TV entertainment - especially The Merv Griffin Show and two game shows he created, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.

On DVD, The Merv Griffin Show: 40 of the Most Interesting People of Our Time is available in a three-disc set from Alpha Home Entertainment via

Mervgreen_3 Meanwhile, I grew up watching the original Jeopardy! - which began in 1964 and whose original host, it should be noted, was Art Fleming - and my sons grew up watching, as they called it, Wheel!

For today's obit in The New York Times, click here. And for Merv's official site, go to (where else?) -Ken Richardson