Paul Alter was a veteran TV game-show director and producer, born on March 11, 1922, in Chicago, Illinois. This famous American television director is best known for his work in game shows for Mark Goodson Productions. He was the original director of ‘Family Feud’ and the director of ‘The Price Is Right’. Apart from being a producer and a director, he was also a talented artist. In fact, Alter studied piano with Teddy Wilson, from the Benny Goodman Quartet. In 1969 he put his talent to work composing the theme for ‘To Tell the Truth’.
In 1950, Paul Alter got his first job as a game show director. He was on the original CBS version of Beat the Clock. Around that time he also started his long association with Mark Goodson-Bill Todman Productions, working on most of their shows, including ‘What’s My Line’, ‘I’ve Got a Secret’ and ‘To Tell the Truth’. Paul Alter directed the original version of Family Feud which ran on ABC from 1976 to 1985. In 1988, Family Feud was revived and he directed that version as well. In October 1990, he left and went to work as director of ‘To Tell the Truth’.
After that, Alter went and directed both versions of ‘The Price Is Right’, his best-known project. He first worked on the original incarnation in Chicago that ran from 1956 to 1965. In 1986 he became director of the current version of the show and stayed in that position until 2000. Paul Alter was one of the key figures at Goodson-Todman Prods and created many of the best TV games of the last 60 years. He is also known for winning a lawsuit against the Walt Disney Co. In 1982 Mr. Alter won his first Daytime Emmy for “Family Feud”, and in 1996 he was honored with his second Emmy for ‘The Price Is Right’.
He retired following his departure from The Price Is Right. Outside the TV game show arena he edited and scripted episodes of a 1950s crime drama ‘Man against Crime’, he was an occasional editor on the TV series ‘Danger’, and he helmed episodes of ‘The Perry Como Show.’ Alter was married for 40 years to Shirley Burrows Alter. He died of natural causes on June 11, 2011, in Los Angeles, California, at the age 89. Paul Alter went down in history as the director of one of the longest-running network series in United States television history. In 2017 it was announced that a memorial house at the Heart of Park Ridge will be named after Paul Alter. The project is expected to be completed by 2019 and officially opened in 2021.