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Stars fondly
remember Griffin at funeral

Stars fondly
remember Griffin at funeral

Hollywood stars fondly remembered Merv Griffin at his funeral Friday, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who credited the creator of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune with jump-starting his own acting career.

Among mourners who filled the Church of the Good Shepherd were former first lady Nancy Reagan, Pat Sajak, Vanna White, Alex Trebek, Dick Van Dyke, and Griffin's son, Anthony, and his family. Schwarzenegger, who attended with wife Maria Shriver, gave one of the eulogies.

''I can say today I wouldn't have gone as far in my career if it wouldn't have been for Merv Griffin,'' Schwarzenegger said, recalling his appearances on The Merv Griffin Show, which date back to 1974.

''He had me on many times, and I was on his show to teach him about fitness and he would be teaching me about acting. Well, neither worked,'' the bodybuilder-turned-actor-turned-governor said to laughter. Griffin's son followed with a mix of humor and affection: ''I never knew anyone who loved life as much as my father,'' he said.

Griffin, 82, died Sunday of prostate cancer.

He began his career as a radio vocalist, then began to appear on TV. In 1965, Westinghouse Broadcasting began The Merv Griffin Show on syndicated television.

Griffin was already working on developing game shows. Jeopardy! began in 1964 and went on to become a huge hit, followed by Wheel of Fortune in 1975. He sold their rights to the Columbia Pictures Television Unit for $250 million, retaining a share of the profits, and went into real estate and other business ventures.

He bought and refurbished the Beverly Hilton and then acquired hotel and casino operator Resorts International. Griffin was to be buried not far away, in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, where Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, Natalie Wood, and other Hollywood notables are interred. (AP)

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