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Queen for a Day

Four women were selected from the audience. Their task: to convince everyone that they are the most pathetic. The audience judged their sob stories with the applause-o-meter, and awarded the "loser" with her wishes, plus a crown and roses.

Premiered:January 3, 1956

Catch phrase: "Would you like to be queen for a day?"


Dick Curtis


Jack Bailey


Ben Alexander

Steve Dunne

Jack Smith

Dennis Day

Don DeFore

Walter O'Keefe

(substitute hosts)


Carl King


Gene Baker

John Harlan


Fashion Commentator:

Jeanne Cagney

Queen for a Day on DVD:

Only seven episodes of this game show still exist. Queen for a Day on DVD

Queen For a Day True Tales:

"My mother was Queen For The Day back in 1957 - I think. The reason I don't know the exact date as I was around two years old. Her name was Marietta McNeal. She was a registered nurse in Toledo, Ohio and was stricken down with polio in 1957. She was sent to Ann Arbor, Michigan and placed in an 'iron lung.' It was there that someone wrote into the show and told her story. Jack Baily and Ms. Cagney crowned her in the hospital. I have an old photo of the two, but it does not show the actual crowning. She requested an "iron lung" so she could come back home to Toledo, but I think she only received a washing machine. All of us (4 children) were taken away, by the State, and placed in an orphanage soon after. We eventually got back home only to have her die shortly thereafter. If there ever was someone deserving to be 'Queen For The Day,' it was this brave and lovely lady." -- Cheryl

"My mother was a 'Queen for a Day' winner on radio, with Jack Bailey, somewhere around the summer of 1948. Her name was Marguerite Hall (Mrs. Arthur Hall), who asked for a nipple, bottle warmer and sterilizer for her new baby girl, Mary Elizabeth, who was born 04-08-1948, as a premature baby weighing only 1 pound and 9 1/2 oz. That baby girl was me!!!!!! Mom got her wish; a trip to Tracy, California, she rode in the Frontier Days parade on the back of a Cadillac convertable, and stayed in the Hearst Castle (Mansion) over night. My mother & father stayed in the Pheobe Apperson Hearst bedroom during their stay there at the castle. She also received a new ringer washer and a wardrobe. I was also a 'Guest' on Queen for a Day when I was 5 or 6, (I think I was around that age), and Jack had me on TV. I would love to hear from anyone who remembers." -- Mary Elizabeth (Hall) Birt

"I have a friend whose mom was on the show 'A Queen for a Day.' We found the letter from the show. She was the winner for that particular day. The letter says 'Live Thursday March 9th, 1961.' Her name was Libby Doumel. She had a blind son and was wanting a braille for her son. She passed away a few short years later and my friend really did not know his mom through his childhood years." -- Scott

"My mom tied for Queen after they voted 3 times. (I think it was 3 times.) I was very small but I remember watching my mom on TV while at my Grandma`s house. I`m not sure of the year but I figure it was between 1951 to 1953. Probably 1952. Mom`s name was Metta Ross (Mom has just recently passed away from cancer). Mom wasn`t crowned queen but did get everything she asked for and even more. Bunk beds & a twin for us 3 kids, a swing set and I am pretty sure that's where Mom got her new Hi Fi set." -- Susie

"My sister was a winning contestant on Queen for a Day. Her name was Vera Jones. The host was Jack Bailey and the year was about 60-64. I am not sure exactly. Her situation was she was a widow with 10 children, her husband Lloyd having been killed in an accident when she was carrying her 10th child. Her request on the show was for some paint and supplies to repair her house. I remember my father taking me to the grocery store in the small town we lived in. There was a television there and the program came on at 1 pm Central time." -- June Eastwood

"I was a contestant on 'Queen For A Day' on June 17, 1963 and I was the winner out of the four contestants interviewed on the show. Jack Bailey was the host then. I received the royal treatment - the robe and the crown and four dozen red roses. Also received many gifts for my parents and The 'Queen's Whirl' in Los Angeles including a stay at the Hollywood Knickerbocker, make-up session at Max Factor and hair styling at Frank & Joseph's Salon. It was a great experience. I was the 14th of 17 children and the applause went to the top for me that day. My wish was for furniture and appliances for my parents. I was 18 years old at the time." -- Judy (Barto) Kutz. Judy would love to get in touch with the other contestants on the show that day.

Were you or someone you know a contestant on a classic game show? Send me your name, the contestant's name (if different from yours), the name of the game show, and any other information you have (date of appearance, what it was like to be on the show). I'll post your story here for the world to see! Email me at host@gameshowfame.com. *** NOTE: Before you send me an email asking if I can find a specific copy of a show your relative appeared on, PLEASE READ THIS ***

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