Bess Myerson

American Politician, Model, Television Actress and Gameshow Host

Bess Myerson


Bess Myerson, a multifaceted and trailblazing personality, made her mark in the world of game shows as the host of “The Big Payoff.” With her charm, intelligence, and a commitment to promoting equality, she left a significant impact in the realm of television game shows. This biography explores her early life, her role as the host of “The Big Payoff,” and her legacy as a pioneering figure in the world of entertainment.

Early Life:

Bess Myerson was born on July 16, 1924, in the Bronx, New York. Her early life was marked by academic achievements and a passion for the arts. She pursued a degree in music from Hunter College and later went on to become Miss America in 1945, the first Jewish woman to win the title.

Myerson’s early experiences as an accomplished musician and beauty queen were significant in shaping her future career. Her unique combination of talents and her commitment to breaking barriers would become defining aspects of her hosting style.

Looking to host a Bingo event?

Looking to host a Music Bingo event?

The Big Payoff:

“The Big Payoff,” a popular television game show, welcomed Bess Myerson as its host. The show’s format was centered around offering advice and solutions to everyday problems. Contestants sought answers to various dilemmas, and Myerson, along with her co-host Arlene Francis, provided guidance and solutions.

Myerson’s hosting style on “The Big Payoff” was marked by her warm and intelligent presence. She possessed the ability to connect with contestants and offer practical advice. Her role as the host was not just about asking questions; it was about guiding contestants through life’s challenges with empathy and wisdom.

The success of “The Big Payoff” can be largely attributed to Bess Myerson’s hosting abilities. Her talent for making contestants and the audience feel at ease while addressing real-life problems played a pivotal role in creating an atmosphere of empathy and practical assistance.

Bess Myerson the big payoff

Myerson’s presence added a layer of charm and sophistication to the show, making it a unique and enriching experience for those seeking solutions to their everyday challenges.

The Name’s the Same:

In addition to “The Big Payoff,” Bess Myerson made notable appearances as a panelist on the classic television game show “The Name’s the Same.” The show featured contestants with unusual or famous names, and the panelists had to guess the correct name of the contestant. Myerson’s sharp wit and quick thinking added to the entertainment value of the program.

Her contributions to “The Name’s the Same” showcased her versatility as an entertainer and her ability to engage with contestants and fellow panelists while infusing humor into the show.

Legacy and Impact:

Bess Myerson’s career in the world of game shows emphasized the importance of empathy, intelligence, and practical advice. Her ability to connect with contestants and the audience while offering solutions to real-life problems demonstrated the power of television in addressing everyday challenges.

Myerson’s legacy serves as a testament to the significance of programs that entertain, educate, and assist the audience. Her impact extended beyond the realm of game shows as she used her platform to advocate for equality and justice, particularly in her role as New York City’s Commissioner of Consumer Affairs.


Bess Myerson, a multifaceted and trailblazing personality, made a memorable impression in the world of game shows, with “The Big Payoff” being a significant milestone in her career as a host. Her warm and intelligent presence, along with her commitment to offering practical advice, left a lasting impact on the show. Myerson’s appearances on “The Name’s the Same” further showcased her versatility as an entertainer. Her legacy as a pioneering figure in the world of entertainment and her advocacy for equality ensure that her name is forever associated with the world of game shows, emphasizing the importance of empathy, intelligence, and practical assistance in television programming.