Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Teddy Nadler's Sons Still Proud of Him

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Teddy Nadler's Sons Still Proud of Him

Article excerpt

BRUCE AND JOEL NADLER remember it as an odd but wonderful adventure along the lines of "Cinderella" meets "The Beverly Hillbillies."

One day their family was dirt poor, living in a three-room flat in north St. Louis, their father earning $80 a week as a laborer for the government. The next, they were revving up the truck to move to a larger house in University City, and their father was jetting to New York every week to appear on "The $64,000 Challenge," a popular quiz show that aired on TV in the late 1950s.

Their father, Teddy Nadler, had become a household name, winning $264,000 because of his vast knowledge of subjects as diverse as classical music, baseball and European history.

Only TV trivia buffs will recall Nadler's name today. He was never in the limelight, and he didn't cheat. The name that lingers is that of Charles Van Doren, who confessed that he had been given the answers to questions before appearing on the program, "Twenty-One." A movie detailing this scandal, "Quiz Show," opens today in St. Louis. "What was most amazing about my dad, and believe me there were many amazing things about him, was how genuine he was," said Bruce Nadler, who was 10 and 11 years old when his father appeared on the quiz show, and is now 46. "My dad being a fake was never an issue because all you had to do was ask him a question about anything, and he would give you the answer and then some.

"If my dad had any fatal flaw, it was that he told you too much."

Teddy Nadler died at the age of 74 in 1984. He had said once that his quiz show appearances had not been worth the money - and that the money had not lasted all that long, anyway. Nadler estimated about $80,000 of it had gone to pay taxes.

"I think both my father and my mother found it strange when people would stop them on the street or at the grocery store," Bruce Nadler said. "I can remember my mother being interviewed for a Ladies Home Journal article on hints for getting out stains. There's a picture of us boys (oldest brother Michael lives in Australia) in the magazine riding new bicycles.

"But my parents were never extravagant people. …

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