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Actors who hit it big on game shows

Billy Gardell's next career move is an advance to Go. The "Mike and Molly" star is making the leap from sitcom star to host of the new game show "Monopoly Millionaires' Club" which premieres Sunday at 7 p.m. on WPIX/11 and also airs 8 p.m. March 31 on GSN.

"My style is, I want you to win the money. I lost my voice screaming during the first episode because I wanted them to win so badly," says Gardell, who says his stand-up comedy roots have been an asset in his new gig.

But Gardell doesn't have a monopoly on going from sitcom stardom to a game show. Here are some others who hit the jackpot, as well as a few who didn't.


RICHARD DAWSON -- The Brit wit spent five seasons on "Hogan's Heroes" (and another five on "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In"), but his kisser is most recognizable from hosting "Family Feud" from 1976 to 1985. Among the hundreds of female contestants he locked lips with was Gretchen Johnson, who became his second wife.

BETTY WHITE -- After playing man-hungry Sue Ann Nivens on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," White was the logical choice to host "Just Men!," in which two female contestants answered lifestyle questions about seven male celebs in the audience. The 1983 show only ran 13 weeks, but White became the first woman to win a daytime Emmy for hosting a game show.

DREW CAREY -- Plinko anyone? After his eponymous sitcom was canceled in 2004, Carey was tagged to take over the reins of "The Price Is Right" when Bob Barker left the show in 2007.

STEVE HARVEY -- "Family Feud" has been a constant source of employment for former sitcom stars, including Richard Karn ("Home Improvement") and John O'Hurley ("Seinfeld"). Harvey, who took over as host in 2010, has been an audience magnet and has helped "Feud" rank just behind "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy!" for syndicated TV ratings supremacy.

JALEEL WHITE -- In 2012, TV's Urkel -- minus the oversized glasses, nerdy sweaters and geeky suspenders -- hosted Syfy's "Total Blackout," in which contestants had to perform wild stunts in the dark. The show hasn't seen the light of day since July 2013.

TERRY CREWS -- The "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" star has gotten a second career lifeline after taking over for Meredith Vieira as host of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" in September.

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