Phyllis George, TV Host and Pioneer on ‘The NFL Today,’ Dies at 70


Phyllis George

Winner of Miss America in 1971, she also worked on ‘Candid Camera’ and was married (very briefly) to Robert Evans.

Phyllis George, the former Miss Texas and Miss America who made history as a sportscaster on the CBS pregame show The NFL Today, has died. She was 70.

George died Thursday after a long struggle with a blood disorder at a hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, a family spokeswoman announced.

George’s role in 1974 as Allen Funt’s co-emcee of CBS’ Candid Camera launched her career in television. That year, the network recruited her to join Brent Musburger and Irv Cross on the cast of The NFL Today. (Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder would come aboard the Sunday program later).

One of the first women to have a nationally prominent role reporting for TV sports, she also covered horse racing events, including the Preakness and Belmont stakes.

George became the host of the entertainment show People, the TV version of the magazine, in 1978. Seven years later, she co-anchored the CBS Morning News, where she interviewed prominent guests including Nancy Reagan.

George was married to Hollywood producer Robert Evans from 1977-78 — she was the fourth of his seven wives — and to John Y. Brown Jr. from 1979-98. (Brown owned Kentucky Fried Chicken and the NBA’s Boston Celtics and served as the governor of Kentucky from 1979-83.)

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