Allen Albert Funt (September 16, 1914 – September 5, 1999) was an American television producer, director, writer and television personality best known as the creator and host of Candid Camera from the 1940s to 1980s, as either a regular television show or a television series of specials. Its most notable run was from 1960 to 1967 on CBS.
In 1946, Funt married Evelyn Michal (1920–2014) with whom he had three children, Peter, Patricia and John. In 1964 the couple was divorced and the same year Funt married Marilyn Laron, whom he divorced in 1978. The couple had two children, Juliet and William. Funt had seven grandchildren.
On February 3, 1969, Funt, his wife, and his two youngest children boarded Eastern Airlines Flight 7 in Newark, New Jersey with a destination of Miami, Florida. While en route, two men hijacked the plane and demanded passage to Cuba. However, some of the passengers, having spotted Funt, believed the whole thing to be a Candid Camera stunt. Funt repeatedly attempted to persuade his fellow passengers as to the reality of the hijacking, but to no avail. The plane later landed in Cuba, finally convincing the passengers. Funt and others were later released after 11 hours of being held captive.
He amassed a collection of works by the Victorian painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema and engineered an exhibition of them at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (bypassing the wishes of then director Thomas Hoving). The collection’s value skyrocketed as a result, and Funt sold them at a handsome profit.
Funt resided in Croton-on-Hudson, Westchester County, New York. His estate, White Gates, was sold to opera singer Jessye Norman in the early 1990s. Funt in the early 1970s purchased a 1,226 acre ranch located 12 mi (19 km) south of Carmel near Big Sur, California, “where he raised Hereford cattle and quarter horses” Funt later purchased the nearby 11-acre Bixby Ranch where he resided. Both ranches were eventually bought by The Trust for Public Land which expected to turn the land over to the US Forest Service.
After a stroke in 1993, he became incapacitated and died in 1999 in Pebble Beach, California, 11 days before his 85th birthday. Candid Camera continued with his son, Peter Funt, as host. wiki