American game show host Jim Lange has died, aged 81.

The original host of popular U.S. series The Dating Game passed away at his home in California after suffering a heart attack on Tuesday (25Feb14).

Lange began his career in radio before branching out into television in 1962 when he joined The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show as the host's sidekick and announcer.

He became the host of The Dating Game in 1965 and welcomed a number of celebrities as contestants on the show, including Michael Jackson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Martin and Ron Howard, while Farrah Fawcett also appeared on the series before she shot to fame as an actress.

After spending 15 years hosting The Dating Game, Lange went on to front shows including $100,000 Name That Tune and The New Newlywed Game.