Australian TV Personality Dies

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U.S.-born Australian television personality Tommy Hanlon Junior died today after a long battle with cancer.

His friends say the circus frontman and performer died at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

Hanlon was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia. He was in his early 80s.

Hanlon immigrated to Australia in 1959 and hosted a television program called "It Could Be You," that reunited long-lost relatives. It was Australia's highest-rating daytime television program ever, and an American version aired from 1957 to 1961.

Following the success of his first program, Hanlon hosted "Pot of Gold," a daytime talent quest, from 1975 to 1978.

He then left television for the circus, joining Ashton's Circus and then Silvers' Magic Circus where he remained for 23 years and worked as a master of ceremonies.

Before he came to Australia, Hanlon had been a member of Orson Welles' Mercury Theater in Los Angeles and also appeared in a number of Hollywood movies.

Hanlon is survived by his daughter April, who lives in Melbourne.