Chuck Barris
Chuck Barris, during the premiere of "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" in Los Angeles Dec. 2002. The film was loosely based on the life of Barris who was host of the television game show the "Gong Show" and his claim that he was a CIA agent. Reuters

Charles Hirsch, popularly known as Chuck Barris — the creator of shows like "The Gong Show” and other programs for newlyweds and singles — died Tuesday afternoon of natural causes at his home in New York, according to his publicist Paul Shefrin, who announced the death on behalf of Barris' family, the Associated Press (AP) reported. He was 87.

The net worth of Barris — who rose to fame in the 1960s with "The Dating Game" — was estimated to be $120 million in 2017, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Barris was married thrice. His first marriage to Lynn Levy ended in divorce and their daughter, Della, died of a drug overdose in 1998. He married his second wife, Robin Altman, in 1980 and they were together till 1999. He married his third wife Mary in 2000. It remains unclear who will inherit Barris' fortune.

Read: Arnold Schwarzenegger And Other Celebrities In Dating Shows Before They Got Famous

Barris started as a staffer at NBC News and then worked backstage at the TV music show "American Bandstand." Decades before reality shows like "American Idol" and "America's Got Talent" came to television, Barris started the reality TV show trend where everyday people faced cameras and did not hesitate to answer embarrassing questions. In 1965, he formed his own production company, Chuck Barris Productions, according to NBC.

He built his fortune by creating and hosting shows like "The Dating Game," "The Newlywed Game" and "The Gong Show." In "The Dating Game," eligible singles participated in the show to choose a date from among three unseen members of the opposite sex after asking them questions. Before becoming famous, Steve Martin, Michael Jackson, Phil Hartman and Arnold Schwarzenegger took part in the television game show, according to reports.

"The Gong Show" featured amateur talent acts where the performer would stay on stage till the time celebrity judges and the studio audience found the act entertaining, the end of which was signaled by a gong. Through the show, there were some who launched a successful career, including late country musician BoxCar Willie, who was a 1977 "The Gong Show" winner, the AP reported. Starting in 1976, the show became infamous with some of its segments being labelled as raucous, reckless and lowbrow.

Barris ruled the television entertainment industry in 1970s and 80s, supplying TV networks with 27 hours of entertainment a week, mostly in the form of five-days-a-week daytime game shows. By early 1980, Chuck Barris Productions reportedly collected revenues of over $30 million. However, his TV empire had already started fading by that time, according to CBC News.

Later in 1980, as revenues started dipping, Barris sold his production company for a reported $100 million and decided to go into films. When Barris was distraught following the declining performance of his shows, he checked into a hotel in New York and wrote his autobiography, "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," in two months.

In the book, which was widely criticized, he claimed to have been a CIA assassin. It was made into a movie in 2002, directed by George Clooney.