Jack Bailey, 72, who crowned more than 5,000 women in 20 years as host of the radio and television show, "Queen for a Day," died of cancer Friday in a hospital in Santa Monica, Calif.

He hosted the long-running day-time series from 1944 to 1964. He started each show with the the question, "Would you like to be queen for a day?"

The popular show, which made its debut on radio in 1945, featured five contestants each day who were selected from the audience.

Mr. Bailey would encourage them to tell why they wanted to win the title and prize money. Their stories usually involved helping a poor or ailing family member or friend. The winner was picked by studio applause.

After "Queen for a Day" left the air in the mid-1960s, Mr. Bailey traveled with a score of stage productions including "Hello Dolly," "Sound of Music" and "The Music Man." He also appeared on several television programs, such as "Gunsmoke," "Ironside," and a variety of talk shows.

He was born in Hampton, Iowa. After directing musical comedy tent shows and barking for the World's Fair in Chicago in 1933, he went to Hollywood in the early 1940s. He was the announcer for such radio shows as "Ozzie and Harriet," Duffy's Tavern" and "Meet the Missus."

Mr. Bailey also did a stint on the game show, "Truth or Consequences."

His first wife, Carol, died in 1970. He is survived by his second wife, Jean, whom he married in 1972.