Jay Leno | Biography
The man characterized by his protruding chin, Jay Leno is the host of NBC's late night talk show The Tonight With Jay Leno. Apart from his recognition ass TV host, he is originally a stand-up comedian also an actor, voice actor and writer. His intense love for automobiles has added to his fame. Born on April 28, 1950 in New Rochelle, New York to parents Angelo and Cathrine, he was named James Douglas Muir Leno. His mother Cathrine, a homemaker and father Angelo, an insurance salesman were from Scottish and Italian descent respectively. Growing up in Andover, Massachusettes he enjoyed his school days entertaining classmates with his comic tendencies including pranks and practical jokes. His childhood weren't ideal as he was a dyslexia patient. He also had his spleen removed because of an accident, he fell down the stairs. He struggled to graduate from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts in 1973. He holds Bachelor's in Arts degree.
Jolly and friendly Leno made some extra money while at school performing stand-up comedy for local night clubs. He also attended musical performances of Tom Jones, John Denver and Johnny Mathis serving with warm-up acts. After graduation he moved to Los Angeles where he found himself writing for the TV show Good Times. Leno made his first appearance on The Tonight Show Hosted by Johnny Carson on March 7, 1977. Amidst frequent appearance the show he continued his string of stand-up comedy on other shows, The Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis Jr Show, Late Night with David Letterman and Showtime. His first show as the host was Jay Leno and the American Dream.
As Johnny Caron retired in 1992, Leno undertook the role as host, upsetting the expected successor David Letterman. Frustrated Letterman shifted to CBS. In the beginning he lost to Letterman’s in the ratings, only to come up after Hugh’s Grant appearance on the show and remained at the top till 2009. The show featured the interesting segments like “Headlines” and “Jay Walking”.
In 2009, Leno stepped down from The Tonight Show naming Canon O’Brien his successor to start a new show “The Jay Leno’s Show”. But following the poor rating of both the shows and increasing pressure from the NBC affiliates, The Jay Leno’s Show was cancelled and he resumed The Tonight Show amid the controversy. After the comeback although number of viewers decreased the show remains the most watched late night show. Leno’s show has featured many luminaries including Billy Crystal as first guest and President Barak Obama, the most valuable.
Jimmy Fallon has been announced as the successor from spring 2014.
Leno had minor roles in television series and movies too. J.J. in Trouble, American Hot Wax, Silver Bears, The Wild One, and Feminine Mistake are some to mention. He also voiced for popular films including Ice Age: The Meltdown, Dinosaur’s Story, The Crimson are among others.
Apart from the scandals related to his show he was part of scandals such as Michael Jackson’s child Molestation, O.J. Simpson’s criminal trials and others. Despite these he has maintained his own pace in TV industry. Seven Emmy nominations, winning one lately in April 2013 and receiving Hasty Pudding’s Man of the Year Award at Harvard university along with other clearly depicts his success.
Although he not among the sexiest, his longstanding married life with Mavis Leno since December 30, 1980 till date is significant. They have no child on mutual understanding. Mavis is an active social worker. She is in the board of the Feminist Majority Foundation. Leno has auctioned his beloved vehicles for fund raising programs for the foundation too. The couple has appeared on the game show Tattletales.
The witty Leno’s success can be measured from the worth he has accumulated over the years. He was ranked No 26 on list of Forbes Celebrity 100 in 2007. His net worth is reported to be of $250 million with an annual salary of $15 million for The Tonight Show with extra $15-20 million from his stand up comedy. Leno is die-hard fan of cars and motorcycles. He has around 200 vehicles in his garage located in Burbank of which more than 100 are cars ranging from antique ones to latest. His car collection worth is valued to be more than $50 million. His political affiliation is towards President Barak Obama. President has presented him with a toy model of the Beast, his presidential limousine. Other information, his car enthusiasm, his witty quotes, and his biography can be obtained from wiki his website and other sources.