Entertainment reporter Bush could have pursued politics like his uncle George H.W. or his cousin George W. Instead, he opted for the world of entertainment, starting out in radio. In 1997, he made a splash on his relatives' turf as the host of the Washington, D.C., gag-happy morning show Billy Bush and the Bush League
, but it was a 2001 appearance on the entertainment-news program Extra
that led to Bush's small-screen career. He was a natural on camera and was soon invited to contribute segments to Today
. By the end of that year he was working as an Access Hollywood
correspondent, and in 2004 he was promoted to full-fledged co-anchor. Unafraid to pose outrageous questions or poke fun at celebrities' images — he served pizza to Victoria's Secret models and asked Penélope Cruz if she could spell then-boyfriend Matthew McConaughey's surname — Bush was impossible to ignore. After emceeing numerous specials, including beauty pageants and award-show countdowns, Bush landed a gig as the cohost of the Broadway reality series Grease: You're the One That I Want
in 2007. In 2008, he went back to his radio roots and launched The Billy Bush Show
, a nationally syndicated talk and music radio program. Meanwhile, he continued to expand his presence on TV and became a co-host on daytime’s Access Hollywood Live
in 2010.Billy Bush Fast Facts:
- Is the youngest of 16 Bush family cousins, of which President George W. Bush is the second oldest.
- Dated Tucker Carlson's wife's younger sister while at prep school, a fact brought up by Carlson when Bush was subbing on MSNBC.
- Was captain of the lacrosse team for two seasons at Colby College in Waterville, ME; once played against the nephew of Michael Dukakis, his uncle George H.W. Bush's opponent in the 1988 election.
- Before breaking into television, worked as a radio host in the Washington, D.C., area.
- Joined entertainment newsmagazine Access Hollywood as the East Coast correspondent in 2001; following the departure of longtime anchor Pat O'Brien in 2004, he was promoted to cohost alongside Nancy O'Dell.
- Hosted the live pre-show on ABC for the 2004, 2005 and 2006 Academy Awards.
- Launched The Billy Bush Show on the radio in 2008.
- Became a cohost on the NBC daytime series Access Hollywood Live in 2010.
- Billy Bush Relationships:
- Alexander Ellis III - Cousin
- George W. Bush - Cousin
- Josephine Bush - Daughter
- Kelsey Bush - Cousin
- Mary Bradley Bush - Daughter
- Nancy Walker Black - Cousin
- Dorothy Bush Koch - Cousin
- Alexander Ellis Jr. - Uncle
- Elizabeth Kauffman Bush - Aunt
- George H.W. Bush - Uncle
- Louisa Bush - Cousin
- Prescott S. Bush Jr. - Uncle
- Prescott Sheldon Bush III - Cousin
- Robin Bush - Cousin
- Josiah Wear Ellis - Cousin
- Neil Mallon Bush - Cousin
- Jeb Bush - Cousin
- Josephine Bush - Mother
- Nancy Bush Ellis - Aunt
- Prescott Sheldon Bush - Grandfather
- Sydney Davis Bush - Wife
- William Harry Trotter Bush - Uncle
- Dorothy Walker Bush - Grandmother
- Jonathan S. Bush - Brother
- Marvin Pierce Bush - Cousin
- Patricia Lee Redfern - Aunt
- John Prescott Bush - Cousin
- William Prescott Bush - Cousin
- Barbara Bush - Aunt
- James L. Bush - Cousin
- Jonathan James Bush - Father
- Lillie Bush - Daughter
- Colby College, Waterville, ME (BA in International Studies and Government, 1994)