Jay Leno

Celebrity

Biography

  • Birth Name: James Douglas Muir Leno
  • Birth Place: New Rochelle, NY
  • Date of Birth / Zodiac Sign: 04/28/1950, Taurus
  • Profession: Talk-show host; comedian; author
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His down-to-earth persona and topical humor have helped make Leno one of the most recognizable personalities in the business. In the '70s, the comic toured as a stand-up — sometimes booking as many as 300 gigs annually — and made multiple appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. In the '80s, Leno warmed Carson's seat as the show's regular guest host. When Carson retired in 1992, NBC passed hosting duties for The Tonight Show to Jay Leno, much to the chagrin of competitor David Letterman who had his eye on job. Leno sustained his popularity and approachability well into the '00s. In 2009, Leno reluctantly agreed to step down from The Tonight Show, allowing his chosen successor, Conan O'Brien, to take over. In a surprising move, NBC offered Leno a nightly prime-time program, The Jay Leno Show. When it debuted in 2009, the show failed to gain traction and was subsequently canceled. NBC offered to rearrange both the prime time and late-night schedules to include everyone involved, but the arrangement rattled Conan O'Brien, who eventually refused because altering the schedule would harm The Tonight Show's long-lasting reputation. When the dust finally settled on the late-night conflict, Leno took back The Tonight Show, and Conan O'Brien left NBC. Off-screen, Leno spends his leisure time peacefully with his wife and his collection of classic cars and motorcycles.Jay Leno Fast Facts:
  • Moved to L.A. after college and did some writing for the sitcom Good Times during the 1970s.
  • Helped raise $430,000 for victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita by auctioning off a one-of-a-kind Porsche Carrera GT.
  • Collects motorcycles and antique cars, and writes a column for Popular Mechanics called Jay Leno's Garage.
  • Wrote several books, including How to Be the Funniest Kid in the Whole Wide World (or Just in Your Class), a collection of jokes and riddles that also gives advice to kids on succeeding as a comedian.
  • Jay Leno Relationships:
  • Mavis Nicholson - Wife
  • Angelo Leno - Father
  • Patrick Leno - Brother
  • Cathryn Leno - Mother
  • Jay Leno Awards:
  • 1994 Emmy: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 2006 People's Choice Awards: Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host - Winner
  • 2005 Emmy: Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program - Nominee
  • 2002 Emmy: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 1995 Emmy: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series - Winner
  • 2003 Emmy: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 1998 Emmy: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 1999 Emmy: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 1993 Emmy: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 2013 Emmy: Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Nonfiction Programs - Nominee
  • 2008 Emmy: Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Nonfiction Programs - Nominee
  • 2009 Emmy: Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Nonfiction Programs - Nominee
  • 2011 Emmy: Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Nonfiction Programs - Winner
  • 2014 Emmy: Outstanding Short-Format Nonfiction Program - Nominee
  • 2012 Emmy: Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Nonfiction Programs - Nominee
  • 1998 Emmy: Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program - Nominee
  • 1996 Emmy: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 2000 Emmy: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series - Nominee
  • College:
  • Emerson College, Boston, MA (BA, Speech Therapy, 1973)

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Charlie Rose with Jay Leno (October 18, 1996)
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Charlie Rose with Jay Leno (October 18, 1995)
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