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Steve Allen

  • Birthplace: New York City, New York
  • Birthday: December 26
Date of passing: 
October 30, 2000

Steve Allen was an American television personality, radio personality, musician, composer, actor, comedian, and writer. He achieved national fame as the first host of The Tonight Show, the first late night television talk show in September 1954.

Though he got his start in radio, Allen is best known for his extensive network television career. He gained national attention as a guest host on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts.

Steve Allen was an American television personality, radio personality, musician, composer, actor, comedian, and writer. He achieved national fame as the first host of The Tonight Show, the first late night television talk show in September 1954.

Though he got his start in radio, Allen is best known for his extensive network television career. He gained national attention as a guest host on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts.

After he hosted The Tonight Show, he went on to host numerous game and variety shows, including his own The Steve Allen Show, I've Got a Secret, and The New Steve Allen Show. He was a regular panel member on CBS's What's My Line?, and from 1977 until 1981 wrote, produced, and hosted the award-winning public broadcasting show Meeting of Minds, a series of historical dramas presented in a talk format.

Allen was a pianist and a prolific composer, having written – by his own estimate – more than 8,500 songs, some of which were recorded by numerous leading singers. Working as a lyricist, Allen won the 1964 Grammy Award for Best Original Jazz Composition. He also wrote more than 50 books, including his final book, Vulgarians at the Gate: Trash TV and Raunch Radio (2001).

Allen has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Hollywood theater named in his honor.

Steve Allen was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1986.

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Steve Allen

Photo credit: 
AP

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