Steve Allen

Actor

Born: New York City, New York, USA

BIOGRAPHY

Stephen Valentine Patrick William "Steve" Allen (December 26, 1921 – October 30, 2000) was an American television personality, musician, composer, actor, comedian, writer, and advocate of scientific skepticism. He achieved notability as the first host of The Tonight Show, the first late night talk show, in 1954. Though he got his start in radio, Allen is best known for his 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 novels, children's books, and books of opinions, including his final book, Vulgarians at the Gate: Trash TV and Raunch Radio (2001). In 1996 Allen was presented with the Martin Gardner Lifetime Achievement Award from the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSICOP). He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Hollywood theater named in his honor.

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