Blood-spitting, fire-breathing rock-and-roll showman; notorious ladies' man; marketing genius and entertainment mogul: Simmons wears many hats, or more accurately, a lot of makeup. His résumé is quite impressive for a nice, Israeli-born Jewish boy who once taught sixth grade in Spanish Harlem. In the '70s, Simmons played bass, sang in a variety of outfits, and eventually hooked up with guitarist-singer Paul Stanley. Along with drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley, they formed KISS, one of the most theatrical, over-the-top bands ever, and Simmons was the driving force behind its success. Playing simple but catchy hard-rock anthems and sporting skintight spandex outfits, huge platform shoes, metal spikes and Kabuki-like black-and-white face paint, the group exploded onto the music scene (literally, as their concerts were filled with pyrotechnics). KISS mania ran rampant, and soon the marketplace was flooded with everything from KISS comic books to TV-movies (such as the infamous KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park) to masks. Although the band changed its lineup numerous times (only Stanley and Simmons remained constant) and its popularity waxed and waned over the years, Simmons had a knack for remaining in the spotlight with a variety of projects, whether it was penning his autobiography, launching a magazine (named Tongue, of course), overacting in a number of films (Wanted: Dead or Alive, Runaway), bragging about his sexual conquests (4,600 and counting) or hawking bizarre products (a KISS coffin that doubled as a beer cooler). Never one to ignore a trend, in the '00s he tried his own reality series: the lackluster Gene Simmons' Rock School, in which he taught kids how to rock out, and Gene Simmons Family Jewels, an Osbournes-like, behind-the-scenes exposé of his home life with longtime companion Shannon Tweed and their two children.