A popular figure in various forms of media, Tavis Smiley is an American talk show host, radio presenter and bestselling author with a particular interest in politics and social issues. Smiley began hi...
Gulfport, Mississippi, USA
|Tavis Smiley||2014 2002 - 2014||Host||n/a||20145|
|EmergeTV||1997 1996 - 1997||Actor||Host||19977|
|Real Time with Bill Maher||2014 2001 - 2014||Actor||Panelist||20147|
|Race in America: A Multicultural Dialogue||1997 1996 - 1997||Actor||Host||19977|
|BET Talk||1996 1995 - 1996||Actor||Host||19967|
|The Tonight Show With Jay Leno||2013 1990 - 2013||Actor||Guest||20137|
|BET Tonight||2001 1996 - 2001||Actor||(1997 to 2001)||20017|
|The Parkers||2003 1998 - 2003||Actor||Himself||20037|
|Everybody Hates Chris||2008 2004 - 2008||Actor||Himself||20087|
|The Game||2013 2005 - 2013||Actor||Himself||20137|
|One Special Moment||Actor||Himself||7|
|Jimmy Carter Man from Plains||2007||Actor||Himself||20077|
|Any Day Now||2001 1997 - 2001||Actor||n/a||20017|
|The 30th NAACP Image Awards||1998 1997 - 1998||Actor||Presenter||19987|
|For Your Love||2001 1996 - 2001||Actor||Himself||20017|
|Published The Covenant with Black America|
|Co-wrote The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto with West|
|Debuted "Tavis Smiley" on PBS|
|Appeared on "American Dreams" as Thurgood Marshall|
|Began working for BET|
|Co-wrote What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America|
|Premiered "The Tavis Smiley Show" on PRI|
|Teamed up with Dr. Cornel West for the radio show "Smiley & West"|
Born in Mississippi and raised in Indiana, Smiley grew up under the watchful eyes of a deeply religious mother and stepfather. While attending Indiana University in Bloomington, he became interested in issues that affected him as a young African-American. Through personal connections, determination and a bit of luck, Smiley snagged an internship with Los Angeles' long-term Democratic mayor Tom Bradley, which eventually led to his full-time relocation to Southern California. After serving as an aide to Bradley for years, he dabbled further in local politics before finding his calling as a radio personality eager to talk about racial and social issues. In 1996, Smiley joined the Black Entertainment Television network and started hosting and producing "BET Tonight," which mixed lighter and weightier topics, ranging from pop music to politics. In 2001, he landed an exclusive interview with Sara Jane Olson, a former revolutionary involved with the Symbionese Liberation Army during the mid-1970s, and sold the piece to ABC, a move that resulted in his ousting from BET.
Smiley landed on his feet, however, and, after a stint at National Public Radio (NPR), he had a banner year in 2004 bringing "The Tavis Smiley Show" to Public Radio International and launching his PBS late-night series, simply titled "Tavis Smiley." He also appeared that year on an episode of the history-rooted drama show "American Dreams" (NBC, 2002-05) portraying the groundbreaking judge Thurgood Marshall, who became the nation's first black Supreme Court justice. In 2006, Smiley published The Covenant with Black America, a well-received essay anthology featuring numerous African-American scholars, and co-wrote his autobiography, What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America, with David Ritz. He later collaborated with esteemed and outspoken professor Cornel West, both on the radio show "Smiley & West" and the 2012 book The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto. Making another rare appearance in a fictional setting, he was featured briefly in the chilling horror film "Sinister" (2012), interviewing the movie's writer protagonist, played by Ethan Hawke.
|Smiley has won multiple NAACP Image Awards.|
|Smiley's The Covenant with Black America was the first non-fiction book by an African-American-owned publishing company to reach the top of The New York Times bestseller list.|
|He was honored in 2009 by being selected as one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" by Time.|
From classic movie palaces to the state-of-the-art IMAX screens.