Hugh Downs

TV host, TV announcer, Pilot
An easy-going, warm if placid TV announcer and personality, Hugh Downs was certified by "The Guinness Book of Records" in 1985 as having hosted more hours on TV than anyone else in the history of the medium and that ... Read more »
Born: 02/13/1921 in Akron, Ohio, USA

Filmography

Actor (61)

Today 1951 - 2013 (TV Show)

Actor

Pioneers of Television 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

20/20 2005 - 2006 (Tv Show)

Actor

ABC 50th Anniversary Celebration 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Barbara Walters: A Driving Force 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Family Guy 2001 (Tv Show)

Voice

The 70s: The Decade That Changed Television 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Opening the Tombs of the Golden Mummies Live 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Geraldo Rivera 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

NYTV: By the People Who Made It 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

ABC News Saturday Night 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

New York Philharmonic Opening Night Gala 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Tales From the Tomb: Lost Sons of the Pharaoh 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The Juilliard Opera: Hansel und Gretel 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Assassination 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Narrator

Jack Paar: As I Was Saying... 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

New York City Opera: Puccini's "La Boheme" 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

New York Philharmonic: Masur & Vengerov 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Gail Sheehy's New Passages 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Mostly Mozart Opening Concert 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Mostly Mozart Opening Concert 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

New York City Opera "La Traviata" 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Pavarotti Plus! 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Philharmonic Opening Night: Masur and Perlman 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

20/20 15th Anniversary Special 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Mostly Mozart and Mendelssohn Too 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

New York Philharmonic 150th Anniversary 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

New York City Opera: "Le Nozze di Figaro" 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Opening Night -- Masur and the Philharmonic 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Pavarotti Plus! 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Today at 40 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

The Television Academy Hall of Fame 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Burning Questions: The Poisoning of America 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The National Cholesterol Test 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Today at 35 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Growing Old in America 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Liberty Weekend 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Liberty Weekend Preview 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

NBC's 60th Anniversary Celebration 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Oh, God! Book II 1980 (Movie)

Newscaster (Actor)

Woman of the Year 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Not For Women Only 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Nothing By Chance 1973 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

A Global Affair 1963 (Movie)

TV Commentator (Actor)

Car 54, Where Are You? 1961 - 1963 (TV Show)

Actor

Variety (TV Show)

Actor
Producer (1)

Nothing By Chance 1973 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)
Other (3)

The Tonight Show 1956 - 1962 (TV Show)

Other

Home 1953 - 1957 (TV Show)

Other

Mending Hearts (TV Show)

Advisor

Biography

An easy-going, warm if placid TV announcer and personality, Hugh Downs was certified by "The Guinness Book of Records" in 1985 as having hosted more hours on TV than anyone else in the history of the medium and that record has continued to grow into the 90s. <p> Downs has never been considered a newsman, yet he has hosted two news programs NBC's "Today" and ABC's "20/20". He has never been considered an entertainer, yet he was the announcer for Sid Caesar's variety series "Caesar's Hour" (NBC, 1956-57) and for Jack Paar during Paar's reign as host of "The Tonight Show" (NBC, 1957-62). Downs was not a career game show host, yet he was emcee for NBC's "Concentration" for 11 years from 1958-69. If he had any genre to call his own, it could well be informational programming for senior citizens, as Downs has a post-graduate degree in gerontology and hosted the PBS series "Over Easy" (1977-81) as well as the ABC special "Growing Old in America" (1985). Safe to say, there is no one who finds Hugh Downs offensive on the airwaves.<p> Neither exuding loads of personality, nor bland, Downs began in broadcasting in 1939 in Lima, OH, as a radio announcer, then moved to Detroit, MI, just prior to World War II with the same duties. NBC moved him to Chicago in 1943, where he stayed for several years as the staff announcer for radio and TV. In the late 40s, Downs served as the announcer for the famed "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" puppet show. After a stint as host of "Home" in Chicago in the early 50s, he moved to NYC where he continued as an announcer for NBC variety series. During the same period, Downs began hosting "Concentration", a popular and long-running game show, and, from 1957, appeared on its morning broadcast "Today". He took over the role of host of "Today" in 1962, and remained with the show for 10 years.<p> In 1972, Downs semi-retired to Arizona, handling numerous hosting duties on documentaries as well as "Over Easy" for PBS. After six years, he returned to weekly TV as the host of the ABC newsmagazine "20/20". In the 80s, he was joined by Barbara Walters as co-host, reuniting the duo from "Today". Downs has continued to be adventuresome, as in a "20/20" segment in which he dove into a cage with a great white shark in Australia. He has also devoted himself to programs with great human benefit. Downs anchored a 1990 ABC News special entitled "Depression: Beyond the Darkness" and has often participated in programs which discuss and investigate how our future will be affected by the mishandling of the environment. Additionally, he has hosted the PBS series "Live From Lincoln Center" since 1990. A veteran or more than 50 years in broadcasting, Downs has received numerous lifetime achievement awards and honorary degrees.

Relationships

Milton Howard Downs

Father

Edith Downs

Mother

Deirdre Lynn Downs

Daughter

Davy Crockett

Cousin
his 4th cousin

Hugh Downs

Son

Ruth Shaheen

Wife
married in 1944

EDUCATION

Bluffton College

Bluffton , Ohio 1938 - 1939

Wayne State University

Detroit , Michigan 1940 - 1941

Columbia University

New York , New York 1955 - 1956

Hunter College

New York , New York
post-graduate work(gerontology)

Milestones

2007

Inducted into the American TV Game Show Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, NV

2001

Made a guest voice appearance on animated series "Family Guy" (Fox)

1990

Hosted PBS classical music showcase "Live From Lincoln Center"

1980

Made a cameo as a newscaster in the comedy feature "Oh, God! Book II"

1978

Emceed talk program "Over Easy" (PBS)

1978

Anchored the ABC newsmagazine "20/20"; in the 1980s, reunited with Barbara Walters from the "Today" show

1975

Executive produced and narrated the documentary "Nothing by Chance"

1966

Hosted NBC game show "Concentration"

1962

Began anchoring for NBC's "Today"

1960

Published autobiography Yours Truly, Hugh Downs"

1958

Worked as announcer for "The Jack Paar Tonight Show" (NBC)

1956

Worked as announcer for "Caesar's Hour" (NBC)

1951

Hosted "Your Luncheon Date"

1949

Was announcer on the children's show "Kukla, Fran and Ollie" (NBC, ABC)

1942

Served briefly in the U.S. Army

1941

Made acting debut with uncredited role of a reporter in "Roxie Hart," starring Ginger Rogers

1940

Served as staff announcer for WWJ in Detroit, MI

1939

Began broadcasting career as a radio announcer in Lima, OH

Was staff announcer for NBC in Chicago

Bonus Trivia

.

In 1992, Downs completed a certificate program in geriatric education at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

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