Jack Paar

TV host, Producer, Actor
Though often less cited in the history of television talk shows than Johnny Carson, his successor to the host chair on "The Tonight Show" (NBC, 1954- ), Jack Paar was perhaps the most influential figure in the ... Read more »
Born: 04/30/1918 in Canton, Ohio, USA

Filmography

Actor (24)

Regis Philbin: Made For TV 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

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

Actor

But... Seriously 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

One on One: Classic Television Interviews 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

JFK -- That Day in November 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Jack Paar Is Alive and Well! 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Jack Paar Comes Home 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The 38th Annual Emmy Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

This Is Your Life 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

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

Actor

Take One Starring Jonathan Winters 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Jack Paar Tonight 1972 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

The Jack Paar Special 1966 - 1967 (TV Show)

Actor

The Jack Paar Program 1962 - 1966 (TV Show)

Actor

The Tonight Show 1956 - 1962 (TV Show)

Actor

Jack Paar Presents 1959 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

The Jack Paar Special 1959 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

The Jack Paar Show 1953 - 1956 (TV Show)

Actor

Bank on the Stars 1952 - 1954 (TV Show)

Actor

Down Among the Sheltering Palms 1953 (Movie)

(Actor)

Love Nest 1950 (Movie)

(Actor)

Walk Softly, Stranger (Movie)

Ray Healey (Actor)
Other (2)

Celebrate the Dream: 50 Years of Ebony 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Film Clips

The Wizard of Oz: 40 Years on Television 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Acknowledgment

Biography

Though often less cited in the history of television talk shows than Johnny Carson, his successor to the host chair on "The Tonight Show" (NBC, 1954- ), Jack Paar was perhaps the most influential figure in the development of the medium. From 1952 to 1956, Paar offered a smart, witty and frequently live-wire alternative to the staid promotional parade that comprised talk and variety shows of the period. A relaxed presence at his desk or on his trademark stool, Paar invited audiences to join him in discourse with leading figures from entertainment, society and politics, all of whom treasured his intelligence and, more importantly, willingness to listen rather than orchestrate the conversation. However, Paar suffered mightily for his efforts: a deeply emotional man, he quit "Tonight" in tears over network censorship, which earned him a reputation as overly sensitive, at best - at worst, potentially unstable. After leaving "Tonight" in 1965, he would return to network TV twice more in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but left both with disinterest in pursuing complacent, content-free programming. His contributions to talk shows and the medium as a whole was paid fitting tribute in the years prior to his death in 2004, and his reputation as a non-conformist who made television fit to his vision remained untouched in the years that followed.

Relationships

Lillian Paar

Mother

Andrew

Grandson
born c. 1984

Miriam Paar

Wife
married in October 1943 second wife

Howard Paar

Father

Randy Paar

Daughter
born c. 1949

EDUCATION

dropped out of high school in Jackson, MI after contracting tuberculosis

Milestones

1997

Subject of "American Masters" (PBS) documentary "Jack Paar: As I Was Saying . . ."

1989

Suffered a heart attack

1986

Returned to NBC after 15-year absence for the special "Jack Paar Comes Home"

1973

Hosted "Jack Paar Tonight", a 90-minute ABC talk-variety show co-hosted by Peggy Cass appearing under the umbrella of "ABC Late Night"

1957

Host of "The Tonight Show" (later renamed "The Jack Paar Show"), 105-minute nightly talk show on NBC

1954

Co-hosted CBS' "The Morning Show", a two-hour news-talk show

1954

Followed Jack Smith as the host of "Place the Face" (NBC), a game show in which contestants tried to identify someone from his or her past

1953

Hosted "Bank on the Stars", a half-hour game show in which contestants based their answers on film clips they viewed; show started out on CBS, then moved to NBC in 1954

1953

Drew upon his real-life experience as a GI in the Pacific for "Down Among the Sheltering Palms", a 20th Century Fox comedy with Jane Greer, Mitzi Gaynor and Gloria DeHaven and songs by Harold Arlen

1952

Hosted "Up to Paar", an NBC-TV game show which featured contestants answering questions based on current news stories

1951

Co-starred with Marilyn Monroe in "Love Nest"

1951

Last film with RKO, "Footlight Varieties"

1950

Appeared in "Walk Softly, Stranger" with Joseph Cotton

1949

Featured in "Easy Living", an RKO vehicle starring Victor Mature

1948

Film debut, "Variety Time", first picture under contract to RKO

1947

Hosted his own "The Jack Paar Show" on NBC Radio

1946

Worked as a summer replacement for Jack Benny on radio's "The Jack Benny Show"

1938

At age 20, announced the Cleveland Symphony with Artur Rodzinski for Cleveland's CBS radio station (date approximate)

1934

Started as a radio announcer at the age of 16 (date approximate)

Served in US Army, Special Forces, during World War II

Spent countless hours in his parents' basement reading aloud with buttons crammed in his mouth in hopes of curing his stutter, readying himself for his dream of becoming an announcer and comedian

Went primetime with Friday night talk-variety show "The Jack Paar Program" (NBC)

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