Johnny Carson

Talk show host, Comedian, Actor
A towering figure in the history of television, Johnny Carson was the host of "The Tonight Show" (NBC, 1954- ) for three decades. During that time, the congenial Midwesterner established a blueprint for the job through ... Read more »
Born: 10/23/1925 in Corning, Iowa, USA

Filmography

Actor (65)

100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Sixty Spins Around the Sun 2002 (Movie)

(Actor)

Get Bruce 1999 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Bob Hope: The First Ninety Years 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Jack Benny: Comedy in Bloom 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Simpsons 1993 (Tv Show)

Voice

Cheers 1992 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 1962 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

MDA Jerry Lewis Telethon 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Mauna Kea: On the Verge of Other Worlds 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Television Academy Hall of Fame 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Performer

America's Tribute to Bob Hope 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Jay Leno's Family Comedy Hour 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The Television Academy Hall of Fame 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Performer

Whales! 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Narrator

Bob Hope Buys NBC? 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Carson's Comedy Classics 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

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

Actor

The American Film Institute Salute to Billy Wilder 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Performer

The Barbara Walters Special (03/24/86) 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Christmas With Friends 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Sheena Easton: Act 1 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

A Love Letter to Jack Benny 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope For President 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Lucy Moves to NBC 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

George Burns' 100th Birthday Party 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

A Tribute to "Mr. Television," Milton Berle 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Bob Hope Special: Happy Birthday, Bob! 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

The First 50 Years 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

The George Burns Special 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Jack Benny's Second Farewell Show 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Don Rickles -- Alive and Kicking 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Jack Benny's First Farewell Show 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

Johnny Carson Presents the Sun City Scandals 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

Get Smart 1965 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

Pure Goldie 1969 - 1970 (TV Show)

Actor

Space Ghost 1966 - 1968 (TV Show)

Voice

The Royal Follies of 1933 1967 - 1968 (TV Show)

Narrator

Murder At NBC 1966 - 1967 (TV Show)

Actor

Who Do You Trust? 1957 - 1963 (TV Show)

Actor

The Arthur Murray Party For Bob Hope 1959 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

Laughing Matters (TV Show)

Actor
Music (6)

Gracie 2007 (Movie)

("The Tonight Show") (Song)

Talk to Me 2007 (Movie)

"Johnny's Theme" (Song)

Isn't She Great 2000 (Movie)

("Johnny's Theme") (Song)

This Is My Life 1992 (Movie)

("Johnny's Theme") (Song)

Burglar 1987 (Movie)

("Johnny's Theme") (Song)

The Late Shift (TV Show)

Song
Other (1)

Biography

A towering figure in the history of television, Johnny Carson was the host of "The Tonight Show" (NBC, 1954- ) for three decades. During that time, the congenial Midwesterner established a blueprint for the job through his quick wit, impeccable taste in guests (especially comedic talent) and personable delivery that made every guest - from the biggest star to the man on the street - shine in the spotlight. Carson's magnetism and talent made him not only a celebrity, but also part of the national fabric: as David Letterman once said, people wanted to end their day by being tucked in by Johnny. His unexpected death in 2005 left a vast void in not only the talk show world, but in the entertainment industry as a whole.

Relationships

Homer Carson

Father

Ruth Carson

Mother

Christopher Carson

Son
Born c. 1950 mother, Joan Carson

Cory Carson

Son
Born c. 1953 mother, Joan Carson

Richard Carson

Son
Born in June 1952 died in car accident in June 1991 mother, Joan Carson

Dick Carson

Brother
Director of "Wheel of Fortune" younger than Carson

Joanne Copeland Actor

Wife
Married 1963 Divorced 1972; Copeland reportedly received a lump sum of $160,000, an art collection, and $75,000 per week as divorce settlement

Joanna Holland

Wife
Married 1972 Divorced 1985; reportedly received $20 million in cash and property in divorce settlement

Alexis Maas

Wife
Reportedly met Carson while strolling by his Malibu beach house Married 1987 until his death Jan. 23, 2005

Jeff Sotzing

Nephew

Joan Wolcott

Wife
Met at the University of Nebraska and worked as Carson's assistant in the magic act that he performed in American Legion halls across the country Married 1949 Divorced 1963

EDUCATION

Norfolk High School

Norfolk , Nebraska 1943
yearbook awarded him an A in humor

University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Lincoln , Nebraska 1949

Milestones

1999

Underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery

1992

Signed a multiyear contract with NBC to star in and develop programming for the network

1991

Announced that final broacast as host of the "Tonight Show" will be May 22, 1992

1980

Threatened to quit the "Tonight Show" in 1979; the action won him a new contract, shortened the show from ninety minutes to one hour and increased in salary to $5 million a year

1964

Feature acting debut, "Looking For Love"

1962

Replaced Jack Paar (October 1); show renamed "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson"

1960

Starred in a primetime TV pilot, "Johnny Come Lately" (which didn't make it to the regular season schedule)

1957

Moved to Harrison NY

1957

TV acting debut, "Playhouse 90"

1955

Hosted and scripted first series, "The Johnny Carson Show" on CBS-TV

1954

Became emcee for TV quiz show, "Earn Your Vacation"

1951

Hosted first TV show, "Carson's Cellar"

1950

Became announcer of station KNXT, Los Angeles

1948

Moved to WOW, WOW-TV (show called "The Squirrels Nest") in Omaha

1948

Radio announcer, KFAB, Lincoln, Nebraska

Performed ventriloquism and magic as "The Great Carsoni" at Elks, Moose and Redmen Lodges from age 14 in Norfolk, Nebraska

Emceed quiz show "Who Do You Trust?" On ABC-TV; joined for first time by longtime sidekick Ed McMahon in 1958

Was a writer for TV series, "The Red Skelton Show" (1951- 71)

Grew up in Norfolk, Nebraska

Served as ensign in the US Navy during WWII

Bonus Trivia

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Inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987

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When asked "What made you a star?", Carson quipped, "I started out in a gaseous state, then cooled." ("Earl Blackwell's Entertainment Celebrity Register" 1991)

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Over the years Carson has endowed his alma mater the University of Nebraska with substantial scholarship fund donations.

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He served with USNR during WWII.

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Co-chairman to the Garden State Bank in Hawaiian Gardens, CA.

.

He is President of Carson Production.

.

Carson confirmed, through Carson Productions spokesman Jeff Sotzing, that he is suffering from emphysema in 2002

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It was initially reported by his family that Carson died at his Malibu home in 2005, but the subsequent death certificate revealed that the place of death was Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

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