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Sally Jessy Raphael

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Also Known As: Sally Lowenthal Died:
Born: February 25, 1943 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Eaton, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: talk show host, radio host, journalist, producer, disc jockey, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

With her signature red-framed glasses, Sally Jessy Raphael cracked the daytime TV talk show market in 1983, hosting a show which bore her name and was syndicated by Phil Donahue's distributor, Multimedia. Raphael was second to Donahue in making a name for herself with the audience participation talk show format Donahue had pioneered. Yet, the success of the show was a long-time in coming for the broadcast veteran. Raphael had been fired by station after station throughout the country trying to get a foothold as a disc jockey or news anchor on radio and/or TV. As a junior high student in Westchester County, New York, Raphael became intrigued by broadcasting and started her career with a local school news program. Over the course of some twenty years, she traveled from Puerto Rico to Florida to New York where she held various jobs. Persisting despite defeat, her spirits were buoyed by her second husband, Karl Soderlund, who acted as Raphael's booster, promoter and manager, getting her a new job each time she was fired. There were admittedly lean times where the family was forced to live in their automobile, eating ketchup on crackers and when Raphael even went on public assistance. But she persevered...

With her signature red-framed glasses, Sally Jessy Raphael cracked the daytime TV talk show market in 1983, hosting a show which bore her name and was syndicated by Phil Donahue's distributor, Multimedia. Raphael was second to Donahue in making a name for herself with the audience participation talk show format Donahue had pioneered. Yet, the success of the show was a long-time in coming for the broadcast veteran. Raphael had been fired by station after station throughout the country trying to get a foothold as a disc jockey or news anchor on radio and/or TV.

As a junior high student in Westchester County, New York, Raphael became intrigued by broadcasting and started her career with a local school news program. Over the course of some twenty years, she traveled from Puerto Rico to Florida to New York where she held various jobs. Persisting despite defeat, her spirits were buoyed by her second husband, Karl Soderlund, who acted as Raphael's booster, promoter and manager, getting her a new job each time she was fired. There were admittedly lean times where the family was forced to live in their automobile, eating ketchup on crackers and when Raphael even went on public assistance. But she persevered and finally hit the big time in 1983 when she began hosting a half-hour talk show "In Touch with Sally Jessy Raphael" from KSDK-TV in St Louis, Missouri. Multimedia took the show national within six months and within four years, the show's headquarters were relocated to the East Coast. Her talk show is often a multi-hankie affair, and the host exudes an "I care" attitude, which she often carries off-screen, offering her traumatized guests help outside the framework of the show. Raphael has been particularly successful with reuniting lost loved ones, but has also brought more outre topics to national TV. She won a 1989 Daytime Emmy Award as Outstanding Talk Show Host (the show won in 1990).

Raphael's fame brought her occasional cameos as herself in films, such as "Resident Alien" (1990) and "The Addams Family" (1991), as well as in the TV-movie "Fatal Flaw" (ABC, 1989). In 1996, Raphael made her TV acting debut playing a judge who sternly sentences a murderous Fred Savage in "No One Would Tell" (NBC). She has branched out to producing with the 1997 CBS TV-movie "Ken Follett's 'The Third Twin'".

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Guru, The (2003) Herself
3.
 Double Whammy (2001) Herself
4.
5.
 No One Would Tell (1996) Judge Bailey
6.
 Associate, The (1996) Herself
7.
 Addams Family, The (1991) (Special Appearance)
8.
 Resident Alien (1990) Herself
9.
 She-Devil (1989) Herself
10.
 Fatal Flaw (1989) Herself
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Had first radio experience on WFAS-AM White Plains, NY, hosting "Junior High School News"
:
Worked as disc jockey at numerous radio stations
:
Worked for the Associated Press
:
Was street reporter in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, FL
:
Moved to Puerto Rico
:
Worked as a TV news reporter and hosted morning radio show in San Juan, PR
:
Moved to Miami, FL; worked as a radio disc jockey; quit because she was making too little money (variously reported as $200/week and $500/week)
:
Worked as a street reporter in Fort Lauderdale, FL
1971:
Hosted "A.M. Miami"
:
Moved to NYC
:
When she couldn't find work, went on public assistance
1976:
Hired by WMCA radio as co-host of a morning radio program
:
Worked as a news anchor for eight months on WPIX-TV
:
Hosted radio show on NBC Talknet
:
Hosted the daytime chat show, "Sally Jessy Raphael"; originally titled "In Touch with Sally Jessy Raphael" when the show was half-hour in length
1991:
Made cameo appearance as herself in "The Addams Family"
1992:
Co-hosted TV special "Why Bother Voting" (PBS)
1996:
Played a judge in TV-movie "No One Would Tell"
1997:
Produced first TV-movie, "Ken Follett's 'The Third Twin'"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Carnegie-Mellon University: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania -
University of Puerto Rico: -
Columbia University: New York , New York -
Actors Studio: New York , New York -

Notes

Raphael has worked as a radio or television broadcaster in 24 cities and has been fired 18 times.

"No one is going to fire me now. If and when I leave, I'll be the one to make the decision" --Sally Jessy Raphael to New York Post, October 16, 1997.

Raphael and her husband, Karl Soderlund, have restored a 19th Century home in Buck's County, Pennsylvania, and transformed it into a bed & breakfast inn.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Andrew Vladimir. Advertising executive. Married c. 1959; divorced in 1964.
husband:
Karl Soderlund. Manager. Married c. 1964.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Jesse Lowenthal. Owned rum exporting business. His work caused Raphael to spend much of her youth in Puerto Rico; developed heart problems when Raphael was in high school and could no longer work.
mother:
Dede Lowry. Artist. Died c. 1977.
brother:
Steven Lowenthal. Younger.
daughter:
Allison Vladimir. Found dead in her mother's Pennsylvania mansion February 2, 1992; graduated from Culinary Institute of America, unemployed because of back problems at time of death.
daughter:
Alison Vladimir Romanoff.
son:
Jason Soderlund. Born c. 1972; adopted; was in car crash January 12, 1992; suffered head injuries; was in a second accident near the end of June in which another driver failed to yield and crashed into Soderlund's car; serious injury avoided.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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