skip navigation
Jerry Springer

Jerry Springer

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Ringmaster DVD After the success of shock-jock Howard Stern's Private Parts, shock-TV host... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Gerald Norman Springer Died:
Born: February 13, 1944 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: London, England, GB Profession: talk show host, country singer, songwriter, politician, lawyer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

For better or worse, Jerry Springer revolutionized television, foisting upon the airwaves some of the most garish, freakish, self-involved slices of Americana the nation and world had ever witnessed. In the 1990s, "The Jerry Springer Show" (syndicated, 1990- ) became synonymous for mining the underbelly of American society for its looniest and loudest denizens, showcasing them on a daytime televised circus of which he dubbed himself "ringmaster." The product of Jewish refugees who fled Nazi Germany prior to World War II, Springer made his early career as a lawyer and politician, initially as a city councilman in Cincinnati, OH, where he survived a sex scandal to go on to become mayor of the city. In the early 1980s, he switched career gears, becoming an Emmy-winning TV news anchor and eventual host of his own eponymous daytime talk show. By the mid-1990s, he refashioned the fairly sober, public affairs chat hour into an increasingly tabloid-inspired examination of arcane social "issues," notably involving antisocial behavior, prompting the show to be syndicated nationwide. "Springer" became a nationwide phenomenon for its voyeuristic airing of obviously troubled, typically poor Americans' twisted...

For better or worse, Jerry Springer revolutionized television, foisting upon the airwaves some of the most garish, freakish, self-involved slices of Americana the nation and world had ever witnessed. In the 1990s, "The Jerry Springer Show" (syndicated, 1990- ) became synonymous for mining the underbelly of American society for its looniest and loudest denizens, showcasing them on a daytime televised circus of which he dubbed himself "ringmaster." The product of Jewish refugees who fled Nazi Germany prior to World War II, Springer made his early career as a lawyer and politician, initially as a city councilman in Cincinnati, OH, where he survived a sex scandal to go on to become mayor of the city. In the early 1980s, he switched career gears, becoming an Emmy-winning TV news anchor and eventual host of his own eponymous daytime talk show. By the mid-1990s, he refashioned the fairly sober, public affairs chat hour into an increasingly tabloid-inspired examination of arcane social "issues," notably involving antisocial behavior, prompting the show to be syndicated nationwide. "Springer" became a nationwide phenomenon for its voyeuristic airing of obviously troubled, typically poor Americans' twisted foibles and Springer's seeming encouragement of violence, vulgarity and nudity during tapings - all of which drew a chorus of critics all but labeling him the Anti-Christ. The phenomenon prompted "Ringmaster" (1998), a film starring Springer essentially as himself. Now a cultural icon, he routinely lampooned himself and his on-show shtick in comedic cross-media appearances. In the 2000s, Springer hosted a progressive radio talk show and took hosting duties for other shows such as "America's Got Talent" (NBC, 2006- ). Though widely imitated, Springer's formula would remain the gold-standard of daytime tabloid talkers. Springer himself remained ever-self-effacing about his show's cultural imprint, referring to it in The Los Angeles Times as "a silly little show" with "absolutely no redeeming social value whatsoever."

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Swing State (2008)
2.
 Domino (2005)
3.
 Citizen Verdict (2005) Marty Rockman
4.
 Defender, The (2004)
5.
 Sugar & Spice (2001) Himself
7.
 Sex: the Annabel Chong Story (1999) Himself
8.
 Kismet (1998) Cameo Appearance
9.
 24 Hour Woman, The (1998) Himself
10.
 Ringmaster (1998) Jerry Farrelly
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1939:
Parents fled to London from Nazi Germany
1949:
Family emigrated to the United States when Springer was five years old
1968:
Became a political campaign aide to Senator Robert F. Kennedy
1969:
Joined a Cincinnati law firm and became active in local referendum to lower Ohio's voting age to 19
:
Announced his bid for Ohio congressional seat; three days later, Army reservist Springer was called to active duty and sent to Fort Knox, KY
:
Upon his discharge four months later, resumed his bid, but lost by a modest margin
1971:
Won a seat on the Cincinnati city council
1974:
Forced to resign after admitting to hiring a prostitute; came clean to stunned news reporters at a press conference
1977:
Received more votes than any other councilman (largest plurality in city's history), becoming mayor of Cincinnati
1981:
Stepped down as mayor of Cincinnati
1982:
Lost Ohio Democratic gubernatorial primary
1982:
Was political reporter and commentator for Cincinnati's WLWT-TV (Channel 5)
1984:
Became news anchor and managing editor at WLWT-TV
1991:
Hosted syndicated talk show, "The Jerry Springer Show"; launched show in Cincinnati, moving it to Chicago a year later
1994:
Revamped the format of "The Jerry Springer Show" in order to garner higher ratings
1995:
Released country album, <i>Dr. Talk</i>; wrote title cut during a plane ride
1998:
Portrayed his own talk show host character in the film, "Ringmaster"
1998:
Released his autobiography, <i>Ringmaster</i>
1999:
Had a cameo appearance in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" as himself
2005:
Starred with Armand Assante in the film, "Citizen Verdict"
2006:
Joined the third season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars"
2009:
Will make his West End stage debut in London┬┐s "Chicago" as Billy Flynn
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Forest Hills High School: Forest Hills , New York - 1961
Tulane University: New Orleans , Louisiana - 1965
Northwestern University: Chicago , Illinois - 1968

Notes

In 2001, the Battersea Arts Centre in London presented "Jerry Springer: The Opera".

"I loved being mayor, but as soon as politics becomes a career, you can't really say what you believe because you're afraid you won't get re-elected. With a talk show, I have much greater reach and influence than I ever had as mayor.

"What politician gets an hour of national television, five hours a week, on the most powerful medium in the world? How many more lives has Donahue touched than [US Senator] Daniel Patrick Moynihan? There's no contest." --Jerry Springer in USA Today, January 25, 1994.

Springer received seven local Emmy Awards for his nightly commentaries while at Cincinnati's WLWT-TV. Readers of Cincinnati Magazine voted him TV's "Best Anchor" five years in succession. Among his professional achievements, he is extremely proud of his involvement with "Cincinnat Reaches Out", contributing on-site reporting from Ethiopia and Sudan documenting the effort to provide assistance to famine-stricken Africans.

Springer has served as co-host of Jerry Lewis' annual "Stars Across America" Muscular Dystrophy Labor Day Telethon and as Vice President of the national Muscular Dystrophy Association. He has been on the Advisory Board of the Audrey Hepburn Hollywood for Children Fund (AHHCF) and established a scholarship fund at the Kellman School in Chicago that serves inner city youth.

"The shows are wild shows. They're always on the cutting edge. But when moral questions are involved, we've got to come out on the right side. I've done 900 shows, and our audience of [mostly] kids never cheers the rapist or one who cheats. We get 3000 to 4000 phone calls a day at an 800 number--both suggestions for shows and people who want to be on. Our producers are told, 'Pick out the ones that are the most outrageous but also truthful.' It has to be truthful and interesting and, for our show, it must be outrageous. If it's normal living, that's not what our show is all about." --Jerry Springer in Parade Magazine, January 14, 1996.

Talk show host Jerry Springer was sued Wednesday by the son of a former guest, killed by her ex-husband hours after the airing of an episode the couple had appeared on involving love triangles.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Micki Velton. Administrative aide. Worked for Proctor & Gamble; born c 1946; met Springer on a blind date in 1969; married in 1973; no longer together.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Richard Springer. Stuffed animals manufacturer. Jewish; deceased.
mother:
Margot Springer. Bank clerk. Deceased.
sister:
Evelyn Springer. Language teacher. Born c. 1940.
daughter:
Katie Springer. Born in 1976, legally blind and deaf in one ear; also born without nasal passages.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Ringmaster!" St. Martin's Press

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute