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Phil Donahue

Phil Donahue

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Also Known As: Phillip John Donahue Died:
Born: December 21, 1935 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Cleveland, Ohio, USA Profession: talk show host, newscaster, radio announcer, news director, bank check sorter, trading stamp salesperson

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A pioneer of the television talk show, Phil Donahue was the host of "The Phil Donahue Show" (WLWD/syndicated, 1967-1996), which paved the way for the tide of afternoon chat programs that followed in its wake while also establishing a thoughtful, informative tone that many of them eschewed in favor of verbal fireworks. Donahue's screen persona - passionate, deeply liberal and sympathetic - made him a favorite among like-minded viewers, especially women, and a target for conservative figures. Donahue's fascination with stories from both high and low roads helped to fashion the modern talk show in all its permutations, from feel-good chats and news-driven roundtables to trashy exposes of sordid lives before the camera. In doing so, Phil Donahue was among the most important media figures of the late 20th century.

A pioneer of the television talk show, Phil Donahue was the host of "The Phil Donahue Show" (WLWD/syndicated, 1967-1996), which paved the way for the tide of afternoon chat programs that followed in its wake while also establishing a thoughtful, informative tone that many of them eschewed in favor of verbal fireworks. Donahue's screen persona - passionate, deeply liberal and sympathetic - made him a favorite among like-minded viewers, especially women, and a target for conservative figures. Donahue's fascination with stories from both high and low roads helped to fashion the modern talk show in all its permutations, from feel-good chats and news-driven roundtables to trashy exposes of sordid lives before the camera. In doing so, Phil Donahue was among the most important media figures of the late 20th century.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Body of War (2007)

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
3.
4.
 After Innocence (2005)
5.
 Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life (1996) Himself
8.
 First Steps (1985) Himself
9.
 Madalyn Murray O'Hair (2001) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1957:
Worked as announcer at KYW-Radio, Cleveland, OH
1958:
Moved to KYW-TV, Cleveland
1958:
Named program and news director of WAJB-Radio, Adrian, MI
:
Was news reporter and anchor at WIHO-Radio, Dayton, OH
1963:
Hosted "Conversation Piece" on WIHO-Radio, Dayton
1967:
Hosted "The Phil Donahue Show" on WLWD-TV Dayton
1970:
"The Phil Donahue Show" was syndicated; produced in Chicago and later in NYC
1980:
Contributed special segments to "The Today Show" (NBC)
1991:
Co-hosted, "This Week With Pozner and Donahue" (aired both on CNBC and in syndication)
1996:
Taped final episode of "The Phil Donahue Show" on May 2
2002:
Returned to television with the short-lived MSNBC show, "Donahue"
2007:
Executive Produced the feature documentary film, "Body of War," which he also co-directed with independent filmmaker Ellen Spiro
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

St. Edward High School: Lakewood , Ohio -
University of Notre Dame: South Bend , Indiana - 1957

Notes

"If there hadn't been a Phil, there wouldn't have been me." -- Oprah Winfrey

"He used to tell women to get out and get a job. A lot of them did it. And a lot of people who were watching him in the 70s are now his competitors." -- Steve Friedman, former "Today" producer

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Margaret Mary Cooney. Married February 1, 1958; divorced 1975.
wife:
Marlo Thomas. Actor, producer, activist. Married May 21, 1980; met on his talk show.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Phillip Donahue. Furniture salesperson.
mother:
Catherine McClory Donahue. Shoe clerk.
father-in-law:
Danny Thomas. Comedian-actor-producer. Died 1991.
brother-in-law:
Tony Thomas. Producer, "The Golden Girls", "Dead Poets Society", and others.
son:
Michael Donahue. Mother Margaret Cooney.
son:
Kevin Donahue. Mother Margaret Cooney.
son:
Daniel Donahue. Mother Margaret Cooney.
son:
Jim Donahue. Mother Margaret Cooney.
daughter:
Mary Rose Donahue. Mother Margaret Cooney.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Donahue: My Own Story" Simon & Schuster
"The Human Animal" Simon & Schuster

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