|Biography | Film&Discography | Pictures | Contact Jerry Springer|
Say what you will about this silver-haired tabloid talk-show host, Jerry Springer certainly parlayed what could have been 15 minutes of fame into a long and healthy career. Although his eponymous series - which became a smash syndicated hit with its never-ending parade of trash-talking exes, b*tch-slapping babes and decked-out drag queens - was decidedly low-rent, Springer is indeed an intelligent ex-politico with a dramatic history.
Born in England to Jewish refugees who fled Nazi Germany, Springer immigrated to the U.S. as a child. After graduating from law school, he worked as an aide to Robert F. Kennedy but joined a Cincinnati law firm after his boss was assassinated. In the '70s, Springer was elected to local government, serving as a city councilman until a scandal forced him to resign in 1974. (He patronized a prostitute and was caught because he paid for her services by check!) But a few years later, he spun his illegal activities into a campaign platform of honesty, was reelected councilman and later served as the city's mayor.
During the '80s, he traded politics for journalism, becoming a popular news anchor and radio personality. In 1991, he went national with the syndicated Jerry Springer Show. Although it started out as a subdued, serious Donahue clone, the host spiced things up in order to improve the ratings and he ended up becoming an international entertainment icon simply by sitting back and letting his guests behave badly. No matter how violent or outrageous the episode, he always closed the show with his incongruous catchphrase, "Take care of yourself, and each other."
Springer's fame led to a plethora of TV and film cameos, a starring turn in the thinly veiled autobiographical 1998 flick Ringmaster and a country album. A ubiquitous pop-culture punch line - there's even an opera named after him - Springer has a more serious side as a high-profile Democratic fund-raiser, activist and political commentator.
In 2006, Jerry melted viewers' hearts when he signed on to Dancing with the Stars so he could learn to waltz for his physically challenged daughter's wedding. In 2007, he remained in public view replacing Regis Philbin as the host of America's Got Talent.
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