In July 2012, talk show host Anderson Cooper revealed in a statement that he was a gay man. The revelation that he was homosexual made headlines, but it didn't turn daytime or late night TV on its head. It served to prove a point that the talk show industry is becoming ever more diverse in its definition of talk shows host - race, gender, sexual preference, age - and that talk show fans care very little about a talk show hosts personal life. Well, no more than the average fan of any popular celebrity.
Talk show fans only care about being entertained. If you can do that, it doesn't matter who you are or whether you're straight or gay. In fact, some of the most popular and industry leading talk show hosts in the history of genre are gay, including:
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Rosie O'Donnell is well-known in the talk show industry, having hosted three talk shows in the last 20 years. She revolutionized daytime TV with her wildly popular The Rosie O'Donnell Show
. After retiring from that program, O'Donnell was later selected to moderate ABC's popular morning talk show, The View
. O'Donnell remained on that program for a year before leaving for various reasons, both personal and professional. Then, in 2011, O'Donnell launched The Rosie Show
on Oprah Winfrey
's network, OWN. Poor ratings and a scarce audience led Winfrey to cancel the show after only three months.
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Anderson Cooper was born on June 3, 1967, as Anderson Hays Vanderbilt Cooper. He's the son of writer Wyatt Cooper and - more notably - outspoken artist and fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt. He made a name for himself while covering Hurricane Katrina for CNN. The coverage led to a anchor position on Anderson Cooper 360
and, eventually, to his gig as a daytime talk show host.
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After Rosie's departure in 2002, the field was wide open in daytime TV for another traditional talk show host with a warm personality, a knack for telling jokes and an ability to connect with people from all walks of life. Ellen DeGeneres answered that call. Her show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show
, debuted in 2003 and has stopped growing. It has consistently won Emmys for best talk show and talk show host, and Ellen continues to top popularity charts with fans.
4. Andy Cohen
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Andy Cohen is the affable host of the Bravo Network's nightly talk show Watch What Happens Live
. He's also a regular guest co-host of Live with Kelly
. Cohen was born in St. Louis, Mo., later receiving his bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Boston University. He became a successful new producer at CBS, working for many years on 48 Hours
and CBS This Morning
. Cohen moved to Bravo in 2005 and became senior vice president of Original Programming and Development. In the late 2000s, Cohen became a familiar face on the network, hosting many reality TV reunions and hosting several specials. This led to his current gig as talk show host.
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Host of CBS's The Talk
, Sara Gilbert brings a girl next door charm to the show's panel of talk show host personalities. She's best known as Darlene Connor, the daughter to Roseanne Barr's character Roseanne on the late 80s - early 90s show by the same name. Gilbert became host of The Talk
in 2010, a show that first billed as a panel of mothers discussing current events and topical issues, but has grown to include a wider range of opinion. Gilbert graduated from Yale University in 1997, majoring in art. She has two children with her partner, producer Allison Adler.