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Meredith Vieira, Host of 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire'

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Meredith Vieira, host of 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire'

Meredith Vieira, host of 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire'

Courtesy Valleycrest Productions Ltd

Born: December 30th, 1953
Hometown: East Providence, Rhode Island
Graduated From: Lincoln School, Tufts University
Family: Married to Richard M. Cohen, three children
Trademark: Engaging interviews with news and pop culture headliners

How She Got Her Start in Television:

Meredith Vieira graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University in 1975. She started as a news reporter for a local radio station that same year, moving to local television news shortly thereafter. Vieira moved on to New York City and then Chicago covering TV news reports for CBS. In 1985 she got a job as a field correspondent for West 57th, which led to a gig with 60 Minutes in the same capacity. She eventually earned a spot as co-anchor on the CBS Morning News.

As one of five co-hosts of The View in 1997, Vieira's popularity soared. She served as moderator of the show, and became known for her candid and open style. She was with the show for nine years before leaving to co-anchor The Today Show with Matt Lauer. She also took over as host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire from Regis Philbin in 2002. In 2013 Vieira announced that she would be leaving Millionaire -- the spot was taken over by Cedric the Entertainer.

Television:

  • 1985, West 57th correspondent
  • 1989, 60 Minutes correspondent
  • 1992, CBS Morning News co-anchor
  • 1993, Turning Point (20/20 spin off)
  • 1997, The View co-host and moderator
  • 1998, The 78th Annual Miss America Pageant host
  • 1999, Intimate Portrait host
  • 2002, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire host
  • 2006, The Today Show co-anchor

Vieira has also narrated several documentaries and TV specials, and appeared in television shows such as Spin City and the soap opera All My Children.

Awards:

  • 1989, Two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Coverage of a Continuing News Story, for West 57th

  • 1989, Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational, Cultural or Historic Programming, for West 57th

  • 1989, Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, for West 57th

  • 1991, Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational, Cultural or Historic Programming, for 60 Minutes

  • 1996, Emmy Award for Outstanding Background/Analysis of a Single Current Story, for Turning Point

  • 2005, Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host, for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

  • 2007Emmy Award for Excellence in Morning Programming, for The Today Show

Vieira has been nominated for eight other Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Talk Show Host and Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show.

Fun Fact:

Vieira is featured in the Special Edition DVD set of The Lion King 1 1/2. She hosts a mock Millionaire-style game called Who Wants to Be King of the Jungle?

Quotes:

"I thought, I’ll have to be careful with my personality — The View was anything goes, but this is the news division. I’m basically a night person, and those hours are daunting. Will I be able to pull this off?" -- in an interview with Good Housekeeping about moving to The Today Show

"I got a lot of grief from people who thought that a journalist should never pose like that. But my argument was, 'I'm a journalist, yes, but I'm also a woman, and I'm not ashamed of being a woman.'" – on The Today Show, about a published picture of herself in a short skirt

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