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Johnny Carson

Johnny CarsonAKA John William Carson

Born: 23-Oct-1925
Birthplace: Corning, IA
Died: 23-Jan-2005
Location of death: Malibu, CA
Cause of death: Emphysema
Remains: Cremated

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Talk Show Host

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Longtime host of Tonight Show

Military service: US Navy (1943-46)

As a boy, Carson taught himself magic tricks, and he started in show business as a magician ("The Great Carsoni"). He later worked as a radio voice, game show host, and comedy writer for The Red Skelton Show. When Jack Paar quit The Tonight Show, Carson got the gig, and asked Paul Anka to write a theme song; instead Anka submitted "It's Really Love", a tune several years old that hadn't been a hit, and it became Carson's theme.

Carson hosted the Oscar telecast four times. His autobiography appeared in 1965, Happiness Is a Dry Martini. Ed McMahon was Carson's sidekick dating back to ABC's late-1950's game show, Who Do You Trust?

When the far less funny Jay Leno took over The Tonight Show in 1993, Carson largely vanished from public sight. Videos culled from his Tonight Show years are still hawked on TV, and for years after his retirement he would give his friend David Letterman material to use on-air, which Letterman would punctuate with a golf swing.

Father: Homer R. Carson ("Kit", d.)
Mother: Ruth Hook Carson (d. 1985)
Brother: Richard Carson (TV director)
Sister: Catherine
Wife: Joan Morrill Wolcott ("Jody", b. 1926, m. 1949, div. 1963, three sons)
Son: Christopher Carson (b. 1950)
Son: Richard Carson (b. 1952, d. Jun-1991 car accident)
Son: Cory Carson (b. 1953)
Wife: Joanne Copeland (stewardess, b. 1932, m. 1963, div. 1972, d. 8-May-2015)
Wife: Joanna Holland (b. 1941, m. 30-Sep-1972, div. 8-Mar-1983)
Wife: Alexis Mass (b. 1950, m. 20-Jun-1987)

    High School: Norfolk High School, Norfolk, NE (1943)
    University: Millsaps College, Jackson, MS
    University: BA Radio and Speech, University of Nebraska at Lincoln (1947-49)

    4-H Club
    Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity
    Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame
    Presidential Medal of Freedom 1992
    Kennedy Center Honor 1993
    Peabody 1986
    Emmy 1976 for The Tonight Show
    Emmy 1977 for The Tonight Show
    Emmy 1978 for The Tonight Show
    Emmy 1979 for The Tonight Show
    Emmy 1992 for The Tonight Show
    Hollywood Walk of Fame 1751 Vine St. (television)
    Endorsement of RCA 1965
    Endorsement of Smirnoff Vodka 1969
    Driving While Intoxicated 1982 (driving a DeLorean)
    Heart Bypass Operation (quadruple) Mar-1999
    Ordained by the Universal Life Church Minister
    Issued Concealed Carry Permit Culver City, CA
    Asteroid Namesake 3252 Johnny
    Risk Factors: Smoking, Alcoholism

    The Tonight Show Host (1962-92)

    Apollo 11 (24-Jan-2019) · Himself
    Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (Jan-2018) · Himself
    Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond (5-Sep-2017) · Himself
    Paul Williams Still Alive (11-Sep-2011) · Himself
    Run for Your Life (Apr-2008) · Himself
    The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom (10-Apr-1993) · Himself
    Looking for Love (5-Aug-1964)

Official Website:

Author of books:
Happiness Is a Dry Martini (1965)

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