Also Credited As:Ryan John Seacrest
|Ryan John Seacrest on December 24, 1974 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA|
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Seacrest was born on Dec. 24, 1974 in Atlanta, GA. His first exposure to entertainment was in the fourth grade, where Seacrest sang his heart out as King Winter in a grade school musical. It would be the first and last time Seacrest would sing before an audience. But the youngster remained bitten by the entertainment bug. While attending Dunwoody High School, he read the morning announcements, pretending that he was host of his own radio show. He was also a staff writer on the school newspaper and a member of the model UN club. At age 16, Seacrest interned at WSTR/Star 94 in his native Atlanta, where he recorded a demo and gave it to the station's program director. Impressed with his talent, the program director offered Seacrest a job filling the seven o'clock p.m. to midnight shift.
Even though he was still only in high school, Seacrest's show became one of the highest-rated for the station. He continued the show while attending the University of Georgia. During freshman year, ESPN offered him his first TV hosting job on the sports game show, "Radical Outdoor Challenge" (ESPN, 1993), a series that pitted three children competing against each other in various outdoor competitions. Then in 1995, Seacrest moved to Los Angeles to further his radio career and landed the afternoon drive on Star 98.7/KYSR. In short order, he turned "Ryan Seacrest for the Ride Home" into a No. 1-rated show. Seacrest also hosted the nationally syndicated "Live From the Lounge," a celebrity interview program.
After several hosting gigs on TV specials, Seacrest landed the job of a lifetime with "American Idol." Though initially sharing duties the first season with Brian Dunkelman, Seacrest returned for season two as sole host. Alongside pop diva Paula Abdul, Grammy Award-winning producer Randy Jackson and record executive Simon Cowell, Seacrest held things together amidst a seemingly endless stream of awful singers, as the show tried to find a rare diamond in the rough. The host also dutifully performed "synergysticly," frequently bringing "Idol" chatter and its personalities into his daily radio show and traveling across the country for cross-promotional purposes for both Fox and his corporate radio boss, Clear Channel Communications. This eventually allowed Seacrest to guest-host Rick Dees' nationally syndicated morning show on 102.7/KIIS-FM in 2003, despite being in direct competition with his own station's L.A. morning team; a show he eventually took over after Dees was unceremoniously let go by the station in 2004.
While on "American Idol," Seacrest put an amiable facade on events, though backstage there were tensions which occasionally surfaced in public, thanks to the outspoken Cowell. While Cowell was publicly musing about whether or not to return for a third season, Seacrest commented that Cowell was "posturing." Cowell snapped back, saying Seacrest was "thick," being unable to remember two names without having to write them down. Often, however, it was difficult to tell if Seacrest and Cowell's catty interplay was entirely for the media or the result of a genuine dislike. Seacrest was also ridiculed for his vanity and excessive grooming habits, which included regular facials, massages and trips to the tanning salon, leading to routine questions about his sexuality, which he denied alongside rumors of having Botox injections. But Seacrest typically handled the on- and off-air problems with his trademark amiability and charm; the same characteristics that made him a popular personality.
His contagious affability led to a deal to host of his own short-lived syndicated daytime talk show, "On Air with Ryan Seacrest" (syndicated, 2004). At the same time, Seacrest also assumed the hosting duties for the venerable "American Top 40" weekly syndicated radio broadcast as longtime host Casey Kasem focused on the show's sister adult contemporary broadcast. Suddenly, it appeared that Seacrest was elbowing his way into just about every gig imaginable, culminating in co-hosting duties alongside an ailing Dick Clark on his return to his annual "New Year's Rockin' Eve." Seacrest did the lion's share of hosting duties on the 2005 broadcast, thanks to the debilitating stroke Clark suffered the previous year. In 2006, Seacrest made himself even more ubiquitous when he replaced Star Jones as E! Entertainment's lead anchor on various Hollywood awards galas. After signing a lucrative deal with the entertainment network, Seacrest also began co-hosting "E! News Live" with Guiliana DePandi.
After winning a Daytime Emmy Award for hosting the 2005 Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade and executive producing the popular E! series, "Keeping up with the Kardashians" (2007- ) and "Denise Richards: It's Complicated" (2008-09), media-mogul Seacrest earned his first-ever Emmy nod for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality Competition Program while also co-hosting the prestigious show with his four fellow nominees in 2008. But the hosts earned considerable derision from critics, who lambasted the lame jokes and awkward silences. Regardless, Seacrest went on to earn Emmy nominations as the host of "American Idol" in the following years, from 2009-2011. Possessing a plate that was seemingly never full, Seacrest, in addition to his ongoing duties, added work as a voice actor in the third sequel to the hit animated fairy tale "Shrek Forever After" (2010), in the role of 'Father of Butter Pants.' He also piled on more executive producer credits with a pair of reality programs; "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" (ABC, 2010- ), which won an Emmy for Outstanding Reality Program in 2010, and "Khloe & Lamar" (E! Networks, 2011- ). The latter program, a by-product of the ever-fruitful Kardashian franchise, followed the exploits of Kim's newly-wedded sister and her husband, NBA star Lamar Odom, as they endured the presence of perpetual houseguest, Robert, Jr. - Khloe's younger brother.