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Steve Allen
1921 ~ 2000
Musician, Author, Comedian, Actor
Picture Credit: Michael Romanos

Birth: December 26, 1921  ~   New York, New York
Death: October 30, 2000  ~   Los Angeles, California

Stephen Valentine Patrick William Allen was a musician, author, actor, comedian and writer. Steve Allen was intstrumental in innovating the concept of the television talk show.

After years in radio, Allen became the original host of The Tonight Show, from its first New York broadcast in 1953 until 1957. It was as host of the Tonight Show that Allen pioneered the "man on the street" and audience-participation comedy bits that have become commonplace in late-night TV. Allen went on to host many of television programs up until the 1980s, including the game show I've Got a Secret and The New Steve Allen Show in 1961. He was a regular on the extremely popular panel game show What's My Line?

Allen was also a composer credited with writing over 7000 songs. In one famous stunt, Allen wrote 400 simple tunes in a single day. Allen's best known songs are "This Could Be The Start of Something Big" and "The Gravy Waltz", which won a Grammy Award in 1963 for best jazz composition. Allen was also an actor, appearing in such films as 1955's The Benny Goodman Story.

Allen was an accomplished comedy writer, and author of over 50 books, including Dumbth, a commentary on the American educational system, and Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, and Morality. Allen was a secular humanist (description credit: Wikipedia) and Humanist Laureate for the Academy of Humanism, a member of CSICOP and the Council for Secular Humanism. Allen was also the producer of the award-winning PBS series Meeting of Minds, a "talk show" with notable historical figures, with Steve Allen serving as host. This series pitted Socrates, Marie Antoinette, Thomas Paine, Sir Thomas More, Attila the Hun, Karl Marx, Emily Dickinson, Charles Darwin, Galileo Galilei, and other historical figures in dialogue and argument.

In spite of his liberal position on free speech, his later concerns about the smuttiness he observed on television caused him to make proposals restricting the content of programs.

Allen died of heart failure. He is interred in the Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

Steve Allen has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: a TV star at 1720 Vine St. and a Radio star at 1537 Vine St.

* Biography
* Professional Highlights

* Sir Noel Coward - Actor, Playwrite, Composer ~  1899-1973
* Victor Borge - Musician, Humorist ~  1909-2000

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