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Chuck Lorre
Chuck Lorre at PaleyFest 2013.jpg
Lorre in 2013
Charles Michael Levine

(1952-10-18) October 18, 1952 (age 71)
Occupation Director, writer, producer, composer
Years active 1989–present
Paula Smith
(m. 1979; div. 1992)
Karen Witter
(m. 2001; div. 2010)
Arielle Mandelson
(m. 2018; div. 2022)
Children 2

Charles Michael Lorre ( LOR-ee; né Levine; born October 18, 1952) is an American film and television director, writer, producer, and composer. Called the "King of Sitcoms", Lorre has created/co-created and produced the sitcoms Grace Under Fire (1993–1998), Cybill (1995–1998), Dharma & Greg (1997–2002), Two and a Half Men (2003–2015), The Big Bang Theory (2007–2019), Mike & Molly (2010–2016), Mom (2013–2021), Young Sheldon (2017–2024), Disjointed (2017–2018), The Kominsky Method (2018–2021), Bob Hearts Abishola (2019–2024), B Positive (2020–2022), United States of Al (2021–2022), and Bookie (2023–present). He also served as an executive producer of Roseanne. Lorre won three Golden Globe Awards for his work on Roseanne, Cybill, and The Kominsky Method.

Early life and education

Lorre was born in Plainview, New York, to a Jewish family and given the Hebrew name Chaim. His father, Robert, opened a luncheonette that did poorly, which caused financial problems. After graduating from high school, Lorre attended State University of New York at Potsdam, dropping out after two years to pursue a career as a songwriter.

He changed his surname from Levine to Lorre at age 26.


Chuck Lorre
Lorre in 2007

After leaving school, Lorre toured the United States as a guitarist and songwriter. He wrote the song "French Kissin'", which Deborah Harry coincidentally later recorded for her 1986 Rockbird album and which became a UK Top 10 hit. In the early 1980s he turned to writing scripts for animated shows; his first project was the DIC version of Heathcliff. He co-wrote the soundtrack to the 1987 television series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Dennis Challen Brown. In the late 1980s, he shifted into writing for sitcoms, and joined the writing staff of Roseanne. Though he was fired over "irreconcilable creative differences", Lorre's time on Roseanne impressed producers, and led to his creating his first show, Frannie's Turn. It was cancelled after 5 weeks.

Lorre's second show as creator, Grace Under Fire, starred comedian Brett Butler. It premiered on ABC in 1993, and was nominated at the 52nd Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. His next show was Cybill, starring Cybill Shepherd. While Lorre left after two seasons, Cybill went on to air for four seasons on CBS, receiving critical acclaim and winning a Primetime Emmy Award in 1995 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for co-star Christine Baranski, and two Golden Globe Awards in 1996 for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy for Cybill Shepherd. Lorre signed a deal with Carsey-Werner Productions in 1994.

He then moved to 20th Century Fox in 1995 to create the next project., creating Dharma & Greg in partnership with Dottie Zicklin (credited as Dottie Dartland), which premiered one year before the end of Cybill in 1997. It starred Jenna Elfman and Thomas Gibson as the title characters, whose personalities were complete opposites—Dharma's world view being more spiritual and 'free spirit'-style, instilled by "hippie" parents, contrasted with Greg's world view of structure, social status requirements, and "white collar duty" instilled by his generations of affluent parents/ancestors. The show received eight Golden Globe nominations, six Emmy Award nominations, and six Satellite Awards nominations, and Elfman won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in 1999.

To move on to his next project, Lorre signed a long-term deal with Warner Bros. Television in 2000, a relationship that continues to this day. Lorre created his fifth show, Two and a Half Men, with co-creator Lee Aronsohn. It focuses on the two Harper brothers, Charlie and Alan. Two and a Half Men premiered on CBS in 2003 and became the highest-rated sitcom in America.

Lorre's next show was The Big Bang Theory with co-creator Bill Prady. It follows two genius physicists, Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadter, with few social skills who befriend their neighbor, an attractive, outgoing young woman with average intelligence and no college education. The episodes usually focus primarily on the daily lives of the men and two of their brilliant but equally socially challenged friends, with a dose of absurdity from the relationship with their less educated but socially astute neighbor. The two main protagonists are named after actor and television producer Sheldon Leonard. The show was broadcast on CBS from 2007 to 2019 and was the highest rated comedy series in the United States.

In 2018, Lorre created The Kominsky Method, which follows a fictional aging acting coach used to success. It stars Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin and won Lorre a Golden Globe Award in 2019.

Other shows

Lorre was executive producer of Mike & Molly, created by Mark Roberts, which premiered on CBS in September 2010. His seventh show, created with Gemma Baker and Eddie Gorodetsky, Mom, premiered on CBS on September 23, 2013. On March 13, 2014, CBS announced the second season renewal of Mom. It ran for eight seasons.

Controversy surrounded United States of Al, a show produced by Lorre for CBS. Released to mostly negative reviews, United States of Al and its makers were criticized for the show's humor, use of antiquated tropes, and in particular, the casting of a South-African-born Indian actor to play an Afghan lead and his use of an inauthentic accent.

Vanity cards

The unique vanity cards for Chuck Lorre Productions have become a "trademark" for Lorre, starting with Dharma & Greg and used for every one of his shows since. An Apple Macintosh computer was used for Lorre's production card on the earlier Grace Under Fire and Cybill.

Typically, on the end of every episode of his productions, Lorre includes a different message that usually reads like an editorial, essay, or observation on life. A typical card might include a range of topics as diverse as what the Bee Gees never learned, the cancellation of Dharma & Greg, his support of Barack Obama, the competence of AOL Time Warner management, and the genesis of Two and a Half Men.

The card is shown for only a few seconds at most, so longer messages require the viewer to pause at the right spot, or visit Lorre's website where he posts the cards. CBS has censored Lorre's vanity cards on several occasions; Lorre posts both the censored and uncensored versions of the cards.

Selected credits

Chuck Lorre (1)
Lorre in September 2008
Title Year Creators / Showrunners Directors Writers Executive Producers Network Notes
Heathcliff 1984–1985 No No Yes Yes Syndicated
Pole Position 1984 No No Yes Yes CBS
Wolf Rock TV 1984 No No Yes Yes ABC
M.A.S.K. 1985 No No Yes Yes Syndicated
Muppets, Babies and Monsters 1985 No No Yes No CBS
My Little Pony 'n Friends 1986 No No Yes Yes Syndicated
Defenders of the Earth 1986–1987 No No Yes Yes Syndicated
Charles in Charge 1987 No No Yes Yes CBS
My Two Dads 1987–1990 No No Yes Yes NBC
The New Adventures of Beany and Cecil 1988 No No Yes Yes ABC
Roseanne 1990–2018 No No Yes Yes ABC
Toxic Crusaders 1991 No No Yes Yes Syndicated
Frannie's Turn 1992 Yes No Yes Yes CBS
Grace Under Fire 1993–1998 Yes No Yes Yes ABC
Cybill 1995–1998 Yes No Yes Yes CBS
Dharma & Greg 1997–2002 Yes Yes Yes Yes ABC
Two and a Half Men 2003–2015 Yes Yes Yes Yes CBS
The Big Bang Theory 2007–2019 Yes No Yes Yes CBS
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 2008 No No Yes No CBS
Mike & Molly 2010–2016 No No Yes Yes CBS
Mom 2013–2021 Yes No Yes Yes CBS
Disjointed 2017–2018 Yes No Yes Yes Netflix
Young Sheldon 2017–2024 Yes No Yes Yes CBS
The Kominsky Method 2018–2021 Yes Yes Yes Yes Netflix
Bob Hearts Abishola 2019–2024 Yes No Yes Yes CBS
B Positive 2020–2022 No No Yes Yes CBS
United States of Al 2021–2022 No No Yes No CBS
Bookie 2023–present Yes Yes Yes Yes Max


Awards and recognition

Lorre won BMI Television Music Awards in 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009 for Two and a Half Men.

On March 12, 2009, Lorre received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard.

Three months later, Lorre received an honorary degree from the State University of New York at Potsdam and gave a keynote address at the graduation.

Lorre was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in March 2012.

Lorre won Golden Globe Awards for Roseanne (1993), Cybill (1996), and The Kominsky Method (2019).

Also in 2019, Lorre was awarded the Critics' Choice Award for Creative Achievement.

Personal life

Lorre was first married to his business partner Paula Smith in 1979. They ended both partnerships after 13 years and the births of their two children.

He was married to actress Karen Witter for ten years before their divorce in July 2010.

From 2010 to 2011, he was in a relationship with Canadian actress and model Emmanuelle Vaugier, who appeared in 12 episodes of Two and a Half Men as a ballet teacher and the main character's love interest.

In September 2018, Lorre married Arielle Mandelson. Lorre filed for divorce in 2022.

He has publicly discussed his decades of struggle with the autoimmune disease ulcerative colitis, depression, anxiety, and anger/rage, saying, "Put me in paradise and I will focus on the one thing that will make me angry." In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said, "I am wired on some deep level to seek out something to be worried and obsess about."

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Chuck Lorre para niños

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