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Joy Behar
Joybeharpic (cropped).jpg
Behar in 2010
Josephine Victoria Occhiuto

(1942-10-07) October 7, 1942 (age 81)
Education Queens College (BA)
Stony Brook University (MA)
Occupation Comedian, writer, actor, television host
Years active 1984–present
Known for The View co-host (1997–2013, 2015–present)
Political party Democratic
Joe Behar
(m. 1965; div. 1981)
Steve Janowitz
(m. 2011)
Children 1

Josephine Victoria "Joy" Behar (/ˈbhɑːr/; née Occhiuto) is an American comedian, television host, actress, and writer. She co-hosts the ABC daytime talk show The View, where she is the only original panelist still regularly appearing. She hosted The Joy Behar Show on HLN from 2009 to 2011 and Joy Behar: Say Anything! on Current TV, from 2012 until the channel switched formats in August 2013. Behar's latest weekly late-night talk show, Late Night Joy, aired on TLC in 2015. She also wrote The Great Gasbag: An A–Z Study Guide to Surviving Trump World.

Early life

Behar was born Josephine Victoria Occhiuto in 1942 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the only child to a Roman Catholic family of Italian descent. Her mother, Rose (née Carbone), was a seamstress, and her father, Gino Occhiuto, was a truck driver for Coca-Cola. Behar earned a BA in sociology from Queens College in 1964 and an MA in English education from Stony Brook University in 1966. From the late 1960s to the early 1970s, she taught English on Long Island at Lindenhurst Senior High School in Lindenhurst, New York. She studied acting at the HB Studio.


Career beginnings

Behar started her career in show business in the early 1980s as a receptionist and later a producer on Good Morning America.

She was a stand-up comedian and made appearances on ABC's Good Morning America and The New Show, a short-lived Lorne Michaels NBC project. In 1987, she hosted a variety talk show on Lifetime Television called Way Off Broadway that included Larry David as a writer and performer. She also hosted the show Live from Queens; was a regular on NBC's Baby Boom; and continued to work the comedy club circuit. She had minor film roles including Cookie, This Is My Life, and Manhattan Murder Mystery. On WABC radio she hosted a talk-show, and made appearances on HBO comedy specials One Night Stand and Women of the Night 2.

The View

Barack Obama guests on The View
The View's panel (left–right Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Walters, Behar, Sherri Shepherd, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck) interview U.S. President Barack Obama on July 29, 2010

In 1997, Behar became one of the original panelists of the ABC daytime talk show The View, which was co-created by Barbara Walters. Behar originally appeared only on the days when Walters was off, but she ultimately became a permanent co-host. Behar occasionally hosted a segment called "Joy's Comedy Corner" in which she presented both established and up-and-coming comedians.

In August 2009, Behar and the other co-hosts, Whoopi Goldberg, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sherri Shepherd, and Walters, won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host following over a decade of nominations for the show.

On March 7, 2013, it was announced that Behar would be leaving the show at the end of that season. She told Deadline, "It seemed like the right time...You reach a point when you say to yourself, 'Do I want to keep doing this?' There are other things on my plate I want to do — I've been writing a play, I've been neglecting my standup". Her last show was on August 9, 2013 in which the program staged a This Is Your Life-style tribute to Behar.

After departing in 2013, Behar continued to guest co-host throughout 2014 and 2015. On August 25, 2015, ABC announced that Behar would return as a regular co-host starting with the premiere of the 19th season on September 8, 2015. Behar was quoted as saying, "Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in. Plus, Steve was getting tired of applauding every time I gave my opinion. But I'm happy to be back home. And I'm looking forward to sticking my two cents into the hot topics, especially now that Hillary and the Donald are in the spotlight."

In 2018, while analyzing television personality Omarosa's comments in regards to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's religiosity, Behar stated: "It's one thing to talk to Jesus, it's another thing when Jesus talks to you. That's called mental illness, if I'm not correct, hearing voices." Content analysis organization Media Research Center subsequently launched a campaign demanding an apology from Behar and urging viewers to do the same, resulting in 40,000 calls to ABC as well as 6,000 complaints to the show's advertisers. Pence himself responded and accused the show of expressing "religious intolerance". The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger later stated that Behar has directly apologized to Pence. On March 13, she issued an apology on air, stating: "I think Vice President Pence is right; I was raised to respect everyone's religious faith, and I fell short of that. I sincerely apologize for what I said."

The Joy Behar Show

Beginning in 2007, she occasionally filled in as a guest host on Larry King Live. On June 11, 2009, Behar announced that she would be hosting her own news/talk program on CNN's HLN beginning in the fall of 2009, titled The Joy Behar Show. She did not leave The View but worked on both shows simultaneously. Despite reportedly being the network's second-highest-rated show, HLN decided to cancel the talk show after only two years. The final broadcast of The Joy Behar Show aired on December 15, 2011.

Joy Behar: Say Anything!

In 2012, Behar began hosting another talk show, Joy Behar: Say Anything!, on the Current TV network. It premiered September 4, 2012. Before the new show's launch, Behar began acting as fill-in host for Eliot Spitzer's Current TV talk show, Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer, starting on July 18, 2012. The show ended in August 2013 after Current TV was sold to Al Jazeera; the channel was replaced by Al Jazeera America.

Late Night Joy

Behar's short-lived weekly late night talk show, Late Night Joy, premiered on TLC on November 4, 2015. Each episode features Behar having intimate chats with friends in her New York City apartment. It was cancelled after 5 episodes.

Other work

..... She has also performed in an Off-Broadway one-woman show entitled Me, My Mouth and I.

She has written multiple books, such as a collection of humorous essays and stories called Joy Shtick — Or What is the Existential Vacuum and Does It Come with Attachments? and a children's book called Sheetzucacapoopoo: My Kind of Dog, published in 2006.

She appeared on the eighth season of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown and finished in fourth place, behind Robin Tunney, Christopher Meloni and Macy Gray, but ahead of Andy Dick. On October 27, 2017, Behar appeared as a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher.

Behar portrayed the role of Dr. Lucy in the 2011 comedy film Hall Pass. She also recurred in Woody Allen's Amazon series, Crisis in Six Scenes.

Personal life

Behar married college professor Joe Behar in 1965. They divorced in 1981. They have one daughter, Eve Behar Scotti. Behar has a grandson named Luca. Behar began to date Steve Janowitz in 1982; they married in 2011.

Behar resides in The Hamptons. She also owns a home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She is a Democrat.



Year Title Role Notes
1987 Hiding Out Gertrude
1989 Cookie Dottie
1992 This Is My Life Rudy
1993 Manhattan Murder Mystery Marilyn
1996 'M' Word Carol
Love Is All There Is Mary
2009 Madea Goes to Jail Joy Behar
2011 Hall Pass Dr. Lucy
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift Eunice (voice)
2017 Gilbert Herself


Year Title Role Notes
1988–1989 Baby Boom Helga Von Haput 13 episodes
1989–1990 It's Garry Shandling's Show Joy Mull/Joy Smith 2 episodes
1990 The Rock Joy Capedeluca Television Series
1991 Wisecracks Herself Documentary
1996 Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist Joy 2 episodes
The View Herself
2000 Spin City Joy Behar Episode: The Marry Caitlin Moore Show
2001 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command 42 Episode: 42
2005–17 Real Time with Bill Maher Herself 4 episodes
2007 One Life to Live Herself
2007 30 Rock Joy Behar Episode: Up All Night
2009 Ugly Betty Joy Behar Episode: Curveball
2016 Nashville Joy Behar Episode: It's Sure Gonna Hurt
2016 Crisis in Six Scenes Ann 3 episodes
2018 Crashing Joy Behar Episode: Bill Burr


Year Title Role Venue Notes
1994 Comedy Tonight Performer Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, Broadway
1999 The ... Monologues Performer (replacement) Westside Theatre, Off-Broadway
2008 The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken Performer Gershwin Theatre, Broadway
2014 Me, My Mouth and I Herself Cherry Lane Theatre, Off-Broadway

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
1995 CableACE Awards Animated Programming Series Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist Won
1998 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Talk Show Host The View Nominated
1999 Nominated
2000 Nominated
2001 Nominated
2002 Nominated
2003 Nominated
2004 Nominated
2005 Nominated
2006 Nominated
2007 Nominated
2008 Nominated
2009 Won
2010 Nominated
2010 GLAAD Media Award Excellence in Media Award N/A Won
2011 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Talk Show Host The View Nominated
2013 People's Choice Award Favorite Daytime TV Host Nominated
2016 Daytime Emmy Award Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host Nominated
2017 Nominated
2018 Nominated
2019 Nominated
2020 Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host Nominated
2022 Nominated

See also

  • Broadcast journalism
  • New Yorkers in journalism
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