About Chris Harrison
Chris Harrison was born on July 26, 1971 in Dallas, TX. The future television personality attended Oklahoma City University on a soccer scholarship and began covering local sports. During his six-year stint at KWTV, Harrison worked his way up the ranks from part-time sports reporter to weekend sportscaster. In 1999, he moved to Los Angeles after auditioning for TVG, a horseracing network, where he briefly worked. That same year, he became the host of the popular series "Designers' Challenge," which followed homeowners who choose between three interior design experts to completely redo one room in their house. Harrison also hosted the short-lived quiz show "Mall Masters" (GSN, 2000), taped at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, and the TV Guide Channel's "Hollywood 411," a daily entertainment news magazine. The affable Harrison continued up the TV host ladder, anchoring numerous high-profile events such as "Miss America" (ABC) in 2004 and co-hosting the "American Music Awards Red Carpet Live" (ABC) in 2008 with "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, 2005- ) judge Carrie Ann Inaba. Harrison's appeal also transcended the small screen as he was tapped to portray himself as the host of "The Bachelor" in the spoof comedy, "Date Movie" (2006) starring Alyson Hannigan, Fred Willard and Jennifer Coolidge.
In 2002, Harrison landed the gig of a lifetime as host of ABC's hit reality dating show, "The Bachelor," which revolved around a particular desirable man who picks a potential wife out of 25 eager female contestants. Each bachelor goes on several dates - either one-on-one or in groups - to get to know more about the contestants; most end up showing their true colors by doing whatever it takes to be selected. He also hosted its spin-off series, "The Bachelorette," which followed the same format but had a single bachelorette choosing from among 25 male contestants. Harrison's low-key demeanor was a perfect counterbalance to the over-the-top arguments and gossiping that occurred each season between the contestants, and the heightened emotions leading up to the dreaded rose ceremony, where one contestant per episode is eliminated and the rest are given a rose to signify that they can stay another day. Harrison's reassuring voice helped draw out the mindset of each bachelor/bachelorette who appeared torn between two contestants during the show's final episode.
Both "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" were driven by controversy, usually involving a contestant's shady past or their ongoing relationships while appearing on the dating show. In 2009, Harrison was forced to mediate between Bachelor Jason Mesnick and his choice, Melissa Rycroft, during an uncomfortable "After the Rose" revisit, in which Mesnick took back his proposal and - in an unheard of move in "Bachelor" history - broke up with Rycroft on live television so he could reunite with his second pick, Molly Malaney. While the usually unassuming host handled most of the controversies that surrounded both shows with finesse, Harrison was visibly upset and close to tears during the 2010 season of "The Bachelor," in which he was forced to confront one of the contestants, Rozlyn Papa, and ask her to leave after she allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with one of the show's producers. Although Papa went on to deny the affair, Harrison did not waver, telling "Entertainment Tonight" (CBS, 1981- ) and other media outlets she was a liar. "Not only was there an inappropriate relationship, but there was a physical relationship between Roz and our crewmember while she was on the show, period. If she's kissing and making out with a crewmember, that's enough."
While the incident made everyone involved in the show uncomfortable, it only served to boost the series' ratings and helped Harrison gain a bigger following and a new job. Fresh off the latest "Bachelor" scandal, Harrison was offered to host another spin-off reality TV series called "Bachelor Pad" (ABC, 2010- ). The show would feature 20 former contestants from "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" who all live under one roof and compete in challenges.
|Gwen Harrison. College sweethearts; married in 1993; announced separation May 3, 2012|