Tavis Smiley

Tavis Smiley

Highest Rated: 63% Sinister (2012)

Lowest Rated: 63% Sinister (2012)

Birthday: Sep 13, 1964

Birthplace: Gulfport, Mississippi, USA

Tavis Smiley was an American talk show host, radio presenter and bestselling author with a particular interest in politics and social issues. Smiley began his political career while still in college by interning at the office of Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, a spot that led to a position as an aide. Smiley later shifted to radio commentary and began contributing to national syndicated shows, with his growing presence leading to guest spots on the political programming of networks such as CNN and MSNBC. By the late 1990s, Smiley was hosting "BET Tonight" (BET, 1998-2001), a show that discussed social issues from the African-American perspective, but he left the network over controversy related to his interview with a member of a 1970s revolutionary group. In 2004, his career truly kicked into high gear when he began his televised talk show, "Tavis Smiley," for PBS, along with "The Tavis Smiley Show," a radio program for Public Radio International (PRI). Born in Mississippi and raised in Indiana, Smiley grew up under the watchful eyes of a deeply religious mother and stepfather. While attending Indiana University in Bloomington, he became interested in issues that affected him as a young African-American. Through personal connections, determination and a bit of luck, Smiley snagged an internship with Los Angeles' long-term Democratic mayor Tom Bradley, which eventually led to his full-time relocation to Southern California. After serving as an aide to Bradley for years, he dabbled further in local politics before finding his calling as a radio personality eager to talk about racial and social issues. In 1996, Smiley joined the Black Entertainment Television network and started hosting and producing "BET Tonight," which mixed lighter and weightier topics, ranging from pop music to politics. In 2001, he landed an exclusive interview with Sara Jane Olson, a former revolutionary involved with the Symbionese Liberation Army during the mid-1970s, and sold the piece to ABC, a move that resulted in his ousting from BET. Smiley landed on his feet, however, and, after a stint at National Public Radio (NPR), he had a banner year in 2004 bringing "The Tavis Smiley Show" to Public Radio International and launching his PBS late-night series, simply titled "Tavis Smiley." He also appeared that year on an episode of the history-rooted drama show "American Dreams" (NBC, 2002-05) portraying the groundbreaking judge Thurgood Marshall, who became the nation's first black Supreme Court justice. In 2006, Smiley published The Covenant with Black America, a well-received essay anthology featuring numerous African-American scholars, and co-wrote his autobiography, What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing Up in America, with David Ritz. He later collaborated with esteemed and outspoken professor Cornel West, both on the radio show "Smiley & West" and the 2012 book The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto. Making another rare appearance in a fictional setting, he was featured briefly in the horror film "Sinister" (2012), interviewing the movie's writer protagonist, played by Ethan Hawke. Smiley also appeared on the 19th season of reality competition "Dancing With the Stars" (ABC 2005- ), though he only lasted two weeks in the competition. On December 13, 2017, Smiley was suspended by PBS, following the network's investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Smiley. A few weeks later Smiley's radio program "The Tavis Smiley Show" was canceled by Public Radio International.

Highest rated movies

Sinister

Photos

Filmography

Movies

Credit
63% 61% Sinister Anchor (Character) $48.1M 2012
No Score Yet No Score Yet Stand Director,
Writer,
Executive Producer
- 2009
No Score Yet No Score Yet One Special Moment Self - 2001

TV

Credit
No Score Yet 66% Real Time With Bill Maher Guest 2011 2021
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Best of Tavis Smiley Unknown (Character),
Host
2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet Tavis Smiley Host 2013-2017
No Score Yet 87% Conan Guest 2016
No Score Yet 56% The Daily Show With Trevor Noah Guest 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Wendy Williams Show Guest 2011 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet CBS News Sunday Morning Guest 2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet Charlie Rose Guest 2016
No Score Yet 100% The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Guest 2014-2015
No Score Yet 42% Dancing With the Stars Contestant 2014
No Score Yet No Score Yet Katie Guest 2013
No Score Yet No Score Yet Larry King Now Guest 2012
No Score Yet No Score Yet This Week With George Stephanopoulos Guest 2012
No Score Yet 100% The Colbert Report Guest 2012
No Score Yet No Score Yet Urban Style Guest 2007 2009-2011
No Score Yet No Score Yet Need to Know Guest 2011
No Score Yet No Score Yet Today Guest 2011
No Score Yet No Score Yet Meet the Press Guest 2009 2011
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Writer's Hot List Guest 2008 2010
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Game Unknown (Guest Star) 2007
95% 98% Everybody Hates Chris Himself (Guest Star) 2007
No Score Yet No Score Yet Fatherhood Unknown (Guest Voice) 2005
85% No Score Yet American Dreams Unknown (Guest Star) 2004
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Parkers Unknown (Guest Star) 2000
No Score Yet No Score Yet For Your Love Unknown (Guest Star) 1999