Joy Behar's Life in Photos (2024)

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Joy Behar's Early Years

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Behar was born Josephine Occhiuto on October 7, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York. In 1966, she graduated from Stony Brook University with a Masters of Arts in English education, which she went to use as a high school English teacher on Long Island.

It wasn't until the 1980s that the star-to-be voyaged into show business, initially starting off-camera as a receptionist and later a producer on Good Morning America.

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Joy Behar as a Mom

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In 1970, Behar had her first and only child with professor and author Joseph Behar, whom she married in 1965 and later divorced in 1981.

In 2010, the comedian told Parade that she launched her stand-up comedy career shortly after her divorce, when Eve was 11 — a difficult choice for her, but Behar felt the timing was right: "I was broke after my divorce, and at 39, I got fired from my day job ... I didn't know what else to do to make money."

Today, Eve (seen here with her mother in 2003) is currently a professional ceramic artist residing in the Hamptons, where her mother also owns a home.

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Joy Behar's Movie and TV Career

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As Behar's stand-up career started to take off, she began appearing onscreen as well. She shared the screen with Diane Keaton, Ron Rifkin, Woody Allen and Anjelica Huston in Allen's 1993 flick Manhattan Murder Mystery, and played a German nanny, Helga Von Haupt, in the late-'80s sitcom Baby Boom.

Behar also started her work on the talk show scene early, both on Good Morning America and hosting her own variety series. She starred on her own Lifetime show, Way Off Broadway, which featured Larry David as a writer and collaborator.

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Joy Behar on 'The View'

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Behar joined The View for the show's debut season in 1997. She originally appeared as a filler for co-creator Barbara Walters, but Behar became a permanent panelist alongside Walters, Meredith Vieira, Star Jones and Debbie Matenopoulos (who was let go in 1999 and replaced by Lisa Ling).

Today, The View is in its 26th season, and Behar is the only original panelist that remains on the show. She took a brief break in 2013 to pursue her own projects, but returned in 2015 to continue as a full-time host.

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Joy Behar's Friendship with Bette Midler

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Over the years, fans have pointed out that Behar has a lookalike in Bette Midler! The two actresses posed together in 2003, at Midler's "Hulaween" benefit gala in New York. In 2006, Behar even dressed up as Queen Elizabeth II to co-emcee the annual October costume party.

In 2017, Behar addressed the similarities on The View, sharing that she was asked to tour with the musical Hello, Dolly!, in which Midler starred on Broadway.

"Just because I happen to look like Bette Midler!" Behar joked, noting that she turned it down.

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Joy Behar Loves New York

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Behar donned a "New York Native" t-shirt to participate in Second Stage's annual celebrity charity bowling tournament in 2004.

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Joy Behar's Charitable Work

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Journalist Katie Couric posed with Behar at the annual New York Comedy Festival at Carolines on Broadway for a Scleroderma research benefit.

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Joy Behar's Career as an Author

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In 2006, Behar wrote a children's book called Sheetzucacapoopoo: My Kind of Dog. The illustrated narrative follows lovable mixed breed Max, who finds a way to befriend the snobbish pure-bred pooches who claim supremacy in the dog run.

The comedian wrote a sequel to the scrappy tale in 2009: Sheetzucacapoopoo: Max Goes to the Dogs, in which the shih tzu/co*cker spaniel/poodle mix heads to doggy day care and learns the joys of learning and playing with new friends.

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Joy Behar's Is Parodied on SNL

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When Fred Armisen was a Saturday Night Live main cast member, he regularly impersonated Behar in the show's sketches about The View. In 2009, Armisen surprised the media personality on her TV show, wearing a coordinating red hairdo and black scoop-neck tank.

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Joy Behar Wins an Emmy with The View

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The women of The View have received multiple Daytime Emmy nominations for the outstanding talk show host award – but lost 11 times before they won the category in 2009. The problem? The hosts all sat the show out for the first time that year! (Here, Behar, Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Barbara Walters are pictured on the Emmys stage in 2007.)

Soon after their win, Behar joked about their absences: "I always said that the key to success was showing up. This time I was wrong."

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Joy Behar Is On the Air

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In addition to her full-time role on The View, Behar launched her own news-based talk show with CNN's cable channel, HLN, in 2009. When The Joy Behar Show was canceled after only two seasons, The New York Times reported widespread indignation expressed by fans and fellow celebrities.

Among these disappointed devotees was Steve Martin, who appeared as Behar's final guest after he tweeted his regrets about the show's end.

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Joy Behar's LGBTQ+ Allyship

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The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation selected Behar as a special honoree at their annual awards ceremony in 2010. The longtime talk show host received GLAAD's excellence in media award thanks to her consistent representation of and respect for the LGBTQ+ community.

Announcing her selection online, GLAAD cited Behar's inclusive discussions on The View and her solo series: "A number of episodes have featured discussion of LGBT issues and LGBT guests, including a segment featuring Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black speaking about his Mormon upbringing as a gay man."

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Joy Behar Celebrates the View's Milestones

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Behar and her co-panelists Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Barbara Walters celebrated the 3000th episode of The View in 2010, during the show's 14th season.

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Joy Behar on the Cover of Hamptons Magazine

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Hamptons Magazine congratulated Behar on one year of hosting The Joy Behar Show by making her a cover star in September 2010.

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Joy Behar Marries Steve Janowitz

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After 29 years together, Behar and her longtime partner, Steve Janowitz, tied the knot in 2011. At the time, Behar admitted that she waited for the passing of both his and her parents, so they had no in-laws at all once married.

"'Cause marriage is mostly about in-laws, I find," the TV host said on Rachael Ray. "They always want you to visit them and come for lasagna."

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Joy Behar as a Grandma

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In 2011, Behar's daughter, Eve welcomed a son with her husband, Alphonso Scotti. Behar introduced her grandson, Luca, on Anderson Cooper's talk show, and discussed her new role as a grandmother.

"It's like, you know, it's just like you're in love again. You know when you're first in love with a guy, and you're running towards each other in slow motion. You just can't get enough of each other. It's like that, only it's your baby," she said of baby Luca (pictured here in 2014, with Behar, Eve and Behar's husband Steve Janowitz).

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Joy Behar Hosts 'Say Anything!'

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In 2012, Behar was given another talk show: Joy Behar: Say Anything! The series aired on Current TV, and welcomed megastar guests such as Betty White, Dolly Parton, Billy Murray and some of Behar's fellow and former co-hosts on The View.

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Joy Behar on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

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Behar and her former co-host, Meredith Vieira, tapped into their competitive sides for a celebrity-themed episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2012.

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Joy Behar Fundraises for Hurricane Sandy Victims

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Behar hosted Comics with Benefits: A Special Night Of Comedy Benefiting Victims Of Hurricane Sandy. She brought some of show biz's funniest faces on stage to raise awareness for the 2012 Atlantic storm, including Susie Essman, Mario Cantone and Larry David.

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Joy Behar Gets Fired from The View — and Returns

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In 2013, Behar's contract was not renewed for The View; she later admitted she never got a straight answer about why "somebody wanted me gone." She was soon invited back to guest host, and two years later was offered her full-time job back. And in hindsight, she says, she's grateful for how it all went down.

"I was glad to be fired. I basically was sick of the show at that point for some reason, I don't even remember why," Behar told TIME in July 2022.

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Joy Behar's One Woman Show

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During Behar's hiatus from The View from 2013 to 2015, she performed her own one-woman show called Me, My Mouth & I, in which she delved into her life story. According to The New York Times' review of the 2014 project, "She tells of how she ended up married and living on Long Island" and eventually "works her way around to how she broke into show business."

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Joy Behar Hosts Late Night Joy

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Even after Behar returned as a permanent host on The View in late 2015, she pursued more solo projects; TLC's Late Night Joy only ran for five episodes before cancellation.

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Joy Behar in the Brooklyn Walk of Fame

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Behar was inducted into the Brooklyn Walk of Fame at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in June 2016. She accepted the honor from then-borough president (now New York City mayor) Eric Adams. Behar, who lives in Manhattan, took to Instagram to express appreciation for her home borough.

"Every ethnic group lives in Brooklyn peacefully. Why can't the whole world be like that?" Behar wrote in her photo's caption.

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Joy Behar Guest-Stars in a Woody Allen Miniseries

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Over 20 years after she first appeared in a Woody Allen production, Behar was a guest star on the writer and director's 2016 miniseries, Crisis in Six Scenes. Behar appeared on the Amazon Prime series alongside the director himself, Rachel Brosnahan and Miley Cyrus.

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Joy Behar's Political Views

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Behar, the show's most outspoken liberal host, authored a humorous book in the wake of the 2016 election entitled The Great Gasbag: An A–Z Study Guide to Surviving Trump World.

Behar posted a photo of her and the election's runner-up Hillary Clinton reading each other's books on Instagram. "When we're done, [Paul] Manafort can read them in prison," read the caption.

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The View During Covid

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When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, The View's hosts kept up their discussion virtually until it was safe to return to set.

(But going back in person hasn't been so simple. Chaos broke loose in September 2021, when hosts Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro tested positive for Covid during a live taping —both tests were soon after proved to be false positives.)

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Joy Behar Still Enjoys The View

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2021 marked 25 years of The View. To commemorate the milestone, Behar and her co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sara Haines and Sunny Hostin reunited for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic and toasted to the show's co-creator Barbara Walters, cheering, "For you Barbara!"

Joy Behar's Life in Photos (2024)
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