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Meredith Vieira Biography


Home > Actresses > V > Vieira, Meredith > Biography


Birth Name: Meredith Vieira
Born: 12/30/1953
Birth Place: Providence, Rhode Island, USA


Born Meredith Louise Vieira in Providence, RI on Dec. 30, 1953 to Edwin and Mary Louisa, she was the only girl and youngest child, growing up under the watchful eye of three older brothers. Vieira attended the Lincoln School, a Quaker all-girls school in Rhode Island before moving on to college and graduating magna cum laude from Tufts University in 1975 with a Bachelor's degree in English Literature. Her first professional journalism job came soon after graduation at WORC-Radio in Worcester, MA. She switched to television shortly thereafter as a reporter and anchor for WJAR-TV in her hometown of Providence. Vieira's professionalism and skill soon brought her to New York to work as a reporter and substitute anchor for WCBS, where a series on child molestation earned her the Front Page Award from the Newswoman's Club of New York. By 1982, Vieira was working for "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather" (CBS, 1981-2005) in its Chicago bureau. Beginning in 1984, she was made Chicago Bureau Chief and covered the Democratic National Convention. In 1985, she became a correspondent for the news program "West 57th" (CBS, 1985-89), and her career flourished. For the 1987-88 season alone, Vieira received four Emmys for her reporting. During this time, she was also performing hosting duties on "Morning" (CBS, 1979-1987), the CBS daily news program.

By 1989, Vieira's status and acclaim earned her a co-editor spot on "60 Minutes" (CBS, 1968- ), with her report on Christians who saved Jews from the Holocaust bringing her a fifth Emmy. Vieira's time on "60 Minutes" came to a halt in 1991, however, when she became pregnant with her first child by husband Richard Cohen, an educator at Columbia University. Vieira returned to reporting in 1992, first by anchoring "The CBS Morning News" (1987- ), and then moving to another network in order to become chief correspondent for the news magazine, "Turning Point" (ABC, 1993-97). Again, her reporting received the highest honors - a story on white supremacy awarded her a sixth Emmy in 1995. She also received the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy journalism award for a story on disabled students. As the decade drew to a close, Vieira's television career began to grow beyond the boundaries of journalism. In 1999, she became the host of the biography series, "Intimate Portrait" (Lifetime, 1999- ) and the following year hosted "The Beatles Revolution" (ABC, 2000), a primetime special about the legendary band's impact on popular culture and music.

But her most far-reaching exposure arrived in 1997 when she signed on as co-host and moderator of "The View" (ABC, 1997- ), a daytime talk show created and co-hosted by fellow television journalist, Barbara Walters, devoted to women's issues and opinions. The show was a tremendous hit, and earned Vieira and her cast mates - Star Jones and Joy Behar, among them - Daytime Emmy nominations from 1999 to 2006. In 2001, Vieira was a celebrity contestant on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" (ABC, 1998-2002), the popular game show hosted by Regis Philbin. When the show was revamped the next year as a daytime series with the same name (syndicated, 2002- ), Vieira was tapped to host the program. She earned her seventh Emmy for her game show work in 2005, as well as being nominated for the same category in both 2004 and 2006. In addition to her reporting and hosting duties, Vieira found time to be a commercial spokesperson for Bayer aspirin in 2004-5, an entertainment journalist (she hosted a featurette on the "Desperate Housewives" season one DVD), and even an occasional actress on series like "Sports Night" (ABC, 1998-2000) and "Spin City" (ABC, 1996-2002), as well as in the film "The Stepford Wives" (2004). While working in New York City, Vieira resided in the upscale enclave of Westchester County, NY with her three children and husband, whose health battles with multiple sclerosis and cancer made headlines and occasionally became a topic of discussion on "The View."

In mid-2006, Vieira announced on "The View" that she had accepted the hotly debated offer to replace Katie Couric as co-host of "Today" (NBC, 1952- ) once Couric moved on to her anchor duties at "The CBS Evening News." After a bittersweet farewell in the form of a good-natured roast on "The View," that show's bawdiest cast member joined the "Today" morning team, bringing that same sauciness with her to endlessly embarrass new coworkers Matt Lauer, Al Roker and Ann Curry. In addition to her morning duties, she was a semi-regular contributing correspondent for "Dateline NBC" (NBC, 1991- ). Occasionally venturing into the realm of pure entertainment, Vieira began making recurring appearances as herself in the NBC-centric ensemble comedy "30 Rock" (NBC, 2006- ) in 2007. She also took on film work, voicing characters for the animated features "Madagascar: Back 2 Africa" (2008) and the never-ending fairy tale farce "Shrek Forever After" (2010). Vieira appeared as herself in the rock-n-roll comedy "Get Him to the Greek" (2010), in a scene where inebriated pop idol Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) makes a less-than-ideal appearance on the "Today" show. Later the same year, she had a small cameo as a Lilliputian in the underwhelming Jack Black remake of "Gulliver's Travels" (2010). In May 2011, following weeks of speculation in the media, a tearful Vieira announced she would be leaving "Today" to spend more time with her husband and children. Longtime cast mate Ann Curry was tapped to replace her as co-host.