If there were only a few reasons for fans to get glued to the American Big Brother television reality show, Julie Chen is one of them. Quite a talent, her work on the show has been a reflection of ethics and skills. She is now entirely focused on her career on the show since leaving the CBS Daytime talk show, The Talk. But many are curious about why she has retained her hosting job on Big Brother for the past decade. Here is everything to know about the media personality who is also the wife of Les Moonves.
Julie Chen’s Early Life And Background
The famous actress was named Julie Suzanne Chen after she was born in Queens, New York, on January 6, 1970. She was raised along with two older siblings, Gladys and Victoria, by their Chinese parents – Wan Ling Chen and David .Y. Chen – who migrated to the United States many years ago.
Chen’s educational history shows that she is well-read. She had her junior school education in the Whitestone area of Queens and later got into St. Francis Preparatory School, a Catholic school in her hometown where she graduated from in 1987. She studied Broadcast Journalism and English at the University of Southern California and graduated with a degree in 1991.
According to Julie Chen, her earliest media inspiration was a famous Asian broadcaster named Kaity Tong whom she saw broadcasting on ABC. At that time, it was a huge accomplishment to see an Asian on TV so she was inspired to a great extent seeing Kaity on TV. From that point, she knew it was something she could do. With the support of her mother, Chen started to pursue her dream even when she was still a student. Chen also speaks Mandarin Chinese though she doesn’t consider herself fluent in the language.
Exploring Her Career Journey And Accomplishments
Julie Chen’s first experience in broadcasting was in 1990 when she was still in school, interning with Andy Cohen at CBS Morning News. Her duties at the time were mostly to copy faxes and take phone calls. Chen’s stay there gave her the confidence to apply for a job at ABC, and subsequently joining the network’s NewsOne for one season as a desk assistant.
Through her hard work and commitment, she was promoted to work as a producer. Julie Chen worked in that capacity for the next three years before moving to Dayton, Ohio to take up the job of a local news anchor for WDTN-TV. From 1995 to 1997, Chen remained with the network. At the end of her stay at WDTN-TV, she began working with WCBS TV in New York City.
In 1991, Chen returned to CBS, this time as a professional, anchoring Morning News, This Morning, and The Early Show. Her new duties saw her work with remarkable broadcasters such as Maggie Rodriguez, Bryant Gumbel, among others. In 2000, she became the host of the American version of Big Brother, a show which she still anchors to date. In 2010, Chen was named as a co-host on the CBS Daytime talk show, The Talk.
Beyond broadcasting, Julie Chen has also made appearances in several TV shows including The Fairly Odd Parents, Jane The Virgin, Madam Secretary, The Comeback, among others. She was also a guest star in an NCIS: Los Angeles episode “In the Line of Duty” where she played the character of an ambassador.
Chen had gone through blepharoplasty early in her career after she was pushed by her previous news director and a high-profile agent to make her eyes look a lot less Asian and appreciated by the audience. Blepharoplasty is a type of plastic surgery performed to modify the eye region of the face or to correct defects, deformities, and disfigurations of the eyelids.
Here’s Why Julie Chen Hosted Big Brother 2019
Chen gave up her career on The Talk in support of her husband weeks after the former CBS executive, Les Moonves, was forced to resign following sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him by a number of women.
Considering this, many thought Julie Chen’s career on Big Brother was also going to be over. However, she remained a staple of the show as she hosted Big Brother 20 and 21 in 2019. To further prove her support for her husband, she began signing off episodes with “I’m Julie Chen Moonves” instead of just “I’m Julie Chen” which she’d been before her husband’s sex scandal.
If you’re wondering why she returned, well there is no known reason. But by all indications, her contract with the show seems to have covered the show’s 21st season. Plus, her soulful style and genuine commitment have made her one of America’s favorite TV hosts.
A Brief Account of Chen’s Marriage To Leslie Moonves
Since 2004, Julie Chen has been the wife of the former President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Television, Leslie Moonves. The duo met during her early days on CBS. However, at that time, Leslie was still married to his now ex-wife Nancy Wiesenfeld Moonves. In 2013, Nancy filed for a divorce citing irreconcilable differences. Their divorce proceedings were filled with drama involving huge financial disagreements.
In 2004, when the battle died down, Chen and Moonves walked down the aisle in a ceremony held in their private home located in Acapulco, Mexico. Together, they have a son named Charlie Moonves who was born on September 24, 2009. Chen is also a stepmother to Moonves children from his previous relationship – Adam Michale and Sara Moonves.
What Has She Been Up To Lately?
It was sometime in September 2018 that Julie Chen announced that she would be leaving CBS’s daytime show, The Talk. As hinted earlier, she took this step in support of her husband who had several sexual assault allegations hanging around his neck. She made this clear in a tweet as shown below:
— Julie Chen (@JulieChen) July 27, 2018
When Julie announced she was leaving the show, she stated that she would be spending more time at home with her husband and kid.
But then, she hosted the 20th season of Big Brother around that time and CBS confirmed she would return to host Celebrity Big Brother Season 2. It remains to be seen if she would host subsequent seasons of the shows. Julie may have other things up her sleeve but we can only tell that she has been doing what she said she would do – spend more time with her husband and kid.