Ryan Seacrest: Snapshot

Ryan Seacrest
Date of Birth
December 24, 1974
Birth Place
Atlanta, Ga.
Ryan Seacrest was so obsessed with radio as a kid that he'd perfected that silky-smooth announcer's delivery by the time he was a teen. But the Georgia native found his biggest audience on TV, where his disarming appeal and relentless work ethic got him tapped to host the nation's most-watched TV show, American Idol.

Seacrest took over Casey Kasem's long-held position as host of radio's iconic American Top 40, inherited the top DJ job in L.A., and landed an enviable $21 million contract at the E! Network. Somehow, the ever-zealous Seacrest, who earned an Emmy nod for best reality show host in 2008, also found time to host the Emmy Awards for two consecutive years and continue to co-host Dick Clark's annual New Year's Rockin' Eve.

But while Seacrest's professional life has flourished, the host hasn't found the same success in love, briefly dating Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher and romancing Julianne Hough for more than two years before their 2013 split.

Ryan Seacrest: Five Fun Facts

  1. Ryan Seacrest's first time in the spotlight was in the fourth grade. He performed the singing role of King Winter in a school musical – and he forgot his lines.
  2. American Idol judge Simon Cowell summed up the key to Ryan Seacrest's success. "Ryan has the appeal of a dog that has been rescued from the pound," Cowell told The New York Times. "That is his secret. He's grateful. He's happy. Always, always. If he had a tail, he'd wag it."
  3. One of Ryan Seacrest's youthful ambitions was to be like CHiPs highway patrolman Frank Poncherello played by actor Erik Estrada. "I watched CHiPs and wanted so much to be on the California freeways," he told The Washington Post. "Now that I live here, I'm on them too much."
  4. Ryan Seacrest originally interviewed to be a judge on American Idol, but two days before production on the show began, he won the host job instead.
  5. Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell keep a score sheet on who gets the last word during their verbal sparring on American Idol. They update it during commercial breaks. "If I feel like I'm losing control, I will toss to commercial so then I get the last word," Seacrest told ABC News.

Ryan Seacrest: Biography


Ryan Seacrest

L.A. Hosting Prodigy

In L.A., Seacrest, 20, lands a $15-an-hour job hosting KYSR-FM 98.7's afternoon show, called Ryan Seacrest for the Ride Home. It becomes the station's No. 1 show and is nationally syndicated. He also hosts TV shows Click, Gladiators 2000 and Wild Animal Games (left). Veteran TV mogul Merv Griffin, who produces the children's series Click, tells The New York Times that Seacrest's energy "just baffled me. I couldn't keep up with him...He had this spiky haircut, and we knew all the little girls in the audience would love him, and they did."


Ryan Seacrest

Becoming an Idol

Seacrest cohosts FOX's new series American Idol with Brian Dunkleman (pictured with Seacrest and Kelly Clarkson). The show features aspiring singers who are judged by Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson and voted on by viewers. "On Idol, I'm the traffic cop," Seacrest tells L.A.'s Daily News. "I'm the mouthpiece." After Idol's first season, Dunkleman quits, but Seacrest doesn't miss a beat. "I think it works very well having one person drive that show," he tells PEOPLE.


Ryan Seacrest


Too Pretty to be Straight?

Seacrest, who is named one of PEOPLE's 50 Most Beautiful, begins a two-year relationship with actress Shana Wall (left), which helps dispel speculation that the well-groomed metrosexual is gay. "What girl doesn't want a guy who loves to go shopping and get massages?" Wall asks PEOPLE. Seacrest adds, "I could lie and pretend that I hunt and camp, but that wouldn't be me. Clothes? Shopping? That's stuff I like!" In 2005, Seacrest re-triggers talk when he accepts the crown of Queen at the traditionally gay-oriented West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval.

Read More on Ryan Seacrest's Life

Photo Credits

Top Left: FOX

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Everett Collection; Kevin Winter/Getty Images; INF

Edited by Julia Wang

Ryan Seacrest

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