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Comedian Drew Carey came to national attention with his hit sitcom The Drew Carey Show before becoming the host of The Price Is Right.
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Drew Carey (born May 23, 1958) battled depression as a young adult. In the Marine Corps Reserves, he found much-needed structure as well as his signature stylebuzz-cut hair and heavy glasses. After the Corps, Carey became a comedian, and his stand-up ap
Actor, comedian. Born May 23, 1958 as Drew Allison Carey to Beulah and Lewis Carey in Cleveland, Ohio. The youngest of three brothers, Carey became especially withdrawn when his father, a draftsman for General Motors, succumbed to a brain tumor in 1966. As a result, Carey asked for psychiatric care; his mother, who was working multiple jobs to support the family, didn't have time to help him seek out therapy.
Since there was a large age gap between Carey and his older brothers, the solitary, depressed boy was often left to his own devices. When the school day was done, he entertained himself with humor books, recordings of comedians and cartoons, and spent time with friends such as David Lawrence.
Carey attended Rhodes High School and, as a trumpet and a coronet player, he was deeply involved in the marching band. After graduating in 1975, he enrolled in Kent State University, joined the Delta Tau fraternity, and became an avid board-game player. However, Carey had difficulty with focus; he couldn’t decide on a major, and still battled depression. By his junior year, Carey had attempted suicide at least once, and had been expelled twice from Kent State. He eventually dropped out of college with the aim of pursuing a career as a stand-up comedian. As he traveled across the country and tried his luck, his depression worsened. In his early 20s, he attempted suicide again. Knowing he needed to work through his emotional problems, Carey returned home to Cleveland—his brother Roger paid for the ticket—and voraciously consumed self-help books.
In 1980, while visiting his brother Neal in San Diego, Carey signed himself up for the Marine Corps Reserve, believing the armed forces would provide the structure he had been craving. During his six-year tenure, Carey developed physically and mentally; gained self-assurance and direction; and paid his own way by working as a waiter and taking on odd jobs. He was so defined by this period of his life that it helped to develop his signature look—a military buzz cut and thick, black, standard-issue glasses—as well as his Libertarian leanings.
In 1986, childhood friend, actor, and radio personality David Lawrence contacted Carey. At the time, Lawrence was a morning radio DJ, and he asked Carey to help him write comedy bits for the show. Carey's contributions to the show buoyed his confidence even further, and with Lawrence's encouragement Carey began to make the rounds on the local comedy circuit. By April, he'd won a competition at the Cleveland Comedy Club and began working as their regular emcee. In the following year, he made two notable appearances on TV talent show, Star Search. Over the next few years, he continued perform as much as possible, often shuttling between Ohio and Los Angeles.
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