Best Known For
Sally Jesse Raphael is an American talk show host best known for TV’s Sally Jesse Raphael and her trademark red glasses.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Sally Jesse Raphael is an American talk show host born on February 25, 1935 in Easton, Pennsylvania. Raphael studied broadcasting and acting while in college. She began as a correspondent in Puerto Rico before working in the U.S. in radio and TV during the 1960s and '70s. Raphael debuted as the host of Sally Jesse Raphael in 1983. Recognized by her trademark red frame glasses, the show became a hit and aired until 2002. Since then Raphael has hosted shows on the internet and radio.
Talk show host Sally Lowenthal was born on February 25, 1943, in Easton, Pennsylvania. Her father was a prosperous business executive, who Sally claims was “the last of the men who wore Dunhill suits and silk ties,” and her mother was an artist whose paintings still hang in city museums. Raphael grew up in Westchester County, New York, until she was 12. The family then moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where her father owned a rum-exporting company. Raphael had a very privileged upbringing, but after her family moved back to the U.S. in the 1950s, her father developed a heart condition, and the medical bills eventually drained the family’s finances.
Enchanted by radio, she landed a job reading the junior high school news on WFAS-AM in White Plains, New York, at the age of 14. After high school, she got a broadcasting degree at Columbia University, then took a turn towards acting at The Actor’s Studio, where she studied with Lee Strasberg. At 18, she married and moved to San Juan with her new husband, Andrew Vladimir; they had two daughters, Allison and Andrea. Soon after, Raphael began her roller-coaster career in broadcasting that would eventually take her through more than 24 cities. She found Puerto Rico to be a fertile starting point because “they let me do everything…I was the girl reporter, standing in front of the burning buildings. I was the morning man, doing comedy, weather, and news for WHOA above a garage.” She also served as a correspondent for the Associated Press, hosted a cooking/chatting show in “Spanglish,” and eventually scored her own talk show at the poolside of a posh hotel. While starting out in broadcasting in Puerto Rico, she decided to change her name, taking her father's first name, Jessy, and her mother's maiden name, Raphael, because, as she told People magazine in 1992, "most people in Puerto Rico have three names."
After her first marriage ended in the late '60s, Raphael left Puerto Rico with her two daughters, a foster son and her new companion, Karl Soderlund, who had become her manager and greatest supporter. They first settled in Miami, but eventually headed north, traveling town-to-town in search of broadcasting work—living meagerly, and often sleeping in the car. She accepted a variety of broadcasting assignments, including a few stints as a rock-‘n’-roll disk jockey and hosting a television puppet show. However, Raphael failed to find steady employment and was fired over eighteen times during this period.
profile name: Sally Jessy Raphael profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Taking on topics of politics, entertainment, women's issues and more, female talk show hosts have proven to be every bit as engaging, intelligent, and funny as their male counterparts. Oprah Winfrey's 25-year-reign as the queen of talk is unparalleled, but many other female talk show hosts have come into their own as well, including Tyra Banks, Ellen DeGeneres, Sally Jessy Raphael and Kelly Ripa.
Visit Biography.com's Women's History group to explore more biographies, photos and videos of some the world's most fascinating women.
Female Talk Show Hosts 26 people in this group
Famous Pisceans 559 people in this group
Since the early days of television, talk show hosts have been among the most popular personalities in the medium. From TV pioneers like Jack Paar and Johnny Carson to daytime legends like Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey to late night talkers like Jon Stewart and Jimmy Kimmel, here is a look at the famous hosts who have talked the talk on TV.
Famous Talk Show Hosts 98 people in this group