Chris Harrison Biography

Reality Television Star, Television Host (1971–)
Chris Harrison is an American reality television and game show host, as well as a producer and sometime actor. He is best known for hosting the ABC reality television dating show “The Bachelor” and its spin-offs.

Who Is Chris Harrison?

Born on July 26, 1971, in Dallas, Texas, Christopher Bryan Harrison began working in television while he was still in college in Oklahoma. His career really took off in 2002 when he was named as the host for ABC’s then new reality show, The Bachelor, which became a juggernaut and spurred several spin-off shows. Harrison has also hosted the Miss America pageant nine times and took over hosting duties for the syndicated version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in 2015.

Chris Harrison Photo

Chris Harrison

'The Bachelor' and Its Spinoffs

In 2002 Harrison became the host of ABC's hit romance/reality series The Bachelor and, in 2003, The Bachelorette. Today, the franchise is still going strong, dominating television ratings and trending on social media after each airing.

The premise for the series revolves around a single bachelor or bachelorette who starts with a pool of romantic interests (typically 25) from whom he or she is expected to select a wife or husband. During the course of the season, candidates travel to romantic and exotic locations where they go on group and one-on-one dates. Based on the "connections" they form, the star narrows the field and chooses who will stay at the end of each episode. Red roses are distributed — those who do not receive a rose are eliminated.

Through all of this conflict, Harrison narrates the proceedings (or “the journey”), lends a sympathetic ear to the protagonists and hypes the drama — especially during each finale, saying, "It's the final rose tonight!"

The series has received a lot of criticism for its lack of diversity and its failure to produce many lasting relationships much less marriages. Harrison defends the show against charges of racism, sexism, ageism, noting in a 2014 interview with the New York Times Magazine that “television is a very visual medium” and that “love is a competition.”

The show’s popularity has paved the way for several spinoffs that Harrison has also hosted: Bachelor Pad, The Bachelor Winter Games and Bachelor in Paradise. For the last, Harrison hosted the live after-show After Paradise with author and Bachelor enthusiast Jenny Mollen in 2015.

What Is Chris Harrison’s Net Worth?

Chris Harrison has a reported net worth of $16 million.

Early Years and Career

Christopher Bryan Harrison was born on July 26, 1971 in Dallas, Texas. He attended Lake Highlands High School, and then went to Oklahoma City University on a soccer scholarship. The university's associate athletic director drafted Harrison to do play-by-plays of college basketball games for a local cable network.

After graduating with a B.A. in Mass Communications in 1993, Harrison began his television career by covering local sports for KWTV Channel 9 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He also had the opportunity to cover hard news stories, including the tragic April 1995 bombing at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City.

In 1999 he went to Los Angeles to audition for horse racing network TVG and became its lead anchor. Next, he hosted HGTV's Designers' Challenge on HGTV, which was consistently one of the network's highest rated shows. Each episode had three interior designers compete to have a homeowner hire them for a design renovation. He also hosted Mall Masters on GSN and Hollywood 411 on the former TV Guide channel.

Romance Novelist

In May 2015, Harper Collins published Harrison’s debut novel, The Perfect Letter. Harrison drew upon his experiences from the Bachelor franchise to pen this romance novel about a love triangle involving a female book editor in New York City, her fiancé and the love she left behind in Texas. There is also a mystery surrounding a murder. Critics didn’t give the book the best reviews, but Harrison’s fans on Amazon and Goodreads have given it high marks.

Personal Life

Harrison married his high school sweetheart, Gwen Jones, in 1993. They divorced in 2012 but have remained friends and share custody of their children — son Joshua Harrison and daughter Taylor.

Other Projects

Aside from the Bachelor series, Harrison also hosts the nationally syndicated game show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? He joined the popular long-running franchise beginning with its 14th season in the fall of 2015. Harrison has also co-hosted ABC's live coverage of the Miss America pageant for several years; he first hosted the iconic broadcast on ABC in 2004.

Acting Roles

Over the years, Harrison has also popped up in a few acting roles on various shows including Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Trophy Wife and Hot in Cleveland. He portrayed himself in the 2006 comedy Date Movie.

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