Julie Suzanne Chen Moonves, a CBS producer and news anchor who was born on January 6, 1970, is an American television personality. Since its premiere in July 2000, she has served as the host of the CBS reality series Big Brother in America.
She co-anchored The Early Show on CBS from 2002 to 2010. Chen wed CBS executive Les Moonves in 2004. From 2010 to 2018, Chen Moonves co-hosted and moderated the CBS Daytime talk show The Talk. This was after numerous sexual assault and harassment claims against her husband Les Moonves came to light. After that, she started using her married name starting with the Big Brother episode on September 13, 2018, signing out with “I’m Julie Chen Moonves, goodnight.” Prior to this, she had a consistent practice of signing off as Julie Chen.
On January 6, 1970, in Queens, New York City, Julie Suzanne Chen was given the name Julie Chen. Her maternal grandfather was a polygamist who had nine wives and 11 children, and her parents, Wang Ling Chen and David Chen were Chinese immigrants. Julie attended St. Francis Preparatory School and grew up with two older sisters named Victoria and Gladys.
Chen studied at the University of Southern California after graduating in 1987 and went on to acquire a double bachelor’s degree in English and broadcast journalism there in 1991.
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Julie first met news editor Gary Donahue in 1991 while working as an assistant at ABC News. They got engaged in August 2000. She apparently started dating CBS President and CEO Les Moonves before his wife, Nancy Wiesenfeld Moonves, filed for divorce in April 2003 after they broke up before getting married.
The divorce process was often delayed by disagreements over the financial settlement, but in December 2004, Les persuaded the judge to grant him an early divorce with child support and alimony to be established later. On December 23, 2004, in Acapulco, Mexico, Chen and Moonves were wed, and on September 24, 2009, their son Charlie was born. Les’ three children from his marriage to Nancy are raised by Julie as well.
A 3,014 square-foot Malibu mansion cost Julie and Les $10 million to purchase in 2008. Soon after buying a 6,500-square-foot Carbon Beach mansion from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen for $28.8 million, they sold it for $11.125 million in 2014.
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The career of Julie Chen Moonves
Julie handled phone calls and copied faxes while an intern at “CBS Morning News” in 1990. One of her fellow interns was Andy Cohen, who would go on to headline the Bravo late-night talk show “Watch What Happens Life.”
Chen started up at ABC NewsOne in 1991 as a desk assistant. She received a producer promotion right away and held that position for three years. From 1995 to 1997, Julie worked as a news reporter for WDTN-TV in Dayton, Ohio. She made a comeback to “CBS Morning News” as an anchor in 1999.
For “CBS This Morning” and “CBS Morning News,” she served as an anchor. She began working with Bryant Gumbel, Hannah Storm, Erica Hill, Harry Smith, Jane Clayson, Maggie Rodriguez, and Rene Syler on “The Early Show” in 2000.
Before joining CBS as an anchor, Julie previously served as a reporter and weekend anchor for WCBS-TV in New York City. Chen hosted “The Early Show” as a cohost from 2002 to 2010. She stayed on as a contributing anchor for the show after leaving her regular job there until the early 2012 demise of the show.
Chen began hosting “Big Brother” on CBS in 2000, and as of this writing, there have been more than 780 episodes broadcast. The participants included Tom Green, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Ryan Lochte, Shannon Elizabeth, and Shannon Elizabeth. In addition, from 2018 to 2019, Julie presented “Celebrity Big Brother.”
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Julie Chen Moonves of Big Brother Explains Why She Changed Her Name, Saying that It “becomes a Moment.”
The symbolic meaning of the name. Despite getting married to Leslie Moonves in 2004, Julie Chen Moonves didn’t take his last name until 2018 — and she recently explained why
The Big Brother host, 52, told Deadline in an interview that was published on July 6 that she chose not to take her husband’s name after their marriage because she thought it may be viewed as an unfair advantage. So I wanted to keep it that way. It was a strong and recognizable name to have. And I had already built my career when I met him.
Moonves, 72, was the chairman and CEO of CBS from 2003 until his departure in September 2018 due to any allegations of sexual harassment, which the former leader rejected. He started working for the network in 1995 before being named CEO.
Chen Moonves startled viewers by using her married name to end a September 2018 Big Brother episode after the Bucknell University alum’s resignation. The former Talk cohost started using her maiden name when the reality show debuted in 2000.
“When his name was getting dragged through the mud, I thought this was the time to make my statement and to let the world know who I am,” the New Yorker said on Wednesday. It was also an expression of support for my husband. I am familiar with him. He is a good man as well.
She went on to add that she hadn’t told anyone that she was going to use a new identity that night. During a live performance, she changed the music on the fly.