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August 20, 1963 |
Carl Amari (born August 20, 1963) is an American actor, director, producer and nationally syndicated radio host.
He holds a B.A. in Communications at Columbia College and trained at the Second City School of Improvisation in Chicago, Illinois.
As a young boy, Amari was fascinated with classic radio shows and collected them on CD and reel-to-reel tape. As he got older he decided to share his love of classic radio and founded Radio Spirits, which eventually became the world’s largest marketer and distributor of classic radio programs. Amari spent 20 years licensing more than 60,000 original radio programs from the rightsholders, including George Burns, Milton Berle and Jerry Lewis. Amari created the nationally syndicated radio series "When Radio Was" (which began as a local program in Chicago, hosted by Amari). Former CBS Radio executive Dick Brescia heard an in-flight version of the program on an Eastern Airlines flight, and soon mounted a nationally syndicated version of the series (through Dick Brescia Associates), beginning January 1, 1990 with host, Art Fleming (Stan Freberg later became host after Art Fleming's passing). CD collections of these classic radio shows are sold in retail store chains everywhere.
Amari was instrumental in developing the 24/7 “Radio Classics” channel for Sirius/XM. Under Amari’s leadership, Radio Spirits was twice named to the INC. 500 list of fastest growing privately held companies. In 1998, Amari was featured on the cover of INC. 500 Magazine. His business accomplishments have been highlighted in The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Chicago Tribune, Variety, The Associated Press, Entertainment Weekly, The LA Times, The New York Post and many other publications. Tribune Broadcasting named Amari one of “Chicago’s Very Own.”
In 1998, Amari sold Radio Spirits to the public company Audio Book Club and in 2001 formed Falcon Picture Group, a company that specializes in the development of family-friendly entertainment projects. Through Falcon Picture Group, Amari controls exclusive licensing rights to more than 10,000 classic television shows, including “Family Affair,” “Dangerous Assignment,” “Bozo’s Circus,” “Man With A Camera,” “Suspense,” and “Hopalong Cassidy” to name a few. DVD collections of these classic TV shows are sold in retail stores worldwide. In 2007, Amari parlayed his passion for radio drama and love of the Bible into the creation of the award-winning “Word of Promise” audio Bible (NKJV translation) published by Christian giant Thomas Nelson, Inc. The New Testament was released in October 2007 and quickly won the top Evangelical award, The Christian Book of the Year. This coveted award had never been won by a Bible or an audio prior. "The Word of Promise” stars Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) reprising his film role as Jesus, with Michael York, Terence Stamp, Lou Gossett, Jr., Marisa Tomei, Lou Diamond Phillips, Ernie Hudson, Kimberly-Williams Paisley and many other celebrities voicing roles of the New Testament.
In October 2008, Amari produced a youth edition of the New Testament entitled “The Word of Promise: Next Generation.” This recording features many young Hollywood stars including: Cody Linley, Emily Osment, Marshall Allman, Corbin Bleu, AnnaSophia Robb, and Jordin Sparks. “The Word of Promise: Next Generation” won the 2009 Audie Award for Best Inspirational Audio Non-Fiction. In October 2009, Amari produced “The Word of Promise Old Testament” featuring more than 400 actors including: Jon Voight, Gary Sinise, Richard Dreyfuss, Max von Sydow, Malcolm McDowell, Joan Allen, John Rhys-Davies, Sean Astin, Marcia Gay Harden, Jesse McCartney and Stacy Keach. The Old Testament was combined with the New Testament and released as “The Word of Promise Complete audio Bible” in 2009 and has won numerous awards of excellence, including 3 Audie Awards and the Christian Retailer's Choice Award. "The Word of Promise" is the #1 best-selling audio Bible in the world.
Amari is also the Producer of “The Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible: New Testament,” a Catholic audio Bible from the RSV-CE translation that features Neal McDonough, John Rhys-Davies, Malcolm McDowell, Kristen Bell, Blair Underwood, Julia Ormond, Brian Cox, Sean Astin and other celebrities in roles of the New Testament. It was released by the largest religious publisher in the world, Zondervan Corporation, in November 2010. “The Truth and Life Audio Bible: New Testament” was granted an Imprimatur by the Vatican, and features a foreword by Pope Benedict XVI. It is the #1 selling Catholic audio Bible in the world and has won numerous awards of excellence.
Amari is the host and producer of “Hollywood 360,” a 4-hour weekly nostalgia and showbiz radio show heard coast-to-coast on 100 + radio stations, sponsored by Reader's Digest, Reminisce Magazine, TV Guide and Home Helpers Home Care. "Hollywood 360" airs on Glenn Beck's TheBlaze radio network (Sunday's at 7 PM EST) and on most of the Salem Radio Network's major-market News/Talk stations as well as many non-Salem radio stations. On "Hollywood 360" Amari interviews celebrities, conducts trivia contests with listeners, reviews the latest movies, covers showbiz news and presents the best in classic radio programming (Jack Benny, Gunsmoke, Sherlock Holmes, etc). Adam "Batman/Family Guy" West is the show's announcer.
Amari is the creator/producer of the nationally syndicated radio series “The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas.” This series is hosted by Stacy Keach and has won numerous awards of excellence, including: The Audie Award, AFTRA’s American Scene Award and the XM Nation Award for Best Radio Drama. Launched in 2002, “The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas” features radio adaptations of Rod Serling’s Emmy-Award winning TV series and is licensed to Amari by CBS and The Rod Serling estate. Each hour-long radio drama features Hollywood celebrities in the title roles. “The Twilight Zone Radio Dramas” is produced in Chicago and broadcast coast-to-coast each week on nearly 200 radio stations.
Amari has produced four dramatized, award-winning audio dramas, of “The New Adventures of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” starring Stacy Keach. In these adaptations, Mr. Keach reprises his film and television role of hard-boiled detective Mike Hammer. Two of the four audio plays were written by “Road to Perdition” author Max Allan Collins. Amari is the producer and co-creator of the audio drama series “Fangoria’s Dreadtime Stories.” Hosted by Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange / Rob Zombie’s Halloween 1 & 2). “Fangoria’s Dreadtime Stories” are fully dramatized mystery, horror, sci-fi and dark humor stories that will "chill you and thrill you.” Written by top writers of today and starring Hollywood celebrities, episodes are streamed worldwide 24/7 on iTunes, Audible and via Fangoria’s website, which receives tens of millions of fan visits each month.
Film & Television
Amari has appeared as an actor in several motion picture and television projects, including "Madison," "The Package," "Next of Kin," "The 18th Angel," "Johnny & Clyde," and "Prison Break." Amari produced the father/son action-drama “Madison” starring Jim Caviezel, Jake Lloyd, Mary McCormack, Bruce Dern and John Mellencamp. “Madison” was invited by Robert Redford to open the prestigious Sundance film festival in 2001 and was theatrically released by MGM to critical acclaim. Amari produced the romantic-comedy “Eden Court” starring Thomas Lennon (17 Again / Reno 911) and Kimberly Williams-Paisley (Father of the Bride / According to Jim). Amari is currently developing several TV series and movie projects, including a TV series based on his successful audio series "Fangoria's Dreadtime Stories."