Kressley in 2005
|Born||November 11, 1969|
Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Alma mater||Gettysburg College|
|Occupation||Television host, actor, writer, producer|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Board member of||The True Colors Fund|
The American Saddlebred Museum
|Awards||Outstanding Reality Program (Primetime Emmy - 2004) for Queer Eye for the Straight Guy|
Carson Lee Kressley (born November 11, 1969) is an American television personality, actor, and designer. He came to prominence beginning in 2003 in the Bravo series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. He was also the motivational host of the TV show How to Look Good Naked and OWN's Carson Nation, as well as a contestant on season 13 of Dancing with the Stars. Since 2015, Kressley has been a judge on RuPaul's Drag Race. Beginning in October, 2018, he teamed up with his old Queer Eye alum Thom Filicia for a new series called Get a Room on Bravo. The series follows the two as Thom mentors Carson in the interior design business, and features two clients in each episode.
Kressley was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and raised in the nearby unincorporated community of Orefield, Pennsylvania. His family raised ponies and he competed in equestrian events from an early age, was a member of the U.S. World Cup Saddle Seat equitation team in 1999 and won a world championship in 2009.
He graduated from Northwestern Lehigh High School in 1987, and in 1991 earned a bachelor's degree from Gettysburg College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was a member of the service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega.
Kressley began as an independent stylist, then worked for Ralph Lauren from 1994 until 2002, working in several areas including menswear and corporate advertising. In 2003 Kressley gained exposure as the "fashion savant" on Queer Eye when the show debuted on the Bravo cable television network. Kressley frequently appears on Good Morning America and for the E! Network, among others, and has critiqued red carpet fashions at high-profile events such as the Oscars and the Golden Globes. In 2005, he acted as a judge for the Miss Universe pageant, which aired live from Bangkok, Thailand. In 2006, he returned to the Miss Universe pageant, but as commentator, and was also commentator for the 2006 Miss USA pageant.
In February 2007, he was announced as the host of new Lifetime makeover show, How to Look Good Naked (a U.S. version of a British series). The show's premiere episode on January 4, 2008 drew record numbers for Lifetime—1.6 million viewers, which included significant numbers in the adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 demographics, as well as the network's target demographics of women 18-34. In January 2008, the debut episode of How to Look Good Naked was Lifetime's highest-rated premiere in those three demographics.
Kressley appeared as the Master of Ceremonies on Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Tour 2008. He was a host on the ABC series True Beauty, along with Vanessa Minnillo and Beth Stern. In 2011, Kressley began a show on the Oprah Winfrey Network titled Carson Nation.
- In November 2006, Kressley competed on a celebrity edition of Jeopardy against Regis Philbin and Nancy Grace. Carson took second place, losing by one dollar.
- In September 2011, Kressley was a participant on the 13th season of Dancing with the Stars, partnered with professional dancer Anna Trebunskaya. Kressley proved to be a fan favorite, but was voted off week five of the competition.
- In August 2016, Kressley appeared on Celebrity Family Feud with members of his family.
- In January 2017, Kressley appeared as a contestant on The New Celebrity Apprentice.
- In February 2017, Kressley became a celebrity contestant on the Australian version of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!.
- In August 2017, Carson Kressley started as a contestant on season 11 of Worst Cooks in America.
- In December 2017, Kressley appeared as a contestant on The Chase.
- In May 2007, he acted as a judge on reality series Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants where mother and daughter teams compete in a beauty pageant.
- In 2015, Kressley and Ross Matthews were named as new regular judges for the seventh season of RuPaul's Drag Race.
- In December 2019, he appeared as a judge on the Freeform gift wrap competition, Wrap Battle.
- In May 2016, Kressley was announced as a commentator with Michelle Collins for the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 on Logo TV; the first time the United States has broadcast the competition live.
- In November 2017, Kressley appeared as a commentator alongside Lu Sierra for Miss Universe 2017.
- The pair also commentated in May 2018, the Miss USA 2018.
- Kressley and Sierra were slated to return at the Miss Universe 2018.
Since the success of Queer Eye he has pursued various acting opportunities. In 2005, Kressley made his film debut in the movie The Perfect Man starring Heather Locklear and Hilary Duff, playing Lance, a bartender. He starred in The Year Without a Santa Claus with John Goodman as Santa, which aired December 11, 2006, on NBC. He had a cameo role in his third movie, the independent comedy 16 to Life. The feature film It's Christmas, Carol! premiered December 2012.
In November 2006, Kressley debuted Perfect, his own clothing for men and women, on QVC. He cites his experience as a stylist with Ralph Lauren and on Queer Eye as inspiration for the line, and says he "...realized a lot of people are missing great basics in their wardrobe. I consider my Perfect collection for QVC to be 'basics with a twist.'" He debuted a new women's collection for Shop NBC in April 2012. The collection, called "Love, Carson", is built on transformative pieces that provide women with affordable glamour.
- Author of the 2004 book Off The Cuff: The essential style guide for men and the women who love them (ISBN 0-525-94836-8).
- Author of You're Different and That's Super, a 2005 children's story deriving inspiration from the classic tale "The Ugly Duckling," featuring a unicorn who grows up among a herd of horses from foalhood to maturity.
- Co-author, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: The Fab Five's Guide to Looking Better, Cooking Better, Dressing Better, Behaving Better, and Living Better (Clarkson Potter, 2004), with the four other cast members.
- Author (with Riann Smith) of the 2016 book Does This Book Make My Butt Look Big?: A Cheeky Guide to Feeling Sexier in Your Own Skin and Unleashing Your Personal Style.
Kressley is also known as an owner of American Saddlebred horses and respected for his success as a horse show exhibitor. He won a world title in 2009. Kressley's interest in horses combined with his interest in promoting respect for diversity, resulted in his authorship of 'You're Different and That's Super!', illustrated by cartoonist Jared Lee.
Honors, awards, distinctions
- In 2004 Queer Eye won an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Reality Program". It was nominated again for that category in 2005.
- After interviewing him on WMAL-FM's "Mornings on the Mall", co-host Mary Walter was "shocked to find out that Carson is crazy smart — I'm talking Mensa smart!"
- "Carson Kressley". TV Guide. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
- ""Queer Eye" star and Gettysburg College graduate Carson Kressley to speak on campus" (Press release). Gettysburg College. November 17, 2004. Archived from the original on January 28, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
- Cascerceri, Dorothy (August 20, 2012). "Carson Kressley Keeps His Eye on Success". Philadelphia Style. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
- Dempsey, John (February 13, 2007). "Lifetime's got 'Naked' ambition". Variety. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
- Crupi, Anthony. "Kressley's 'Naked' Nabs Lifetime Numbers". Adweek. Retrieved January 7, 2008.[dead link]
- Lauer-Williams, Kathy (June 27, 2011). "TV WATCHERS: Carson Nation 'best show' on OWN". The Morning Call. Allentown, Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
- "Celebrity Jeopardy". TV Guide. Archived from the original on 2008-10-12.
- Barrett, Annie (October 18, 2011). "'Dancing With the Stars': Eliminated contestant is..." Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
- "I'm A Celebrity Australia 2017: Intruder Carson Kressley replaces Jay Laga'aia". The Sydney Morning Herald. February 19, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- Moran, Jonathan (19 February 2017). "I'm a Celebrity: Carson Kressley brings camp to intruder". News.com.au. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- "The Chase". GSNTV. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- Lowry, Brian (December 7, 2007). "Review: 'Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants'". Variety. Retrieved September 17, 2017.
- Avery, Dan (January 28, 2015). "The "RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 7 Premiere Date—And Judges—Finally Revealed!" (Press release). Logo TV. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- Dilip, Mangala (May 13, 2016). "Watch Eurovision 2016 live: Countdown begins; how you can make your favourite contestant win". International Business Times. Retrieved 2017-08-16.
- "PERFECT by Carson Kressley". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
- "Carson Kressley Official Website". Retrieved September 16, 2017.
- "Fashion Guru Carson Kressley to Launch New Exclusive Fashion Collection on ShopNBC April 26" (Press release). Marketwired. April 24, 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
- Kressley, Carson; Lee, Jared (November 1, 2005). You're Different and That's Super. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. ISBN 978-1416900702.
- ""Queer Eye" episode 4.2, "Marriage, Vegas Style: Asher and Tsiliana"". 2006-06-13. Archived from the original on 2007-07-11.
- "ASHA Individual Award winners announced; Aikman, Stonecroft Farm, Rowland, Kressley, Durant, Courts and Harris to receive honors at American Saddlebred Ball in February" (Press release). American Saddlebred Horse Association. Archived from the original on October 8, 2007. Retrieved June 22, 2007.
- "Carson Kressley spruiks Cup". The Sydney Morning Herald. April 19, 2007. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
- "10 Questions with ... Mary Walter". All Access. Retrieved 2020-07-26.