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Mary Hart

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Mary Hart
Hart modeling for The Heart Truth charity fashion show in 2008
Mary Johanna Harum

(1950-11-08) November 8, 1950 (age 73)
Occupation(s)Television personality, talk show host
Years active1972–present
TitleMiss South Dakota 1970
Semi-finalist Miss America 1971
Terry Hart
(m. 1972; div. 1979)
(m. 1989)

Mary Hart (born Mary Johanna Harum; November 8, 1950[1]) is an American television personality. She was the host (1982–2011) of the syndicated gossip and entertainment round-up television program Entertainment Tonight.[2] She was Miss South Dakota 1970.

Early life


Mary Harum was born in Madison, South Dakota.[1] She was raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Denmark.[3] She speaks English, Danish and Swedish fluently.

She graduated from Augustana Academy in 1968[4] and from Augustana College in Sioux Falls in 1972.[5]



She was crowned Miss South Dakota 1970 and subsequently was a semi-finalist in the Miss America 1971 pageant.[6]

While teaching English at Washington High School for two years,[5] she also produced and anchored her own talk show on then-NBC affiliate KSFY-TV in Sioux Falls.[3]

Hart began her full-time television career in 1975 at WMT-TV (currently KGAN) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, then moving to KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1976, she went to KTVY (now KFOR-TV) in Oklahoma City, where, with Danny Williams, she co-hosted the show Dannysday. She also was a sales representative for a school yearbook company. Determined to leave journalism behind, she moved to the Los Angeles neighborhood of Westwood in 1979 with $10,000 in the bank.[7] Hart landed a small role on the soap opera Days of Our Lives as well as some TV commercials. Nearly without money, she became a co-host on the Los Angeles version of the syndicated PM Magazine. That led to a job in 1981 as co-host of Regis Philbin's first national talk show on NBC. When that show was canceled four months later, Entertainment Tonight interviewed her about what it felt like to be canceled. The day after the interview, she was hired as one of its correspondents. Thirteen weeks later, she was named the show's co-host, along with Ron Hendren.[8]

In 1984, Hendren was replaced by Robb Weller, who was replaced by John Tesh in 1986, who was replaced by Bob Goen in 1996. Hart began co-hosting ET with Mark Steines in 2004.[7][9] Soon after her hiring by ET, Hart chose Jay Bernstein as her manager.

Hart is known for her shapely legs, leading to an endorsement contract with Hanes for that company's line of pantyhose in 1987. Jay Bernstein had her legs insured with Lloyd's of London for $1 million each.[10][11] Executive Producer Linda Bell Blue described Hart as "the face of ET". On March 29, 1987 she participated in the World Wrestling Federation's WrestleMania III, serving as the guest timekeeper in the main event between Hulk Hogan and André the Giant.[12]

During the summer of 1988, Hart appeared in Las Vegas with comedian David Brenner at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino, which realized another of her childhood dreams, singing and dancing on stage. She continued her work on Entertainment Tonight while performing in Las Vegas, flying between the cities after two shows in Vegas, the last at 11:00PM, to film ET the following morning at 8:00AM.[13] In 1991, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that Hart's voice had triggered seizures in an epileptic woman.[14] This was later referenced in an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures[15] and the NBC sitcom Seinfeld, where Kramer (Michael Richards) suffers from convulsions whenever he hears Hart's voice. Hart has been parodied in Animaniacs in the character Mary Heartless. She voiced the cartoon character Fairy Hart in an episode of The Fairly OddParents and in The Fairly Oddparents TV movie Fairly OddBaby.

Hart at the 81st Academy Awards in February 2009.

In May 2009, Hart suffered a broken left wrist due to an accident at home (not due to any exotic activity, despite her jokes about it).[16] While her wrist was healing, she wore various brightly colored slings designed to match or complement her wardrobe for each show. On August 5, 2010, Hart announced that she was leaving the show at the end of the upcoming 30th season, citing that she was ready for a change.[17] Hart's final episode aired on May 20, 2011—ending her 29-year history with the program.[18]

Between 2014 and 2016, Hart was a recurring character on the ABC Family sitcom Baby Daddy, as a fictional version of herself who hosts a morning show The Mary Hart Show and is the boss of Tahj Mowry's character Tucker Dobbs.

On October 29, 2015, Hart made a guest appearance on ET, being interviewed by then-current host Nancy O'Dell; her appearance was meant to kick off a month-long celebration of the program's 35th season.[19]

Hart was Master of Ceremonies at the July 4th celebration at Mount Rushmore on July 3, 2020. In her remarks, she said, "I remember well the tumultuousness, the tumult, the tragedy, but ultimately the triumph of the sixties. I was growing up then, and those were not easy times – for those of you who happen to be old enough like I am, to remember – but you know what, that was a terrible decade, but we turned out to be a better nation."[20]

Personal life


Hart resided in the Trousdale Estates neighborhood of Beverly Hills, California, with her film producer husband, Burt Sugarman.[21] before moving to a condo in the Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles[22][23] and later, to Sierra Towers in 2015. They married in a private ceremony aboard a yacht in 1989[24] and have one son, Alec "AJ" Sugarman (born 1991), who was a special assistant to President Donald Trump for legislative affairs.

Hart has converted to Judaism, her husband's faith.[25]

Hart is a Republican and supported Marco Rubio in the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries. She and Sugarman hosted a fundraiser for Rubio in October 2015.[26]

She hosted President Trump's Fourth of July celebration in 2020, at which she was accused of making a white power sign. She denied the accusation.[27]

Hart owns two mansions in Montana.[28] One is a 7,000-square-foot home on 160 acres. Both homes are located within the Yellowstone Club residential community.[28][29] Since 2000, Hart has also had a home in Palm Desert, California[30] where she has supported local charities.[31]

She is a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers and has performed the national anthem prior to games on several occasions.[32][33] She can often be seen, from the centerfield camera, behind home plate at Dodger Stadium.[34][35]

On August 17, 2011, Hart was announced as the official spokeswoman for the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Initiative.[36]


  1. ^ a b c Riggs, Thomas (2002). Contemporary theatre, film, and television. Gale Cengage. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-7876-6360-5.
  2. ^ "Entertainment Tonight". CBS. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  3. ^ a b N.E.A. (1984-06-01). "Hart goes from beauty queen to TV screen". Gadsden Times. p. B2.
  4. ^ "Mary Hart Biography". IMDb.com.
  5. ^ a b "In the News: Alumna Mary Hart Signs Off From 'Entertainment Tonight'". augie.edu. Augustana College. May 2011.
  6. ^ "The original 'E.T.' has found its way to rating success". The Miami News. 1983-03-11. p. 7A.
  7. ^ a b "Famous for watching the famous". Toledo Blade. New York Times News Service. 2002-07-14. p. C1–2.
  8. ^ N.E.A. (1984-06-14). "Beauty queen finds success on TV screen". Bowling Green Daily News. p. 5B.
  9. ^ Benson, Jim (2006-10-08). "Mary Hart Re-Ups at ET". Broadcastingcable.com. Retrieved 2011-11-18.
  10. ^ "Mary Hart to wed producer". Chicago Sun-Times. February 16, 1989.
  11. ^ Brioux, Bill (2008). Truth and Rumors. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-275-99247-7. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Silverdome shudders as 93,173 spectators watch Hulk Hogan win". Lakeland Ledger. March 30, 1987. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  13. ^ Associated Press (1988-06-01). "'Entertainment Tonight' hostess becomes showgirl". Kentucky New Era. p. 9B.
  14. ^ "Kill Your Television!". The AFU & Urban Legends Archive. Archived from the original on July 28, 2013.
  15. ^ "THE HUGE PAGE OF TINY TOONS/ANIMANIACS FACTS, VERSION 2.0". Platypuscomix.net. 1992-06-08. Retrieved 2011-11-18.
  16. ^ "Mary Hart Broken Wrist". Archived from the original on 2021-11-17 – via YouTube.
  17. ^ DiNunno, Gina (2010-08-05). "Mary Hart Exiting Entertainment Tonight". tvguide.com. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
  18. ^ Barnes, Brooks (19 May 2011). "After Hart, a Deluge of Meaner Celebrity TV?". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  19. ^ "Mary Hart Returns to 'Entertainment Tonight' for 35th Anniversary". Variety. 29 October 2015. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  20. ^ "FULL: President Trump South Dakota's 2020 Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebrations". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-12. Retrieved 4 July 2020.
  21. ^ 400 Trousdale Place, Beverly Hills, California 90210 | Los Angeles
  22. ^ Mary Hart, Burt Sugarman buy unit at Ritz-Carlton Residences - Los Angeles Times
  23. ^ AEG Execs, Mary Hart Among 32 Buyers at the Ritz-Carlton - Development Update-o-Rama - Curbed LA
  24. ^ Associated Press (1980-04-12). "Mary Hart weds". Lexington Dispatch. p. 2.
  25. ^ D'Addario, Daniel (2012-01-27). "Some Tips For Drew Barrymore Before She Converts To Judaism". Observer. Retrieved 2021-03-25.
  26. ^ "Secret Meetings, Big Players: Who Hollywood's Underground GOP Wants for President". The Hollywood Reporter. 22 October 2015.
  27. ^ "Mary Hart denies making white supremacist gesture as locals call to cut ties". 6 July 2020.
  28. ^ a b Large Yellowstone Club Montana Ranch Goes on the Market for $26.5 Million—WSJ Private Properties - WSJ.com
  29. ^ Photos: Inside Mary Hart's $26.5M Montana ranch | www.statesman.com
  30. ^ Blair, Iain (January 3, 2008). "Desert home companions: a wide range of industry pros, from stars to stuntmen, have put down roots in P.S.". Daily Variety: V Plus: Palm Springs International Film Festival. Reed Business Information, Inc.
  31. ^ Biller, Steven; Kleinschmidt, Janice (October 2007). "The Influencers". Palm Springs Life.
  32. ^ "Stars grabbing the attention at playoff games". Yuma Sun. 2009-10-19.
  33. ^ Associated Press (1988-06-01). "Mary Hart adds showgirl to resume". Lakeland Ledger. p. 1C.
  34. ^ Parker, Kelly (November 1, 2017). "A photo guide to World Series celebrity Dodger fan watching". The Drive. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  35. ^ Kleinschmidt, Jessica (October 27, 2018). "Celebrity host Mary Hart did a spot-on impression of Craig Kimbrel in Game 3". MLB.com. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  36. ^ KDLT.com South Dakota News - Sanford Unveils New Breast Cancer Initiative
Preceded by Co-host of Entertainment Tonight
Succeeded by