Joy Behar was born Josephina Victoria Occhiuto on October 7, 1942, and raised in Williamsburg, New York. Behar is best known as a comedian and as a talk show host, particularly in her years as a co-host on The View. Initially, Behar didn’t have an interest in comedy. She earned a BA in sociology at Queens College in 1964, followed by an MA in English education from Stony Brook. For a number of years, she worked as an English teacher at Lindenhurst Senior High School. During this time she married Joe Behar, a college professor with whom she had a daughter, Eve.

Joy Behar Biography

By 1981, the couple divorced, and Behar embarked on a new career. She was in her early forties when she began working in entertainment. Behar gained success and notoriety in through her stand-up routines very quickly, with appearances on Good Morning America and Lorne MichaelsThe New Show helping to raise her profile. She continued to work the comedy circuit while hosting a talk show on the Lifetime channel while also getting roles in the film. She was also one of the first female comedians to film a comedy special for HBO, which she did on two occasions—One Night Stand and Women of the Night 2.

Joy Behar on The View

By 1997, Behar was a well-established and respected comedian. Over at ABC, Barbara Walters was developing a daytime talk show that would involve a group of women from all walks of life discussing current topics of the day. The original hosts of the view were Walters, Behar, along with Debbie Matenopoulos, Meredith Vieira and Star Jones. It was an instant success and is currently the fourth-longest-running talk show on television.


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Over the years, the show’s hosts shifted. The View has been previously joined by Jenny McCarthy, Sherri Shepherd, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Lisa Ling, Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Rosie Perez, and Nicole Wallace. 

Starting in the 10th season, The View started covering more taboo and controversial subjects, including race, sex and politics. Debates would often take place and sometimes become heated. More liberal-minded hosts like Behar and O’Donnell would frequently clash with the conservative Elizabeth Hasselbeck. This proved to be great for ratings, as The View became a topic discussed by the news rather than the news being discussed by The View. 

During this time, Behar married Steve Janowitz who she had been in a relationship since 1982.

In 2014, The View went through a rebranding. Longtime executive producer Bill Geddie stepped down, and the last remaining original co-hosts (Behar and Walters) decided to move on from the show as well. Behar wanted to refocus on her stand-up career as well as her other hosting gigs. Starting in 2007, she was the standard fill-in for Larry King on his show, before hosting her own talk shows on HLN and Current TV.

Joy Behar Interview

uInterview interviewed Behar in 2009, and she answered fan questions on almost every aspect of her career.  When asked by a site user about her time on the show, Behar was reflective. “The success of The View is the same as news in a certain way because it’s happening in the moment because we’re life, most of the time, and everybody’s waiting to see what the next big thing is going to be, including the people who are sitting there,” Behar told uInterview exclusively. “We don’t even know what we’re going to say.”

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