5 Famous Faces of Television You Should Know

By Audrey W. | Arcadia Staff
America’s first television sets began appearing in homes in 1938. Since its inception, the faces that appeared on televisions nationwide have risen to new levels of fame. These famous TV personalities revolutionized the budding television scene, breaking barriers both inside and out of the industry. Here, we’re diving into some of the most famous people in American television history. 

Syracuse news anchor Mike Price.Mike Price

If you were a kid growing up in Syracuse, NY and watching local television in the 1960s, you might have seen the vampire Baron Daemon on the screen. Actor Mike Price played this famous TV personality, and his work proved so popular that he was given a regular slot on primetime television. Price began his career in radio, before moving to hosting the “Good News” segment on local news. He later played a role in the resurgence of “Horror Hosting” with the rise of cable television in the United States. Here, Price would host where several low-budget horror films would play, adopting a horror-themed attire and commenting on aspects of each film during its run-time. Between his work as Baron Daemon on children’s television and composing commentary on horror films, Price’s work shaped a genre of television hosting that persists to modern day with famous hosts like Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and Joe Bob Briggs.

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres began her career in sitcom during the 1980s. Today, she is most known as the voice of Dory from Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, and the host of her daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In 1997, DeGeneres came out as lesbian on her then comedy show Ellen, marking a revolutionary moment in television. Since then, DeGeneres has grown into one of the leading voices in LGBT activism, and uses her current television show as an outlet to convey her message of kindness and love for all. In 2008, she married longtime girlfriend Portia de Rossi after the overturning of California’s same-sex marriage ban that same year. Through her years in television, DeGeneres has won 30 Emmys and 20 People’s Choice Awards, among many others. 

Angela Hill with fellow newscaster Garland Robinette.Angela Hill

From documentaries and news hosting to daytime talk shows, Angela Hill is no stranger to television screens. Beginning her career in Texas, she eventually relocated to New Orleans, where she started as a host for the local news. In September 1975, she became the first female anchor on New Orleans WWL-TV. During her time on air, the show received outstanding ratings. Hill traveled all over the world, including Rome, China, and Africa, delivering international news and producing documentaries. In 1989, she began her talk show Angela, which featured many notable names in the industry and ran for 1,668 episodes before coming to a close. After more than 35 years in the industry, Hill was honored by the New Orleans City Council for her dedication to the New Orleans community and television as a whole. 

Franklin Cover

Most known for his role as Tom Willis in the favorite 1970s American sitcom The Jeffersons, Franklin Cover was one of the most famous faces to have appeared on early television. In The Jeffersons, he acted a character in an interracial marriage - one of the first to appear on regular television in American history. When The Jeffersons completed its 11-season run in 1985, Cover continued making regular appearances on television. The Stepford Wives, A Woman Called Gloria, Wall Street, and an episode of Will & Grace are all among his claims to fame. In all, Cover spent over 40 years in show business, and helped normalize the appearance of mixed-race couples on primetime television. 

A young Bob Barker (right).Bob Barker

This retired television host is perhaps one of the most notable names in the history of television in America. Bob Barker hosted The Price Is Right from 1972 to 2007. Prior to this, he hosted Truth of Consequences, Barker’s hosting debut on a trivia-based game show, and where he introduced new elements like “Barker’s Box.” He hosted the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants from 1967 to 1987, giving him the honor of hosting the most shows in the pageants’ histories. During his years on television, Barker has been the recipient of 19 Emmys, a member of the Television Hall of Fame, and Time Magazine’s Greatest Game Show Host of All Time. 
As mass-production and ownership of television grew, the famous faces that appeared on these screens made history. The trajectories of their careers helped paved the way for future developments throughout the industry, molding it into the television we watch today. From entertainment to reliable news sources, these were just five of the thousands of people who have committed their lives and careers to television.