Currently alive, at 81 years of age.
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1936 – Born on November 19th in Gibbon, Nebraska. American comedian and television host.
1952 – He attended convention of the International Brotherhood of Magicians in St. Louis and won Best New Performer trophy.
1954 – The son of Nebraska schoolteachers, Dick Cavett excelled athletically and scholastically in Lincoln High School, Lincoln.
1958 – Recieved a scholarship to Yale University and earned his B.A. in English and Drama.
– He applied to be an NBC Page at their television studios at Rockefeller Center in New York City but was turned down.
– Managed to land a leading role (and a 100-dollar salary) in an Army Signal Corps film after which Cavett took a variety of odd jobs, ranging from store detective to label-typist for a Wall Street firm.
– While working as a copy boy at Time magazine, he impulsively wrote a two-page monologue for TV talk host Jack Paar, then passed his notes along to a bemused Paar at NBC’s Radio City headquarters.
1959 – Cavett is manic-depressive, a condition he’s dealt with since his first major depression.
1964 – Dick Cavett married actress Carrie Nye on June 4th.
1968 – Thus began Cavett’s career as a comedy writer, not only for Paar but for his Tonight Show successor, Johnny Carson.
– Encouraged by such showbiz friends as Woody Allen and Groucho Marx, Cavett became a standup comedian.
– His success in this field led to an offer from ABC to host a daytime talk show.
1969 – He hosted a nightly TV chatfest, in direct competition with his old boss Johnny Carson.
1971 – Adopting a more erudite, intellectual tone that was the norm in late-night network television of the era, Cavett interviewed such luminaries as Orson Welles, Katharine Hepburn, Noel Coward, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, Lillian Hellman. Also John Lennon and George Harrison on separate episodes.
1974 – A darling of the critics and cognoscenti, Cavett’s ratings were low and he was canceled.
1977 – 1981 – Amidst several other projects, he went on to host a daily PBS interview series, and helmed similar programs on the USA and CNBC cable services into the 1990s.
– Having never completely abandoned acting, he occasionally appeared in dramatic roles on TV and Broadway, served as a commercial spokesman for a variety of products, and was seen in a handful of films. Cast as "himself," he made fleeting appearances in Annie Hall, Health and Forrest Gump.
1992 – He’s on antidepressants, and underwent electroshock therapy.
1996 – He started and lost a nationally syndicated radio show in just two weeks, when depression kicked in and he simply stopped showing up.
2006 – His wife Carrie died on July 14th.