Who is Bruce Vilanch?

Bruce Vilanch is an American comedy writer, actor, and songwriter as well; he is perhaps still best known to the world for his stint on “Hollywood Squares”, a TV game show, from 1998 to 2003 as a panelist, while he also worked as a writer. Bruce was the main writer for the Oscars from 2000 to 2014, and also for other noted award ceremoonies.

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Bruce Vilanch Biography- Age, Childhood, and Education

Born Bruce Gerald Vilanch on the 23rd November 1948 in New York USA, he spent his childhood in Paterson, New Jersey, having been adopted by Jonas Vilanch and his wife, Henne.

His adoptive father was an optometrist, while Henne was a housewife. While growing up, he started displaying an interest in theater, and to help him kick-start his career, his mother signed him up as a chubby child model with Lane Bryant’s Charming Chub agency. His mother was also in the theater, and so helped him a lot in his early years. Bruce attended Hebrew School, and after high school enrolled at Ohio State University, where he studied journalism and theater. He would nurture his skills as a writer of reviews, and also appeared in a few plays, trying to learn everything he could in order to become a playwright.

A Successful Writer

Bruce is best known for his writing abilities; he began writing features for The Chicago Tribune and soon started spending as much time as he could around any celebrity just to get a story. This is how he met Bette Midler, who at the time struggled to launch her career, and was just a nightclub singer. The two befriended, and Bruce started working for her, writing comedy material for her show “Clams on the Half Shell”, which was her Broadway show, and also co-wrote “Divine Madness” (1980).

Throughout the ‘80s, Bruce worked on numerous successful projects, including the documentary “Funny, You Don’t Look 200: A Constitutional Vaudeville” (1987), and “The Cheech Show” in 1988.

Bruce Vilanch

The following year, Bruce was recruited as a writer for the Academy Awards, and in 2000 he became the head writer. He served in the position until 2014, during which time he became quite famous, especially for his one-line jokes. In addition, he has also written for the Primetime Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, World Music Awards, and other events.

Acting Career and “Hollywood Squares”

Bruce’s acting career started in 1971, in the comedy-drama film “My Name Is Rocco Papaleo”, starring Marcello Mastroianni, Lauren Hutton and Tom Reed.

Four years later, he featured in the Academy Award-nominated romantic drama film “Mahagony”, starring Diana Ross. In 1983, he appeared in the romantic action-drama film “Breathless”, with Richard Gere, Valerie Kaprisky and Art Metrano. In 1986 he appeared in the Academy Award-nominated crime-mystery film “The Morning After”, and by the end of the decade had featured in the thriller film “The Drifter” (1988), and the television movie “It Nearly Wasn’t Christmas” (1989), among other projects.

He wasn’t quite so active in the ‘90s as an actor, but became more focused on writing; however, he did appear in the television movie “Love Can Be Murder” (1992).

In 1998 he was selected as the celebrity panelist in the TV show “Hollywood Square”, which launched him to stardom.

The 2000s and Recent Projects

His inactivity as an actor continued far into the 2000s, until he returned to the screen in 2007 with the role of Hymie in the television movie “Orlando’s Bed and Breakfast”, and the following year appeared as himself in the comedy film “You Don’t Mess with Zohan”, starring Adam Sandler. Since 2010, he’s featured in a number of films and TV series, starting with the romantic comedy-drama film “Going Down in LA-LA Land” (2011), and from 2013 to 2019 portraying Larry Lawrence in the TV series “Child of the ‘70s”.

Other Appearances

In addition to acting and his appearance as a panelist, he played himself in the popular animated series “The Simpsons” in the episode entitled “Pokey Mom”, while in 2006 he featured in the third season of the “Celebrity Fit Club” show, during which time he lost over 20lbs. To speak further of his notable appearances on TV shows, he was the guest judge in the third season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, during which he was dressed as Santa Claus, and returned in season five as a coach, helping the contestants in a comedy roast of RuPaul.

Bruce Vilanch Net Worth, Height, Weight, and Appearance

Bruce is a proven writer, actor and comedian and his net worth has increased over the years by a large margin. According to sources, Vilanch’s net worth is estimated at $8 million, as of early 2020.

Bruce is known for his unique looks; he stands 6ft (1.8m) tall, while he weighs around 300lbs, though his weight varies from 295lbs to 315lbs. He has a distinctive look as he sports long blonde hair and a beard. He is noted for his glasses which often have bright colored frames, while he also likes wearing double entendre-themed T-shirts.

Bruce Vilanch Personal Life, Dating, Is He Gay? Charity Work

Bruce is an openly gay man, and has represented the LGBTQ community in several shows, speaking about their rights and the movement on the whole. He also supports a number of charities, including serving on the honorary board of Aid for AIDS, and has also emceed the event “Dancers Responding to AIDS”, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, in 2009 and 2010.

Vilanch is very secretive about his relationship status, but according to sources, he is currently single and there are no records of previous relationships. However, one picture on his Instagram page displays him and his partner, though there are no more details about their relationship.

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