• Bruce Vilanch is an American comedy writer, actor, and songwriter
• He was the main writer for the Oscars from 2000 to 2014 and for other noted award ceremonies
• His career kicked off by writing comedy material for Bette Midler’s Broadway show
• He was a celebrity panelist in “Hollywood Squares” in 1998
• He is an openly gay man and is currently single

Known for movies

Short Info

Net Worth8 million dollars
Date Of BirthNovember 23, 1948
MarkWild, blonde-gray locks, thick red glasses and gay-suggestive tee-shirts
FactKnown to be an able provider of topical joke material for Academy Award hosts (notably Billy Crystal). Also for comedy personalities on the road such as Bette Midler.

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.

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.

General Info

Full NameBruce Vilanch
Net Worth8 million dollars
Date Of BirthNovember 23, 1948
ProfessionScreenwriter, Television producer, Columnist, Actor, Songwriter
EducationOhio State University


ParentsHenne Vilanch, Jonas Vilanch


AwardsPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing - Variety Series, GLAAD Media Stephen F. Kolzak Award
NominationsPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy, Variety, or Music Special, WGA Award for Best Comedy/Variety - Music, Awards, Tributes - Specials - Television, Lambda Literary Award for Humor
MoviesThe Ice Pirates, Going Down in La-La Land, Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!!, Star Wars Holiday Special, Mahogany, Tru Loved, Divine Madness, Scrooge & Marley, The Morning After, Call Me Claus, Sister Mary, Naked Fame, Silent But Deadly, Spring Breakdown, Love Can Be Murder, Bette Midler: Ol' Red Hair Is Back...
TV ShowsCelebrity Fit Club, Sex: The Revolution

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1Wild, blonde-gray locks, thick red glasses and gay-suggestive tee-shirts


1"Musicals have clearly gotten more physical. You never saw Ethel Merman doing step aerobics. The real culprit in all this is not even the costume designer but the choreographer, that malicious spawn of Gwen Verdon and Satan." -- commenting on his strenuous undertaking in the tour of "Hairspray".


1Starring as Edna Turnblad in the national tour of the Broadway smash hit, Hairspray. [September 2003]
2Playing Edna Turnblad in the Broadway production of Hairspray, recently played by Michael McKean and originated by Harvey Fierstein. [October 2004]
3Known to be an able provider of topical joke material for Academy Award hosts (notably Billy Crystal). Also for comedy personalities on the road such as Bette Midler.
4Hefty, quipping, American gag writer who turned celebrity after becoming a wisecracking regular on the revamped Hollywood Squares (1998) game show (located next to Whoopi Goldberg in the left-center square).
5Had a musical comedy background, claiming to have done every Stubby Kaye role there was.
6Attended Ohio State University in the 1960s as a theater and journalism student.




17th Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor: Jay Leno2014TV Movie
Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On2010TV Movie additional written material
The 82nd Annual Academy Awards2010TV Special
The 81st Annual Academy Awards2009TV Special written by
The 80th Annual Academy Awards2008TV Special
Naked Boys Singing!2007written by
The 5th Annual TV Land Awards2007TV Special
The 79th Annual Academy Awards2007TV Special
Comic Relief 20062006TV Special documentary head writer
The 58th Annual Tony Awards2004TV Special
The 75th Annual Academy Awards2003TV Special special material written by
TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV2003TV Special documentary
The Disco Ball2003TV Special
The 74th Annual Academy Awards2002TV Special special material written by
The 15th Annual American Comedy Awards2001
Hollywood Salutes Bruce Willis: An American Cinematheque Tribute2000TV Movie
The 54th Annual Tony Awards2000TV Special
The 14th Annual American Comedy Awards2000
Hollywood Salutes Jodie Foster: An American Cinematheque Tribute1999TV Movie
The 51st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1999TV Special
American Fashion Awards1999TV Special
The 53rd Annual Tony Awards1999TV Special
The 24th Annual People's Choice Awards1998TV Special
Hollywood Squares1998TV Series head writer
Comic Relief VIII1998TV Special
The 52nd Annual Tony Awards1998TV Special
The 70th Annual Academy Awards1998TV Special special material
Bette Midler in Concert: Diva Las Vegas1997TV Special documentary
The 19th Annual CableACE Awards1997TV Special
The 1997 World Music Awards1997TV Special
The 51st Annual Tony Awards1997TV Special
The 69th Annual Academy Awards1997TV Special special material
Happy Birthday Elizabeth: A Celebration of Life1997TV Special
The 48th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1996TV Special
The 50th Annual Tony Awards1996TV Special
The 68th Annual Academy Awards1996TV Special written by
The 22nd Annual People's Choice Awards1996TV Special
The 10th Annual American Comedy Awards1996TV Special
TV Laughs at Life1995TV Movie
The 67th Annual Academy Awards1995TV Special
1st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards1995TV Special
Elvis: The Tribute1994TV Movie documentary
She TV1994TV Series writer - 1 episode
The 8th Annual American Comedy Awards1994TV Special
The 66th Annual Academy Awards1994TV Special special material
Comic Relief VI1994TV Special documentary writer
Trevor1994Short special material written by
For Our Children: The Concert1993TV Movie documentary
A Gala for the President at Ford's Theatre1993TV Movie
Comic Relief V1992TV Special
The 44th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1992TV Special
The 34th Annual Grammy Awards1992TV Special
Laughing Back: Comedy Takes a Stand1992TV Movie story / teleplay
Ray Charles: 50 Years in Music1991TV Special documentary
The 63rd Annual Academy Awards1991TV Special special material
The 17th Annual People's Choice Awards1991TV Special
America's Dance Honors1990TV Special
The 4th Annual American Comedy Awards1990TV Special
Miss USA Pageant1990TV Movie
Dolly1988TV Series 1 episode
The Cheech Show1988TV Movie
Las Vegas: An All-Star 75th Anniversary1987TV Special
Funny, You Don't Look 200: A Constitutional Vaudeville1987TV Movie documentary
The 35th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1983TV Special additional material
Divine Madness1980Documentary
Omnibus1980TV Series
John Ritter: Being of Sound Mind and Body1980TV Movie writer - segment "The Rock Doctor"
The Music for UNICEF Concert: A Gift of Song1979TV Special written by
The Star Wars Holiday Special1978TV Movie
Donny and MarieTV Series 3 episodes, 1977 writer - 19 episodes, 1975 - 1978
Bette Midler: Ol' Red Hair Is Back1977TV Movie documentary
The Brady Bunch Variety Hour1976-1977TV Series writer - 9 episodes
The Barry Manilow Special1977TV Movie
The Paul Lynde Halloween Special1976TV Special written by
The Bette Midler Show1976TV Special as Bruce Vilanche


Limelight2017/Ipost-productionGarrett Raynes
Still Waiting In The Wings2017post-productionChef
Surge of Power: Revenge of the SequelcompletedS.I.R.I.U.S. / Janus
Spellcheck2016ShortSpellcheck Victim
Child of the '70s2013-2016TV SeriesLarry Lawrence
Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero2015TV SeriesAdditional Voices
On the Cover2014ShortBernie Feldman
Scrooge & Marley2012Fezziwig
Silent But Deadly2012Uncle Bruce
Something Real2012Short
The Eric Andre Show2012TV SeriesArnold Schwarzenegger
Troy: Naked Boys Behind Bars, Sing!2011ShortThe Director (voice)
Sister Mary2011Farmer Jake
Going Down in LA-LA Land2011Missy Manhandler
The Word Is Love2010Video shortMax
Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!!2009Max
Spring Breakdown2009Celebrity Judge
HA! The Web Series2009TV SeriesBruce
Rick & Steve the Happiest Gay Couple in All the World2008TV SeriesBruce Bandersnatch
You Don't Mess with the Zohan2008Bruce Vilanch
Tru Loved2008Uncle Daniel
Orlando's Bed and Breakfast2007TV MovieHymie
Queer Duck: The Movie2006VideoBruce Vilanch (voice)
The Proud Family2001TV SeriesTristan the Magician
Circuit2001Theater Stage Manager
Jackie's Back!1999TV MovieBruce Vilanch
The Nanny1998TV SeriesBruce Vilanch
Love Can Be Murder1992TV MovieBernie
Rachel Gunn, R.N.1992TV SeriesPatient
Fourth Story1991TV MovieFlower salesman
It Nearly Wasn't Christmas1989TV MoviePhilpot
Santa Barbara1989TV SeriesHippie Priest
The Drifter1988Cook
The Cheech Show1988TV MovieLouella Fella
The Morning After1986Bartender
The Ice Pirates1984Wendon
Breathless1983Man with Purse
Bosom Buddies1981TV SeriesCustomer #2
Mahogany1975Dress Manufacturer
My Name Is Rocco Papaleo1971Tante Rosa


Rude Tube2013TV Series writer - 1 episode
The 58th Annual Tony Awards2004TV Special lyrics: "No One Mourns the Wicked"
Wie die Karnickel2002writer: "I Love Men"
Cat's Eye1985writer: "Cat's Eye" - as B. Valanch


Fired Up1997TV Series creative consultant
The 65th Annual Academy Awards1993TV Special special material
The 64th Annual Academy Awards1992TV Special special material
Manhattan Transfer1975TV Series creative consultant - 1 episode


Pride: The Gay & Lesbian Comedy Slam2010TV Movie executive producer
The Paula Poundstone Show1992-1993TV Series producer - 2 episodes


Tab Hunter Confidential2015Documentary special thanks
Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon2008Documentary special thanks
Naked Fame2004Documentary thanks


Walk a Mile in My Pradas2011Himself
Bump!2010-2011TV SeriesHimself
Birds of a Feather2011/IHimself
Out for Laughs2011TV SeriesHimself - Starring Comedian
A Bundle of Sticks2010DocumentaryHimself
The Adonis Factor2010DocumentaryHimself - Writer / Actor
Pride: The Gay & Lesbian Comedy Slam2010TV MovieHimself
What's the Name of the Dame?2009Documentary
Beverly Hills Groomer2009TV SeriesHimself
Annul Victory2009DocumentaryHimself
House of Numbers: Anatomy of an Epidemic2009DocumentaryHimself - American Comedy & Script Writer
A-List Awards2009TV SpecialHimself
World's Dumbest2009TV SeriesHimself
GSN Live2008TV SeriesHimself
Sex: The Revolution2008TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Living with Ed2008TV SeriesHimself
Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon2008DocumentaryHimself - Actor & Author
Jury Duty2007-2008TV SeriesHimself
Electile Dysfunction: Inside the Business of American Campaigns2008DocumentaryHimself
Laughing Matters... The Men2008VideoHimself
20 Greatest Oscar Moments2008TV MovieHimself
11th Annual Ribbon of Hope Celebration2008TV MovieHimself
10th Annual Ribbon of Hope Celebration2007TV MovieHimself
Wisecrack2007TV SeriesHimself
Under the Pink Carpet2006TV SeriesHimself
The Making of Michael Lucas' 'Dangerous Liaisons'2006Video documentaryHimself
Gameshow Marathon2006TV SeriesHimself - Panelist
Gotta Get Off This Merry Go Round: Sex, Dolls and Showtunes2006Video documentaryHimself
The Divine Ms. Susann2006Video shortHimself
17th Annual GLAAD Media Awards2006TV SpecialHimself
10 Ways to Be a Cover Story Couple2006TV MovieHimself
Celebrity Fit Club2006TV SeriesHimself
Biography2004-2006TV Series documentaryHimself
Fucking with the Stars2006VideoHimself - Non-sexual role
QTN Holiday Reel2005TV MovieHimself
Celebrity Autobiography: In Their Own Words2005TV MovieHimself
Great Things About the Holidays2005TV MovieHimself
Dokument: Humor2005TV Series documentaryHimself
The Apprentice: Martha Stewart2005TV SeriesHimself
Inside TV Land: Tickled Pink2005TV Movie documentaryHimself
Dangerous Liaisons2005VideoHimself - Non-sexual Role (uncredited)
The Aristocrats2005DocumentaryHimself
E! 101 Most Awesome Moments in Entertainment2004TV Movie documentaryHimself
Balderdash2004TV SeriesHimself
Pyramid2003-2004TV SeriesHimself - Celebrity Contestant
Naked Fame2004DocumentaryHimself - Academy Awards Writer
CMT: 20 Really Embarrassing Video Moments2004TV SpecialHimself
The Award Show Awards Show2003TV Special documentaryHimself
Hollywood Squares1998-2003TV SeriesHimself - Panelist
100 Years of Hope and Humor2003TV SpecialHimself
The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn2003TV SeriesHimself
Heroes of Comedy: Women on Top2003TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
The Disco Ball2003TV SpecialHimself (uncredited)
Intimate Portrait2002TV Series documentaryHimself
Iron Chef USA: Holiday Showdown2001TV Special documentaryHimself - Judge
Call Me Claus2001TV MovieHimself
The Mark Twain Prize: Whoopi Goldberg2001TV MovieHimself
I Love Lucy's 50th Anniversary Special2001TV Movie documentaryComedy writer
10 Attitudes2001Himself
The Test2001TV SeriesHimself - Panelist
The 15th Annual American Comedy Awards2001Himself
Queen of the Whole Wide World2001DocumentaryMaster of Ceremonies
The Simpsons2001TV SeriesHimself
The Boys of Manchester: On the Set of Queer as Folk2000TV Movie documentaryHimself (introduction)
The Martin Short Show1999TV SeriesHimself
Get Bruce1999DocumentaryHimself
Behind the Music1999TV Series documentaryHimself
Pesel Ha'Zahav1998DocumentaryHimself
The 44th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1992TV SpecialHimself - Winner
The 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1991TV SpecialHimself - Winner
Funny, You Don't Look 200: A Constitutional Vaudeville1987TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Midnight Special1980TV SeriesHimself
The Paul Ryan Show1977TV SeriesHimself
The Automat2018Documentary post-productionHimself
Amsel: Illustrator of the Lost Art2017Documentary filmingHimself - Interviewee
The Fabulous Allan Carr2017Documentary post-productionHimself
Allee Willis Loves DetroitDocumentary filmingHimself
Hey Qween2016TV SeriesHimself
Yikes! The Arrival2015ShortHimself
The Insider2015TV SeriesHimself - Comedy Writer
Being Fabulous Rocks! T.V. Show2015TV SeriesHimself - Guest
17th Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor: Jay Leno2014TV MovieHimself
RuPaul's Drag Race2011-2014TV SeriesHimself - Guest Judge / Himself - Audience Member / Himself - Special Guest
The Outrageous Sophie Tucker2014DocumentaryHimself
And the Oscar Goes To...2014TV Movie documentaryHimself - Oscar Telecast Writer
82nd Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade2013TV MovieHimself
16th Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor: Carol Burnett2013TV MovieHimself
Absolutely Jason Stuart2013TV SeriesHimself
Teens Wanna Know2013TV SeriesHimself - Guest
I Am Divine2013DocumentaryHimself
On the Set W Jasper Cole2013TV SeriesHimself - Guest
In Bed with Joan2013TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The WIN Awards 20122012TV SpecialHimself - Host
Shark Tank2012TV SeriesHimself - Helper: PC Classes Online
Carol Channing: Larger Than Life2012DocumentaryHimself
Hanlet: Episode 4 & 1/2 - Attack of the Phantom Special2011DocumentaryHimself
Chasing Hollywood2011DocumentaryHimself

Archive Footage

RuPaul's Drag Race2013-2014TV SeriesHimself - Guest Judge / Himself
RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked!2014TV SeriesHimself - Guest Judge
Late Night with Conan O'Brien: The Best of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog2004VideoHimself (uncredited)


Won Awards

2010Career Achievement AwardFort Worth Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival
2007Wall of FameGrabby Awards
1997Stephen F. Kolzak AwardGLAAD Media Awards
1995CableACECableACE AwardsVariety Special or SeriesComic Relief VI (1994)
1993CableACECableACE AwardsVariety Special or SeriesComic Relief V (1992)
1992Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Variety or Music ProgramThe 64th Annual Academy Awards (1992)
1991Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Writing in a Variety or Music ProgramThe 63rd Annual Academy Awards (1991)

Nominated Awards

2010Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy SpecialThe 82nd Annual Academy Awards (2010)
2009Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy SpecialThe 81st Annual Academy Awards (2009)
2007Grabby AwardGrabby AwardsBest Non-Sex PerformanceFucking with the Stars (2006)
2005WGA Award (TV)Writers Guild of America, USAComedy/Variety - Music, Awards, Tributes - SpecialsThe 58th Annual Tony Awards (2004)
2004WGA Award (TV)Writers Guild of America, USAComedy/Variety - Music, Awards, Tributes - SpecialsThe 75th Annual Academy Awards (2003)
2000Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Music and LyricsThe 14th Annual American Comedy Awards (2000)
1994CableACECableACE AwardsChildren's Programming Special - 6 and YoungerFor Our Children: The Concert (1993)
1978Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music SpecialBette Midler: Ol' Red Hair Is Back (1977)
1977Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music SpecialThe Barry Manilow Special (1977)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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