|Leslie Moonves Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 11 in|
|Date of Birth||October 6, 1949|
Leslie Moonves is an American media executive and actor, best known for being the CEO and Chairman of CBS Corporation from 2003 to September 9, 2018, when he resigned from the position due to #MeToo movement harassment allegations. He first joined the company in July 1995, as President of CBS Entertainment, and in April 1998 became the President and CEO of CBS Television, and was at that position until 2003, when he was promoted to Chairman. During his early career at the company, CBS had 6 out of 10 most-watched TV shows in the primetime slot in late 2005 – CSI (2000-2015), CSI: Miami (2002-2012), Survivor: Guatemala (2005), NCIS that aired in 2003, and Cold Case (2003-2010).
He was also in an executive position at Lorimar Television from 1985 to 1993 and became President and CEO of Warner Bros. Television in 1993 when those 2 companies combined operations. During that time, Leslie was responsible for giving shows Friends (1994-2004) and ER (1994-2009) a green light to premiere on television. Leslie was also on board of directors for ZeniMax Media since it was founded in 1999, and has starred in a lot of TV series in the 1980s and 1990s – Barbary Coast (1975), Cannon (1976), Gemini Man (1976), The Six Million Dollar Man (1977), and Midnight Caller (1989), before he decided to have a career change and take reign as an executive.
Leslie Roy Moonves
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States
Beverly Hills, California, United States
Leslie Moonves attended Valley Stream Central High School in Valley Stream, New York, United States.
After graduating, he enrolled in Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, United States, initially in science courses and pre-medical studies, after which he switched to Spanish, and graduated in 1971.
After Leslie was done with the university education, he started pursuing an acting career by attending Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City, New York, from which he also graduated.
Media Executive, Actor
- Father – Herman Moonves
- Mother – Josephine (Schleifer) Moonves (Nurse)
- Siblings – Jonathan Moonves (Brother) (Entertainment Attorney), Alan (Brother), Melissa Moonves Colon (Sister)
- Others – Bernard Moonves (Paternal Grandfather), Ida (Paternal Grandmother), Sol/Saul M. Schlaifer/Schleiffer (Maternal Grandfather), Regina Olszewer (Maternal Grandmother), David Ben-Gurion (Paternal Grand-Grandfather) (Prime Minister of Israel), Paula (Munweis/Monbesz) Ben-Gurion (Paternal Grand-Grandmother), Simon Zwi Schleifer (Maternal Grand-Grandfather), Golda (Maternal Grand-Grandmother)
5 ft 11 in or 180.5 cm
77 kg or 170 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Leslie Moonves has dated –
- Nancy Wiesenfeld (1977-2004) – He got together with Nancy in 1977, and after one year of dating, got married to her on December 17, 1978. Their 1st child, daughter Sara Moonves, who became a Style Director at W Magazine in July 2017, was born on November 26, 1984, while their son, Michael Moonves, was born on February 9, 1988. The pair also has another son, Adam Moonves. Leslie and Nancy broke up in April 2003, and their divorce was finalized on December 10, 2004.
- Julie Chen (2003-Present) – Leslie met Julie, a TV personality at CBS when she was the newsreader for The Early Show. They got together while Les was still married but was in the process of divorcing, and only 2 weeks after his divorce was finalized, on December 23, 2004, they got married in a ceremony in Acapulco, Mexico. In April 2009, news surfaced that the couple was expecting their 1st child. On September 24, 2009, their son, Charlie Moonves, was born. After news of the s*xual harassment surfaced in 2018, many expected the couple to get divorced, but the opposite was true – Julie fully supported her husband in his claims, and they stood the trials their marriage was put on.
Race / Ethnicity
Leslie Moonves has Ashkenazi Jewish, Polish-Jewish, and Russian-Jewish ancestry.
Salt and Pepper
- Wide, oval face
- Often goes clean-shaven
- Thin eyebrows
- Salt and pepper hair
Best Known For
- Being the Chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation from 2003 to September 2018
- Working in Lorimar Television and Warner Bros. Television corporations from 1985 to 1995
- Starring in TV series Barbary Coast (1975), Cannon (1976), Gemini Man (1976), The Six Million Dollar Man (1977) and others
- Being on the board of directors of ZeniMax Media company since its foundation in 1999
Leslie Moonves made his first theatrical film appearance as himself in a comedy Frankie and Johnny Are Married in 2003.
First TV Show
Leslie Moonves made his first TV show appearance as Bellboy in an episode titled Guns for a Queen of the Western series Barbary Coast in 1975.
Leslie Moonves Favorite Things
- Activity – Transcendental Meditation, Watching TV Shows, Directing
Source – Wikipedia
Leslie Moonves Facts
- He was the co-CEO and co-president of Viacom, Inc., the predecessor of CBS Corporation, from 2004 until December 2005, when the company split.
- Leslie was the 2nd most-paid director in 2012 and 2013, and received $58.8 million and $65.4 million a year, respectively.
- He gave a green light for the TV series The Big Bang Theory (2007-2019) to premiere, which featured actors Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Melissa Rauch, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik, and others.
- He was on the head of CBS when the company filed a $500 million lawsuit against Howard Stern in February 2006. Howard reportedly failed to disclose the details of his deal with Sirius Satellite Radio (SSR) while he was still employed by one of CBS’s companies. SSR later paid $2 million to CBS to acquire exclusive rights to 2 decades of radio shows.
- Leslie appeared in an American legal TV drama The Practice as himself on April 7, 2003, which featured the actor Dylan McDermott in the lead role.
- Leslie also had appearances on Late Show with David Letterman in 9 episodes in 2004 and 2005, as well as The Late Late Show with James Corden (2015), The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (2015), and Entertainment Tonight (2006-2016).
- He and his wife, Julie Chen, made a massive donation to the University of Southern California (USC) in 2015. In their honor, the university’s media center was named Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves and CBS Media Center.
- Despite supporting the #MeToo movement in a press conference for CBS in November 2017, and even forming a special Commission on S*xual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, he was accused of s*xual harassment himself in The New Yorker article in July 2018.
- After July 2018, new claims surfaced, and he was accused of s*xual misconduct and abuse towards actresses Bobbie Phillips, Cybill Shepherd, Eliza Dushku, and other women. He made rude or involuntary advances towards them, denied them roles, write them off shows, and exhibited other harsh behavior because they refused his romantic intentions. Leslie denied all those claims vehemently.
- In wake of allegations, he stepped down from the position of CEO and Chairman of CBS and was reportedly going to receive a $120 million severance package and donate $20 million to the #MeToo-related organizations.
- His severance package was denied by CBS because he violated the contract by intentionally destroyed evidence, being evasive and untruthful towards investigators, deleting messages, and trying to hide proof of s*xual harassment by trying to pass off his son’s Apple iPad as his own.
- In February 2019, Leslie became a head of a new company he named Moon Rise Unlimited but refused to clarify what its purpose or niche was. The proof surfaced by The New York Times magazine that CBS paid the space for his offices in the West Hollywood building for 1 full year, a few months after they fired him, which raised suspicion.
- He is not on social media.
Featured Image by CBS / YouTube