Mary Hart Video Channel

From the NY Times 6/23/02: Mary Hart grew up in South Dakota. As a kid she directed her brothers in spontaneous productions of Peter Pan. She kept the starring roles of Peter Pan and Wendy for herself.

In Sioux Falls, she attended Augustana College. In 1971, she was a runner-up in the Miss America pageant. After graduation, she taught high school English in Sioux Falls and produced and anchored her own cable TV talk show. That led to jobs on the air in Iowa and Oklahoma.

In 1979, she moved to Los Angeles, determined to leave journalism behind. She had $10,000 in the bank. She lived in Westwood and jogged through the rich neighborhoods of Holmby Hills and Beverly Hills. Today she lives in an affluent part of LA with her husband, Burt Sugarman, 62, the producer of "Children of a Lesser God" and "Crimes of the Heart." They have one son, A. J., 10.

Hart landed a small role on the soap opera Days of our Lives, as well as some TV commercials. Almost broke, she became a host on Los Angeles news program PM Magazine. That led to a job in 1981 as co-host of Regis Philbin's first national talk show. When that show was canceled four months later, "Entertainment Tonight" interviewed her about what it felt like to be canned. The day after the interview, she was hired as an "E. T." correspondent; 13 weeks later, she was named the show's co-host with Ron Hendren.

In 1984, Hendren was replaced by Robb Weller, who was replaced by John Tesh in 1986, who was replaced by Bob Goen, the present co-anchor, in 1996.

Soon after her hiring by ET, Hart chose starmaker Jay Bernstein as her manager. He had her legs insured for $1 million.

Sources: NY Times, 6/23/02, Famous for Tracking the Famous By MICHAEL JOSEPH GROSS