Steve Allen

The Steve Allen Story

LOS ANGELES, California — Dove Foundation Advisory Board Member, Steve Allen, comedian, author, composer and Emmy-award winning TV host, died on October 21, 2000. Allen began his climb to stardom over 40 years ago as the first host of “The Tonight Show.” He went on to host his own show, “The Steve Allen Show,” and the award-winning PBS series, “Meeting of the Minds.” Allen is survived by his wife, Jayne Meadows, and his four children. He was 78.

“Steve was a tremendous inspiration to me,” said Dick Rolfe – Dove Foundation Chairman. “He was not afraid to use his celebrity status to scold Hollywood about their over-the-top portrayals of sex and violence in cinema.  We will all miss him dearly.”

PHE-NOM-E-NON (fe-noma-non): 1. anything that is extremely unusual; extraordinary occurrence. 2. (colloq.) a person with some extraordinary quality, aptitude, etc.; prodigy. –Webster’s Dictionary

Among his many extracurricular activities, Steve was an active member of the Advisory Board for the non-profit, Dove Foundation. He said, “I support Dove’s mission to encourage Hollywood to produce more wholesome movies and television programs.” The foundation awards a blue and white Dove Seal to family-friendly movies and videos, which Steve likens to “The Good Housekeeping Seal for wholesome family entertainment.”


In the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s the single most talented individual in the entertainment world was Noel Coward, who achieved great success as an actor, vocalist, pianist, author, composer, lyricist and director. During a visit to our shores in the early 1950s, Sir Noel described Steve Allen as “the most talented man in America.”

Andy Williams once said, “Steve Allen does so many things, he’s the only man I know who’s listed on every one of the Yellow Pages.” It is, in fact, difficult to believe there is only one Steve Allen. Not only is he the only TV comedian from the Golden Age of Comedy of the 1950s still appearing frequently on TV, but he has:

Created and hosted the “Tonight” show;

Authored 52 published books, including: the 1998 publications of Murder in HawaiiDie Laughing and Dumbth…(and 101 Ways to Reason Better and Improve Your Mind); the 1996 publication Wake Up to Murder & But Seriously; the 1995 publication of The Bug and the Slug in the Rug; The Man Who Turned Back the Clock and Murder on the Atlantic; 1994’s Reflections; and 1993’s The Murder Game, More Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion & Morality, Book Two, and Make ’em Laugh.

Steve Allen’s 100 Song Lyrics are to be released in 1999.

Starred on Broadway in The Pink Elephant;

Starred in motion pictures, most notably Universal’s The Benny Goodman Story;

Written over 7,400 songs, including “This Could Be The Start of Something Big,” “Picnic,” “Impossible,” “Gravy Waltz,” and “South Rampart Street Parade,” “Pretend You Don’t See Her,” etc.;

Written the score for several musicals, including the Broadway production of Sophie and the CBS-TV version of Alice in Wonderland;

Made over 52 record albums/CD’s, including the May 1993 release of “Steve Allen Plays Jazz Tonight” for the Concord Jazz label; the 1996 releases of “Steve Allen Plays HI-FI Music For Influentials“; “Steve Allen On The Air! The Classic Comedy Of Steve Allen” ;“Words & Music: The Songs Of Steve Allen” for the Varese Sarabande label; “Keep Swingin’” & “Fast Cars & Fascinating WomenThe Tom Kubis Big Band Plays Steve Allen” on the SeaBreeze Jazz Label; and “Steve Allen’s 75th Birthday Celebration” released on March 10, 1998 for the Valley Entertainment label.

Written the stirring Irish drama, The Wake, which won an L.A. drama critics’ nomination as best play of 1977;

Starred in the critically-acclaimed NBC series “The Steve Allen Comedy Hour”;

Created, written and hosted the Emmy award-winning PBS-TV series “Meeting of Minds.”

And been inducted into the TV Academy’s Hall of Fame.

In 1993, Mr. Allen became Abbot of the world-famed Friars Club, succeeding Milton Berle, and in 1994 the Museum of Television and Radio honored him with a six-month retrospective of his work.

He was married to actress-comedienne Jayne Meadows.