STEVE BURNS Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Steve Burns                                                                         
Born: 9 October 1973 Boyertown, Pennsylvania                                               
Steve Burns (born Steven Michael Burns on October 9, 1973, in Boyertown,                   
Pennsylvania) is an American entertainer. He is best-known as the original                 
host of the long-running children's television program Blue's Clues.                       
Steve Burns grew up in rural Pennsylvania, in a small town named Boyertown. He             
played in bands called Sudden Impact, Nine Pound Truck, and the Ivys (which he             
has called a "Morrissey rip-off band") while in high school and college. He               
studied theatre at Allentown College in Pennsylvania under an acting                       
scholarship, but quit school and moved to New York City to become a professional           
actor. He lived in a basement apartment near Times Square, finding his first               
success as a voice-over artist for ads and making appearances on Homicide and             
Law & Order. Burns, about his 1995 role in Law and Order, stated, "I was                   
autistic and died."                                                                       
Also in 1995, Burns auditioned for Blue's Clues, thinking it was another voice-over       
role. He showed up with long hair and an earring; "I was a bit of a skate rat."           
he said. Initially, the Nickelodeon executives were not supportive of Burns               
hosting their new show; in subsequent auditions the show's creators requested             
that he dress more conservatively. (Burns reported that the creators, in a call-back       
phone conversation, asked him, "Could you not look like you tomorrow morning?")           
It became apparent, however, that he was the favorite with preschool test                 
audiences. Executive producer and co-creator Traci Paige Johnson reported that             
of the 100 people they auditioned, Burns was "the realest." As Dr. Alice                   
Wilder, Nickelodeon's Director of Research and Development, said, "There was               
just something about this kid, who was fresh out of Pennsylvania, who just knew           
where to look in the camera to really talk to kids. He was just right."                   
From its premiere, Blue's Clues was an instant hit, due to Steve Burns'                   
performances as much as the show's format. He became "a superstar" among his               
audience and their parents, but unknown to everyone else, and enjoyed what he             
called "micro-celebrity, about as small a celebrity as you can be." As the                 
New York Times reported, he "developed an avid following among both preteen               
girls and mothers. The former send torrents of e-mail; the latter scrutinize the           
show with an intensity that might make even Elmo, the red Muppet, blush." In               
2000, People Magazine included Burns in their annual list of America's most               
eligible bachelors.                                                                       
Burns became "very involved" with the production of Blue's Clues from the                 
beginning, first becoming a creative consultant and by 2000, a producer. One               
of the most challenging aspects of being the host of the show was performing in           
front of the "blue screen" before the animation was added. Burns called it "maddening"     
and likened it to "acting at the bottom of a swimming pool."