Prolific comedienne Joy Behar may best be known to television viewers as the co-host of the popular and long-running television chat show The View, though longtime fans know that the Brooklyn, NY, native has been making waves in the entertainment industry since her early days as a standup comic in the mid-'80s. A graduate of SUNY at Stony Brook who earned an M.A. in English and first entered the professional workforce as a teacher, Behar soon gravitated toward comedy and became a regular fixture at such popular New York clubs as Caroline's and Catch a Rising Star.
By 1989, Behar's playful sense of humor had gained her a steady following on the comedy circuit, and she was granted her own One Night Stand special on HBO. It was this performance, as well as bit roles in such films as the Jon Cryer comedy Hiding Out, the Peter Falk action comedy Cookie, and the short-lived sitcom Baby Boom that first served to expose the rising star to a wide audience. In 1993, Behar appeared in the Woody Allen comedy Manhattan Murder Mystery, with subsequent appearances on such television talk shows as The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Tony Danza Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Late Night with Conan O'Brien -- as well as a stint hosting a popular WABC radio call-in show -- helping to prepare her for her own role as a live-television-show host on The View.
When The View debuted in 1997, Behar co-hosted only on days when Barbara Walters was not present, but it didn't take long for her to become a regular member of the show (expanding the panel from four women to five) -- her likable and laid-back demeanor making her the ideal candidate to exchange banter with co-hosts such as Meredith Vieira, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Lisa Ling, Rosie O'Donnell, Star Jones, and Whoopi Goldberg. Nominated for Daytime Emmy Awards every year since 1998, The View's playful mix of gossip and discussion made it a favorite amongst female television viewers -- the occasional clash between co-hosts only serving to spice things up and spike the ratings.