While Emmy-winning Survivor producer and host Jeff Probst (born November 4th, 1962) has occasionally taken a seat besides Kelly Ripa on Live with Regis and Kelly and even directed his own award-winning feature film, chances are that when all is said and done, the role he'll be best remembered for is that of the firm but fair host who snuffed out more than his share of torches on the popular competitive reality show that made him a household name. Over the years, the Wichita native has traveled to China, Fiji, Thailand, the Australian outback, and numerous other locales to test the fortitude of contestants who think they can tough it out in the wilderness, and through it all he has emerged as one of the most prominent emcees on the small screen. In 2001, Probst made the transition into feature films as the director of Finder's Fee -- a drama concerning a man who finds a wallet with a winning lottery ticket. The recipient of the Best Film award at the 2001 Seattle International Film Festival, Finder's Fee sported an impressive cast that included Ryan Reynolds, Matthew Lillard, Robert Forster, and James Earl Jones.
Biography by Jason Buchanan
- Lettered in golf in high school.
- Ordained as a minister in 1999 by the Universal Life Church of Modesto, CA.
- Hosted the VH1 game show Rock & Roll Jeopardy.
- First heard about the CBS reality competition Survivor while driving around Los Angeles listening to a radio interview with producer Mark Burnett.
- Collected numerous awards for his 2001 film, Finder's Fee, including Best Director and Best Picture at the Seattle International Film Festival.
- Founded the Serpentine Project, which is devoted to helping young adults in foster care, in 2007.
- Won the inaugural Emmy for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program in 2008 for Survivor, and took the prize again in 2009 and 2010.
- Officiated the July 3, 2010, wedding of good friends Jenna Fischer and Lee Kirk.
- Is a spokesperson for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.