Born Starlet Marie Jones in Badin, NC, on March 24, 1962, and raised both there and in Trenton, NJ, the African-American reporter, legal expert, news correspondent, and talk-show powerhouse Star Jones attended Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, NJ, and graduated in 1980. She subsequently enrolled in Washington, D.C.'s American University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts, and the University of Houston Law Center, where she earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence.
Around 1991, Jones was doubling up her in-court work with broadcast turns when the then newly established Court TV brought her on board to comment on William Kennedy Smith's rape trial. This led, in time, to guest appearances as a pundit on NBC's long-running Today Show, and Jones parlayed those spots into a full-time position as the legal correspondent for Today and the NBC Nightly News, where her job involved discussing the legal technicalities and ramifications of the O.J. Simpson and Rodney King trials on the air. Jones' enormous success commenting on the Simpson case landed her a new syndicated series, Jones & Jury, and in 1995 she became the senior correspondent and chief legal analyst for Inside Edition, offering exhaustive insights into the Simpson case. In fact, during this period, she became the only reporter, per se, to interview Simpson during his civil trial.
In 1997, Jones and Barbara Walters teamed up to create The View, a daytime talk show aimed expressly at women, which they co-hosted, alongside such television notables as Meredith Vieira, Joy Behar, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. The program involves the aforementioned women sitting around a table and openly discussing social issues relevant to women. It received the 2003 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show.
After nine seasons with The View, Jones was terminated by the show's producers circa 2006, allegedly for excessive discussion of her own wedding on the program, and for violating network policy by promoting companies, on the air, that supplied goods and services for the wedding. Later, Jones debuted as a film actress, opposite Danny DeVito, Kathy Bates and Ron Livingston, in the straight-to-video Relative Strangers. She had previously worked as a television actress in such popular series as All My Children, Strong Medicine, Soul Food, Sports Night, and Less Than Perfect.
Though obese for years, Jones underwent a tremendous weight-loss procedure, to such a degree that she was not only slim and lithe, but virtually unrecognizable. She married banker Al Scales Reynolds on November 13, 2004. The couple divided their time between Manhattan and East Hampton, NY. Jones is also the author of two books, the essay collection You Have to Stand for Something or You'll Fall for Anything (1998) and Shine: A Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Journey to Finding Love (2006).