By New York Natives Staff


Joy Behar (Josephina Victoria Occhiuto)

Born: October 7, 1942, Brooklyn, New York

Occupation: Comedian, TV Host, and Actress

Marital Status: Joe Behar (Divorced), Married to Steve Janowitz

Children: Eve Behar

Education: Queens College, State University of New York at Stony Brook


“I am comfortable with myself, and this is how I am. I am not really interested in having an acrimonious fight with somebody.”

-Joy Behar


Joy Behar has to be one of the bravest, or at least daring people in television. She completely changed her life around to pursue her dream of being a comedian. She flew against convention, and worked towards the realization of a dream. That takes some serious… guts.

Behar was born Josephina Victyoria Occhiuto in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. After graduating from SUNY Stony Brook, Behar worked as a junior high school English teacher until she nearly died from an ectopic pregnancy in 1979. This near death experience compelled Behar to follow her dream of being a comedian. She would go on to get a job as a receptionist at the morning talk show Good Morning America.

Behar would enjoy professional success as she began performing in New York City nightclubs, but would have to go through a divorce and a custody battle for her ten-year-old daughter, Eve. She would perform at such well-known clubs as Caroline’s and Catch a Rising Star, and eventually land her own Lifetime series, Way Off Broadway. Unfortunately it only ran for one season.

She would star in a number of movies over the following years including Cookie, This is My Life, and Manhattan Murder Mystery. She also found success on the stage as part of the cast of the popular Off Broadway hit, The Food Chain, and as member of the cast of The Vagina Monologues.

Behar won the role she is most known for in 1997. Behar became one of the cohosts on the new ABC daily morning talk show, The View, along with Barbara Streisand, Star Jones, Meredith Vieira, and Debbie Matenopolous, who later replaced by Lisa Ling. It featured five women from different backgrounds in an informal settling talking about current events. It became extremely popular, even earning Emmy nominations for Outstanding Daytime Talk Show.

Featured Image Courtesy of The Daily Beast

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