Claim to fame: actor, comedian, game show host
DOB: May 23, 1958
Diabetes type: 2
Quote: “I’m Drew Carey, and yes, I have lost weight. Thanks for asking.”
Drew Carey was a marching-band trumpet and coronet player at Rhodes High School. He enrolled at Kent State University after graduating high school in 1975, joined the Delta Tau fraternity, and became an avid board-game player. Still battling depression, Carey had difficulty with focus, and couldn’t decide on a major. By his junior year of college, Carey had been expelled twice from Kent State, and attempted suicide at least once.
With the aim of pursuing a career as a stand-up comedian, Carey dropped out of college. His depression worsened as he traveled across the country, trying his luck in the stand-up business. He attempted suicide again in his early twenties, and returned home to Cleveland to voraciously consume self-help books.
Carey signed himself up for the Marine Corps Reserve in 1980, believing the armed forces would provide the structure he had been craving. It was there that Carey developed mentally and physically during his six-year tenure. This period also helped to develop Carey’s signature look: thick black standard-issue glasses and a military buzz cut.
Childhood friend, actor, and radio personality David Lawrence contacted Carey in 1986, asking Carey to help him write comedy bits for a morning radio show. Carey gained more confidence because of his contributions to the show, and as a result, he began to make the rounds on the local comedy circuit. Only a few months later, he won a competition at the Cleveland Comedy Club, and began working as their regular emcee. He made two notable appearances on the TV talent show Star Search the following year. Carey continued to perform as much as possible over the next few years, often traveling between Ohio and Los Angeles. In 1991, he made a celebrity-making appearance on The Tonight Show, where he earned the respect of host Johnny Carson.
ABC gave Carey a shot at his own sitcom—The Drew Carey Show—which debuted in 1995 and was a ratings favorite. In 1997, Carey published his autobiography, Dirty Jokes and Beer: Stories of the Unrefined, which chronicled his hard-partying, adult-entertainment-enjoying side. The book helped establish Carey’s bad-boy persona, and became a New York Times bestseller list mainstay. In 1998, Carey began hosting Whose Line Is It, Anyway?—a wildly popular improv show that featured comedians like Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady, and Colin Mochrie. Carey took the show’s members on the road in 2001, billing the group as “The Improv All-Stars.”
In 2002, Carey was chosen as the host for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and in 2004, The Drew Carey Show wrapped up, followed shortly by the ending of Whose Line Is It, Anyway? in 2006. During this downtime, Carey developed a passion for sports photography, specifically in the area of soccer. Then, in 2007, Carey was tapped to helm The Power of 10, the CBS game show, and was handpicked to replace Bob Barker as the host of the long-running The Price is Right. Carey proposed to his girlfriend, Nicole Jaracz, that same year.
In 2010, while announcing to the world that he felt he was a good fit for the host of The Price is Right, Carey revealed a healthier version of himself after dropping eighty pounds. He was able to stop taking diabetes medication after his weight loss. At fifty-two years old, Carey had gone from a size forty-four pants to a size thirty-three/thirty-four with diet and exercise.