Pat O'Brien is a celebrated American sports commentator and television show host. He is perhaps best known as a sportscaster with CBS from 1981 to 1997 and as an entrainment anchor/host of “Access Hollywood” from 1997 to 2004 and “The Inside” from 2004 to 2008. He also made appearances as himself in the films “Big Fat Liar” (2002) and “Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” (2004). O'Brien wrote a book titled “Talkin' Sports: A B.S.-er's Guide” in 1998. He is set to release an autobiography in 2011.
In March 2005, O'Brien announced he had entered rehab for alcohol addiction. Around that same time, he created scandal when he allegedly left inappropriate voice mail messages on a coworker's cell phone. After being fired from “The Insider,” O'Brien again checked into rehab for a second time in 2008.
O'Brien is engaged to Betsy Hoyt Stephens, a clothing and accessories designer. He has one son with his wife Linda (married in 1973, filed for divorce in 2004).
Childhood and Family:
Pat O'Brien was born on February 14, 1948, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He graduated from Washington High School in 1966 and then attended the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he majored in government and was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He completed college in 1970. Pat also studied international economics at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
On July 7, 1973, Pat married his wife Linda. In August 2004, Pat filed for divorce. The couple has a son named Sean.
From 1964 to 1967, Pat O'Brien was a member of the Sioux Falls area band Dale Gregory and the Shouters, and later, on April 25, 2010, he was inducted into the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the band. His television and radio career began when he landed work with KSOO TV-Radio in Sioux Falls. After graduating from college in 1970, he was employed as a researcher at NBC in Washington, D.C. and served as a production assistant on the Emmy Award wining television news series “The Huntley-Brinkley Report,” which ran on NBC from 1956 to 1970. He went on to serve as an anchor and reporter for WMAQ-TV in Chicago until 1977. He then moved to Los Angeles to work with KCBS-TV (formerly known as KNXT-TV).
O'Brien's big break arrived in 1981 when he was hired as a sportscaster with CBS Sports, a gig he would hold until 1997. While at CBS, he covered the World Series, NBA Finals, the Super Bowl, the Final Four, the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, and NCAA Football Championship. He also covered two Olympic Games (1992 and 1994) for the network and was a regular on the sports series “The NFL Today” (1990) with Terry Bradshaw, Lesley Visser and Greg Gumbel. In 1996, he served as an announcer on VH1's “Fairway to Heaven.”
O'Brien left CBS to become the host of the syndicated television entertainment news program “Access Hollywood” and was on the show from 1997 to 2004. His co-hosts included Giselle Fernandez until 1999 and Nancy O'Dell through 2004. While on the show, O'Brien also covered the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney for NBC. He did the same duty for 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece (both also for NBC). In 2001, he made a cameo appearance in the P. Diddy music video for “Bad Boy For Life.” He also provided the voice of Mr. Motivation in an episode of “The Twilight Zone” called “Mr. Motivation” (2002). In early 2003, he served as a fill-in for Casey Kasem three times on Kasem's radio programs “American Top 40” and “American Top 20.”
After leaving “Access Hollywood,” O'Brien served as the lead host of “The Insider,” a spin-off of “Entertainment Tonight” that premiered on September 13, 2004. He remained the host until March 2008 when he was replaced by Donny Osmond. However, he returned to the show a month later but was permanently removed from the show on September 18, 2008, after writing a controversial e-mail to co-workers. O'Brien also made other appearances and in 2006, hosted the night edition of the 2006 U.S. Open Tennis Championships for CBS Sports.
On August 18, 2010, O'Brien joined Steve Hartman and Vic “The Brick” Jacobs on the “Loose Cannons” show on Fox Sports Radio. He is also scheduled to appear in director Peter Atencio’s comedy “Hot Package.”