This Is Your Life (1952–1961)

TV Series  |   |  Biography, Family, Reality-TV
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Each week, an unsuspecting celebrity would be lured by some ruse to a location near the studio. The celebrity would then be surprised with the news that they are to be the featured guest. ... See full summary »


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Title: This Is Your Life (1952–1961)

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Previous Episode

Thursday, August 24, 1961
Unnamed Episode dated 24 August 1961
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2   1   Unknown  
1961   1960   1959   1958   … See all »
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

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Complete series cast summary:
 Himself - Host / ... (51 episodes, 1952-1961)


Each week, an unsuspecting celebrity would be lured by some ruse to a location near the studio. The celebrity would then be surprised with the news that they are to be the featured guest. Next, the celebrity was escorted into the studio, and one by one, people who were significant in the guest's life would be brought out to offer anecdotes. At the end of the show, family members and friends would surround the guest, who would then be presented with gifts. These usually included jewelry, a scrapbook of memories, a home 16 mm projector and a camera. Written by Thomas McWilliams <>

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Release Date:

1 October 1952 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Actress Ann Sheridan's biography was canceled because she found out in advance what was being planned. See more »

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User Reviews

THIS IS YOUR LIFE .....Joe McDoakes!!
30 April 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

LONG BEFORE THE term "Reality Series" became a highly overused word and classification for Television series types, we had what was truly a reality show. Although it was obviously planned and laid out before hand,there was no "rehearsal"; as the subject to be honored was truly not in on the gag. The show was a complete surprise; making this a true Reality Series.

THERE IS NO doubt that this weekly garnered enough support over the years of its run(s); for it continued to return, resurfacing in several reincarnations. The format never really changed and it didn't need to. For after all, "Why fix it if it ain't broke?"

THE SUBJECTS WHOSE lives were portrayed included those from mostly well-known from the worlds of Public Life (politics), Show Business & Entertainment and Sports. Naturally it appears that those in the Movies, on the Stage, on Radio and Television comprised the greatest single category of honorees.

THE ORIGINAL HOST and creator was Ralph Edwards; a man known to so many generations of listeners/viewers on both Radio and Television. His career spanned several eras; dating back to the original Radio version of TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES right down to the contemporary PEOPLES COURT. Mr. Edwards life spanned 1913-2005 and he was quite active up to the end.

PERHAPS NO GREATER tribute can be afforded to any work in any field than to be copied or even more so spoofed. In the case of THIS IS YOUR LIFE, a fine lampoon of it is included in the film, A FACE IN THRE CROWD (Warner Brothers, 1957). In it Lonesome Rhodes (Andy Griffith) is the subject of the show, which is called "YOU LIVED IT!"

WHETHER ONE CONSIDERS this show as being the electronic equivalence of those supermarket tabloid papers or find it to be a quality show, worthy of even the highly 'artistic' and worthwhile PDS; one thing is for sure. It was one of those rarities in the popular culture; being an original and one of a kind.

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