Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Name: Kris Jenner
Birthdate: November 5, 1955
Famous Years: 2007-Present
Currently Known For: Continued Reality Television Career, Businesswoman
|Networth: $80 Million||Famous For: Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kris|
November 5, 1955
Continued Reality Television Career, Businesswoman
Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kris
Getting to a status of fame doesn’t include a roadmap that shows you the standard way of becoming a star. Perhaps nobody knows that better than Kris Jenner, who has become one of the biggest stars in reality television history thanks to being the matriarch of the family that people can’t seem to stop talking about.
Born in San Diego as Kristen Houghton on November 5, 1955 and bounced around the state for a while in her youth before graduating from high school in the early 1970s and working odd jobs here and there, including as a flight attendant. Then, she’d meet Robert Kardashian, a lawyer that had been a friend of former football player O.J. Simpson.
Then, in the early 1990s, around 15 years after they’d been married, Simpson was accused of murder in what would be perhaps the biggest trial of the past 50 years. The entire trial was a media circus, and everybody involved would become known, including the Kardashians as Robert served as a lawyer on the defense.
The marriage would result in four children, whom you’re likely familiar with these days. Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Rob, Jr. were all born during their marriage, and all have been featured in reality television. In fact, they’ve all had their own spin-offs over the past few years.
After her divorce from Kardashian, Jenner quickly started a relationship with former Olympic gold medal winner Bruce Jenner back in 1991. At the time, Kris herself was more of an unknown despite her marriage to a notable lawyer, but certainly had a job throughout the 1990s. She was working as the manager for Bruce Jenner’s career, as he was making many different personal appearances and public speaking events as a former athlete.
When people started to take interest in Jenner’s daughter Kim, there was an idea from Ryan Seacrest to get the entire family on-air in a reality television setting. Seacrest was working with a casting director named Deena Katz who came to the Kardashian-Jenner home for dinner. “Everyone was talking about ‘The Osbournes’ (at the time), and I said to my development executive, ‘Let’s try to find something in this world and take it to (the E! Network),’” said Seacrest.
Kris was very much involved in the development of the show as the matriarch, saying “In order for this to work, yes, there’s a glitz and glamour, but there’s got to be honesty and vulnerability. We need to make a pact that the show won’t just be pretty pictures...I sat everyone down and said, ‘If we’re going to do this, we have to be all in. We have to really be who we are.”
With that, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” would debut on E! In 2007, and the show was an instant success. Jenner did much of the work in making sure that the family was not only promoting themselves and building an empire, but also wanted to protect them. When social media really started to ramp up toward the beginning of the show, Jenner encouraged her children to get involved to increase interest.
It was a big success, but it wasn’t all positive online. “People write and say the nastiest things and they’ve never met you,” she said. “They have miserable lives, they have no direction, and probably no job...It always shocks me when I see such stupidity and really toxic energy.”
Even with a fair share of critics, nothing could slow down the success that the show was having, and the impact it was having on Jenner’s life. Jenner became the manager for herself, as well as the other members of her family, showing that she’s been very savvy with the business. There’s been piles of endorsements for the family, which has made all of them millionaires.
“It doesn’t mean that we’re always looking for more or that we’re greedy,” she said. “There’s a lot of people that have great ideas and dreams and whatnot, but unless you’re willing to work really, really hard and work for what you want, it’s never going to happen. And that’s what’s so great about the girls. It’s all about their work ethic.”
Jenner couldn’t have seen the kind of success that she and her family was going to have someday. “I am living my dream because I get to work with my kids and watch them find their happiness,” she said. “It’s so rewarding - we brainstorm around a conference table and have a really great time doing it.”
There doesn’t quite seem to be an end in sight for the reality series surrounding Jenner and her family. In fact, it’s already the longest running reality series on television thanks to its huge popularity, and basically the flagship show for the E! Network. Jenner no longer has to appear on the show for people to know who she is, but it certainly doesn’t help the brand. With television and a business career to focus on, Jenner knows all about marketing herself, and has done so to perfection over the past decade.