Early in her career she performed as half of the comedy team of "Joanie and Bill". "Bill" was former actor William Perry (1936-2006) who was the nephew of actress Toby Wing.
Early in her career, she was a writer for TV's "Candid Camera" (1953).
Educated at Barnard College, New York, New York; studied English and anthropology; B.A. (1954).
About 1982, she was appointed the first permanent guest hostess on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962). She infuriated Johnny Carson when she left to host her own show, "The Late Show" (1986) on rival Fox network. Johnny Carson never spoke to her again.
She had her first cosmetic surgery procedure (an eye-lift) in 1965 at age 32.
She had her nose thinned in 1983.
She won an Daytime Emmy in 1990 for best talk show host and was nominated for a Tony Award for the play "Donna Marr and her escorts" in 1994. She was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording in 1985.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1994 Tony Award as Best Actress (Play) for portraying the title character, Sally Marr, in "Sally Marr...and Her Escorts."
Hosted daily talk show on WOR-AM radio in New York City from 1997 until 2002, syndicated to about 50 stations.
Was one of the final guests to appear on "The Wayne Brady Show" (2002).