Host/Segment Producer: FashionTelevision & FashionTelevisionChannel
Jeanne BekerBorn in Toronto, Jeanne Beker began her career in show business at the age of 16 and since then has never looked back. A mother of two teenage girls and fashion guru extraordinaire, today, Jeanne is one of the most iconic and influential women in the fashion industry both here at home and around the world.
Jeanne first landed a recurring role on a CBC sitcom called TOBY in 1968. At 19, after playing a mixed bag of characters on various Canadian and US productions, she headed for New York City to study at the celebrated Herbert Berghoff Studio. One year later, she returned to Toronto and entered the Theatre program at York University.
Afterwards, Jeanne went to Paris and studied mime with Marcel Marceau's teacher, the great Etienne Decroux. In a strange turn of events, she found herself living in Newfoundland circa 1975, the only professional mime artist in the province. Not wanting to risk the chance of starving in a garret, (to say nothing of the fact that mimes weren't in great demand at the time), she landed a gig with CBC radio reporting on arts and entertainment, regionally and for the network.
Three years later, Jeanne returned to Toronto once again, this time to work for 1050 CHUM, producing daily lifestyle and entertainment features for the radio station. It was in 1978, the year CHUM bought Citytv and the station was eager to produce a music magazine-style show that Jeanne was brought onboard to co-star in what became the groundbreaking, award-winning The NewMusic (winner of an Iris Award in 1984).
One year later, Jeanne became an entertainment anchor and reporter for the station's news program CityPulse, while continuing her duties at The NewMusic. When MuchMusic was launched in 1984, Jeanne was also there, anchoring Rockflash segments. Growing a little weary of the intense diet of rock 'n' roll in 1985, she jumped at the chance to host FashionTelevision, which became the station’s most widely syndicated show, with viewers across Canada and in over 120 countries across the globe. Today, FT is still the most accessible fashion program in the world!
In addition, Jeanne helped pioneer fashion on the Internet with American communications giant MCI, when she became editorial director of @fashion in 1995 – the web's first fashion site. And with fashiontelevision.com hitting the one million mark of podcasts downloaded per month, people around the world now have 24-hour access to Jeanne and episodes from the world’s leading fashion series.
Never one to rest for too long, Jeanne is the editor-in-chief for FQ Magazine and SIR Magazine and a regular featured columnist with The Globe and Mail – Canada’s National Newspaper. She also co-executive produces the documentary Cover Stories (airing on FashionTelevisionChannel), which gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the business side of running her magazines.
Jeanne is also a published author with her autobiography Jeanne Unbottled: Adventures in High Style, The Big Night Out (her first book for young adults who want to look their best) and Passion for Fashion: Careers in Style (a comprehensive career guide for those who dream of breaking into the fashion industry due out Spring of 2008).
Jeanne’s design credits include a limited time only clothing line launched in 2001 at Eaton’s department stores across Canada, followed by a line of body wear (titled Inside Out), sold exclusively at Sears Canada in the fall of 2003.
Jeanne is also a judge on Canada's Next Top Model, a popular Canadian reality series in which aspiring model hopefuls are taught the ins and outs of the modeling world, as they compete for the grand prize. Jeanne also adds Style Correspondent to her resume, sharing her passion for fashion and insider industry knowledge with recurring spots on CTV’s Canada AM and eTalk.
Recognized by numerous organizations for her ongoing community involvement and influence in the fashion world, Jeanne was highly praised by Fashion Group International for her impact on the fashion industry and accepted the Vantage Women of Originality Award (awarded to women who are pioneers in their chosen field). She was also the recipient of the Variety Club Diamond Award and received the prestigious Crystal Jury Award in 2006 from Women in Film and Television, for her exceptional achievements in Canadian television. Past Honorary Chair of Toronto’s Annual Fashion Cares, Jeanne currently sits on the honorary board for Gilda’s Club Greater Toronto.