An outstanding sports broadcaster in America, news anchor, movie producer, and ex-restaurateur, Jim Lampley has spent three decades as a network television sportscaster and created a wide range of credits in television, radio, movies and on the Internet. He collected three Emmy Awards for his engagement on the magazine show “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” (HBO, 1995), and currently is best recalled for his work on the “HBO Boxing” show, from which he was nominated for an Emmy in 2005. In addition to HBO, Lampley also has worked for major networks such as CBS, NBC and ABC. Lampley's successful career on TV has earned him opportunities to appear in various films, most recently Rocky Balboa (2006) and Blades of Glory (2007). As a movie producer, Lampley and his former wife Bree Walker run a prospering entertainment production company called Crystal Spring Productions, which has generated a handful of movies, including the 2000 Welcome to Hollywood. He is also the co-founder of the newly established Knockout Pictures with filmmaker Ron Shelton and his partners.
As for his personal life, Lampley was married to Bree Walker from 1990 to 1999 and has two children with her. On January 3, 2007, he was arrested by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department for abuse against fiancée Candice Sanders, Miss California USA 2003. A restraining order was issued, but in February 2007, he was accused of breaking the restraining order by being within 100 yards of the apartment. After pleading no contest, Lampley was sentenced to 3 year’s probation, received a fine, entered a domestic violence counseling program and preformed 40 hours of community service. On one occasion, Bree Walker publicly stated, “Jim has been a wonderful father to all four of his kids and has been a generous husband and ex-husband. Any charges of battery would surprise me.”
Father of 4
Childhood and Family:
Jim Lampley was born on April 8, 1949, in Hendersonville, North Carolina. He graduated from the University of North Carolina.
In 1990, he married former TV anchor Bree Walker, but they divorced in 1999 after having two children, daughter Andrea and son Aaron. Jim and Bree are partners in Crystal Spring Productions, a successful movie production company in Hollywood. On June 3, 2004, they disclosed their plans to remarry on “Larry King Live,” but they remain separated as of spring 2007. The father of four, he also has two daughters from other relationships.
Jim Lampley launched his broadcasting career in 1974 when he was selected from a talent search to help start a new program called “College Age Reporter” on ABC’s national telecasts of college football. He went on to work with ABC, covering such events as baseball games, the 1986-1987 Indianapolis 500 and five Olympics, in addition to the program Wide World of Sports. In 1985, he teamed up with Al Michaels to anchor the ABC coverage of Super Bowl XIX.
In 1987, after leaving ABC, Lampley found a new home with CBS, in which he was responsible for anchoring sport news on the daily news show in Los Angeles. He also served as a sport’s correspondent for “CBS This Morning” in New York. The same year, he also began his affiliation with HBO by taking over the boxing fights and HBO's annual televised program of Wimbledon. Later, Lampley attended the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics as a news anchor for KCBS-TV. Despite his hectic TV schedule, he managed to pursue other projects, among them hosting sport talk shows for the WFAN radio station in New York and KMPC in Los Angeles.
Lampley moved from CBS to NBC in 1992. He helped cover the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, as well as took over hosting golf and NFL football in 1993 and 1994. Before the Atlanta games, in 1995, Lampley lent his reporting talent for the HBO magazine show “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” and for his participation on that program, Lampley was handed three Emmy Awards, two for Best Sports Journalism and one for his writing. In 1998, he anchored the Nagano Olympics and the Goodwill Games for Turner Sports. In 2000, he flew to Sydney to cover the Olympic Games for NBC.
In 2004, Lampley appeared as a NBC daytime host in Athens for the Summer Olympics, which marked his twelfth Olympic assignment as a broadcaster for the studio, as well as anchored the USA Network's coverage of the Games. His affiliation with NBC continued in 2006, when he was assigned as a correspondent for the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Lampley is also set to cover the Summer Games in Beijing in 2008, again for NBC.
Having worked for various studios, Lampley may be best known to sports fans as a commentator on the “HBO World Championship Boxing” show, in which he now works alongside Larry Merchant and Emanuel Steward. In his long-term tenure with the show, he has had the chance to call over three hundred championship fights, and for his participation in that telecast in 2004, he was nominated for a 2005 Emmy for the Best Play By Play. However, the success is not without cost. Many audience members criticized Lampley for allegedly being prejudiced in favor of certain HBO “house fighters.” On the other hand, many still enjoy his personal appeal and magnetic voice. Lampley also hosted a show titled “Legendary Nights” in 2004.
Already popular as a sports broadcaster, Lampley branched out to producing and through his Crystal Spring Productions company, he has enjoyed such releases as Welcome to Hollywood (2000), The Last Game (2002, TV) and Race Across America (2005, TV). The company has plans of producing a film about tennis player Pancho Gonzalez, with Benjamin Bratt in the title role. Along with his partners, Lampley also joined noted filmmaker Ron Shelton to create a new company called Knockout Pictures, which will focus on the making sports-based entertainment ventures for both TV and motion picture distribution. The newly established company is already talking over video rights to the world's biggest unexposed room of classic big fight movies. Lampley also has launched an acting career of his own. He has been featured as an announcer in films like Challenge of a Lifetime (1985, TV) and The Comrades of Summer (1992, TV), and more recently, in 2006, portrayed himself in the movie Rocky Balboa. He again appeared as himself in the sport-themed hit film Blades of Glory (2007), starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder.
In addition to TV, film and radio, Lampley also has ventured to the Internet, where he showed his political opposition to George W. Bush on the Huffington Post website. Adding to his business credits, Lampley once owned two restaurants in Utah, both of which were called “The Lakota Restaurant and Bar.”
Emmy: For Writing, Real Sports
Emmy: Best Sports Journalism, Real Sports
Emmy: Best Sports Journalism, Real Sports