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Steven J Filatro

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Though few reality television series stars actually parlayed their 15 minutes of fame into a lasting career, Elisabeth Hasselbeck was the exception that proved the rule when she maintained her stardom as one of four hosts on the popular morning talk show "The View" (ABC, 1997- ). Prior to her extended stint on the female-centric gabber, Hasselbeck had initially gained national attention as a contestant on the 2001 "Australian Outback" edition of "Survivor" (CBS, 2000- ), where she managed to survive to a fourth place finish on the show. Thanks to the notoriety received from the popular reality program, as well as her marriage to backup quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, she turned her brush with celebrity into something more lasting. But during her time on "The View," Hasselbeck's stridently conservative views bristled audiences, guests and even fellow co-hosts alike, often resulting in on-air sparring matches where she was often the lone voice for her opinions. Regardless of the unpopularity of most of her views, Hasselbeck managed to make a strong impression while also being a notable proponent for breast cancer awareness, making her a bit more complex than met the eye.Born on May 28, 1977 in Cranston,...

Though few reality television series stars actually parlayed their 15 minutes of fame into a lasting career, Elisabeth Hasselbeck was the exception that proved the rule when she maintained her stardom as one of four hosts on the popular morning talk show "The View" (ABC, 1997- ). Prior to her extended stint on the female-centric gabber, Hasselbeck had initially gained national attention as a contestant on the 2001 "Australian Outback" edition of "Survivor" (CBS, 2000- ), where she managed to survive to a fourth place finish on the show. Thanks to the notoriety received from the popular reality program, as well as her marriage to backup quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, she turned her brush with celebrity into something more lasting. But during her time on "The View," Hasselbeck's stridently conservative views bristled audiences, guests and even fellow co-hosts alike, often resulting in on-air sparring matches where she was often the lone voice for her opinions. Regardless of the unpopularity of most of her views, Hasselbeck managed to make a strong impression while also being a notable proponent for breast cancer awareness, making her a bit more complex than met the eye.

Born on May 28, 1977 in Cranston, R.I, Hasselbeck was raised by her father, Kenneth Filarski, an architect, and her mother, Elizabeth, a lawyer for the state Supreme Court. Athletic in her youth, Hasselbeck played on a state championship-winning softball team with St Mary's Academy Bay-View, an all-girls Catholic School from which she graduated in 1995. She went on to attend Boston College, where she captained her Division 1 softball team in two Big East championships and also met future journeyman quarterback Tim Hasselbeck. After her graduating in 1999 with a fine arts degree, Hasselbeck traveled to Belize to be a teacher and later found herself learning design in Italy before returning home to put her designer skills to work with Puma shoes. It was during this time that she made her first foray into television by hosting The Style Network's "Stylemakers" series from 1999 to 2002. In 2001, she was selected to join 15 other contestants in the Australian Outback for the second season of "Survivor." A physically and mentally competitive player, Hasselbeck lasted until the final four, but was bested by eventual survivor Tina Wesson.

Following her "Survivor" experience, the pretty blonde returned to television, first as the host of another Style Network series, "The Look for Less" (2002-06) and several MTV programs, before being featured in commercials for Procter & Gamble and Reebok. After marrying Tim in 2002, she replaced departing Lisa Ling on the perennial morning talk show "The View" (ABC, 1997- ) in 2003. The selection process was played out on-air, with Hasselbeck and fellow host hopefuls Rachel Campos and Erin Hershey co-hosting the show on a trial basis for a week. In the end, a sort of tribal council vote from the other hosts won her the job. Hired to provide the program's newly vacated twenty-something perspective, Hasselbeck also contributed a conservative side to the predominately liberal-leanings of fellow co-hosts, Meredith Vieira, Star Jones and Joy Behar. In 2004, she became something of an official Republican poster child after speaking at the Republican National Convention, where she addressed her other main passion, the prevention of breast cancer. Hasselbeck worked with several charities during her tenure on "The View," including The Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and the World Scholar-Athlete Games.

In 2004, a joyful Hasselbeck announced to viewers she was pregnant, and in early 2005, gave birth to daughter, Grace Elisabeth. After a brief maternity leave, she returned to "The View" and was also honored by her alma mater with the Boston College Distinguished Alumni Award. Later she gave birth to son Taylor in 2007 and another son Isaiah in 2009. Meanwhile, she began generating waves for her increasingly hard-right political views, clashing with her co-hosts in 2006 over the morning-after pill, stating that all liberals cared about was rape and incest. The following year, she battled new host Rosie O'Donnell over the Iraq War, which Hasselbeck supported, and again fought over the issue of abortion, this time with Whoopi Goldberg. Often criticized for parroting right-wing talking points spouted by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, Hasselbeck countered by declaring that she was a political independent and not affiliated with the Republican Party. Doubts over such claims were confirmed when she showed up at a political rally to introduce vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in Florida just days before the 2008 election.

Aside from her numerous breast cancer awareness initiatives, Hasselbeck also revealed that she was living with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that causes chronic pain and fatigue. She wrote a best-selling book, The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide (2009), though a self-published author sued, claiming that Hasselbeck had plagiarized her novel. Ultimately the lawsuit was dropped when the plaintiff's attorney declined to pursue the matter further. Meanwhile, Hasselbeck was again in the middle of a political scrum when she confronted Bill Maher over a joke he made on "Real Time with Bill Maher" (HBO, 2003- ) about sending her to Egypt in exchange for Lara Logan, who had been brutally attacked and sexually assaulted. Hasselbeck challenged him while he was a guest on "The View," with an atypically subdued Maher defended his joke as his stock in trade. Naturally, her direct confrontation did little to stem the tide of anti-Hasselbeck jokes on his show. Following relative quiet, Hasselbeck was again in the news in early 2013 when she became the subject of a rumored firing after co-host Joy Behar announced her departure. Speculation that Hasselbeck was being fired because of her political views bristling the audience were brushed aside by co-host Barbara Walters, but news spread soon after that producers were indeed trying to coax her into leaving her contract early due to changing social acceptance of those things that Hasselbeck still spoke out openly against each morning.

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