Chris Harrison, the beloved host of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and spin-off summer hit Bachelor in Paradise, has one of the best jobs in the world. He’s the dependable face of comfort to all the contestants who come on the reality dating show looking for love, and for viewers watching at home, he’s the one constant presence throughout every one of the 40-plus cycles of the Bachelor Nation series.
The 47-year-old from Dallas, Texas has now been hosting ABC’s historic franchise show for so long, he can pretty much do it in his sleep. Sometimes, appears on camera to mentor a particularly struggling Bachelor or Bachelorette, but mostly he just pops onscreen when it’s time say “this is the final rose tonight,” – yes, it’s that incredibly simple. But you know what? He’s great at it.
For someone who’s synonymous with a production in which people are expected to be highly vulnerable, open to revealing their biggest fears when it comes to love, and willing to introduce their family to the world if he or she makes it to the Hometown Dates, Harrison never brings up his own personal life as fodder for the series. He doesn’t give advice to contestants by bringing up his divorce from ex-wife Gwen Jones, who he was married to for 18 years and shares two children, Joshua and Taylor. Harrison also never mentions his father, brother or new girlfriend.
As host of the most popular dating series in America, it’s impressive how Harrison’s been able to keep his dating life private. And while Harrison proudly posts photos of his now teenage children, he does so in a way that also protects their personal privacy. So, who are the people in Harrison’s life he holds most dear? Here’s what you need to know…
1. His Mother Mary Beth Harrison has her Own Successful Career
“Never in a million years” did Harrison’s mother Mary Beth see her son becoming the host of dating show, “but once you start watching, you just can’t stop!” she said. However, Mary Beth doesn’t spend her entire life living vicariously through her son on TV, she works as a successful agent with Dallas Native Team/David Perry-Miller Real Estate in Texas, and spends her free time volunteering as a teacher at Woodcreek Church in Dallas.
2. Chris is Not Related to Richard Harrison from ‘Pawn Stars’
This is quite confusing since the former star of the History Channel’s hit series, Richard Harrison also has a son named Chris Harrison, but the two reality TV personalities are not related. Richard Harrison passed away in June 2018 at age 77 after after battling Parkinson’s disease, and while his will included sons Joseph and Rick, son Chris was omitted in 2017 for reasons not released to the public.
As for The Bachelor Chris Harrison’s real father Steve, little is known or written about him. Harrison’s dad used to work at a clothing store named Ken’s Men Shop, a staple in the Dallas community during the 70s and 80s, andChris recalls visiting him and seeing members of the Dallas Cowboys shopping there. “On off days, my brother and I would go in there [and] Tony Dorsett, Charlie Waters, Randy White — all those guys would come into the shop,” Harrison told Guide Live. “Those were our heroes back in the day.”
Little is also known about Chris’s older brother, Glenn. Aside from Mary Beth mentioning him in her 2016 interview with Guide Live, this tweet response to a now deleted photo is the only other evidence he exists. Of course, such secrecy is in no way indicative of the status of their relationship. Chris and his brother could be tight as thieves, and he’s merely abiding by Glenn’s wishes to be kept out of the public eye.
It seems Chris and Glenn enjoyed a fun childhood with their Dad and that their father reciprocated those feelings back, describing The Bachelor host as “a good guy.” But Steve’s marriage with their mother has since ended. Mary Beth’s relationship status on Facebook reads “single.”
3. Harrison Thinks Ex-Wife Gwen Make a Great ‘Bachelorette’
Once I got divorced,” he said to GQ, “there was this knee-jerk reaction to get back in the action and date. I think there’s something wrong in that. I’m incredibly, stunningly happy. What gave me angst was relationships.”
While a divorce would make most people stop believing in love, or find their day job of hosting a dating show relentlessly frustrating, Chris believes in the show now more than ever.
“Part of the genius of show is that it doesn’t always work out because all relationships don’t always work out. I loved being in love. I loved my marriage and being married and all that stuff,” Harrison said. “I still believe in it.”
He would even support his ex-wife becoming the next Bachelorette! “Now, there’s an idea,” Harrison said. “There’s a part of me, the producer side, that knows it would be epic television, good or bad. It could be like the Hindenburg—the greatest disaster ever—but even then that would be great TV.”
4. Harrison Met his New Girlfriend vis-a-vis ‘The Bachelor’
The two made their romance red carpet official at EW’s 2018 SAG Awards pre-party, and while Harrison attempts to keep their relationship pretty private, he does comment on all of Zimas photos, who as a fellow entertainment TV host, also posts a ton of pictures with The Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants.
Zima and Harrison basically have the same job, the only difference being that he talks to Bachelor contestants during filming, and she interviews them after they wrap. So, while they didn’t fall in love while participating in the traditional format of the show, if it wasn’t for the popular series’ existence, these two might’ve never met. But there’s much more to their relationship that discussing The Bachelor.
“I have an off-switch and when I step away, I like to step away and she’s really good about that, too, where she doesn’t bring work home,” he told People. “You have got to shut it down and life your life at some point. Believe it or not, we don’t talk Bachelor 24/7!”
5. His Kids are Now Teenagers
Chris Harrison’s son Joshua was six-weeks old when his father first became host of The Bachelor, and his daughter Taylor was not yet in existence. She was born “after Trista and Ryan’s wedding, during Meredith’s season of The Bachelorette,” as Harrison said. It’s funny that he speaks of the show as if it were his third kid, and judges time based on what season was filming. But considering this series is such a huge facilitator in his life, it only seems natural.
While appearing on The Steve Harvey Show Harrison said, “I always say, The Bachelor‘s driving now, it just got its license, and is a sophomore in high school now.”
While Harrison’s job was initially of no interest to his kids, now that they’re teenagers, that has changed a bit.
“[Joshua] couldn’t care less about what I do,” Harrison said. “But now he does because the girls he’s interested in are interested in the show.” As for his daughter Harrison said, “She’s actually very protective of her dad,” and after Chad Johnson famously went off on Chris during Bachelor in Paradise, “she did not like that at all. And I told her, like, ‘It’s okay… he means well.'”