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Bob Vila

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Education  University of Florida
Spouse  Diana Barrett (m. 1975)
Role  Television host
Name  Bob Vila

Bob Vila Bob Vila Tool Crave

Full Name  Robert Joseph Vila
Born  June 20, 1946 (age 77) (1946-06-20) Miami, Florida, U.S.
Children  Monica Vila, Susannah Vila, Christopher Vila
Nominations  Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host
TV shows  This Old House, Home Again with Bob Vila, Restore America, Right This Minute
Similar People  Steve Thomas, Norm Abram, Russell Morash, Roger Cook

Bob vila

Robert Joseph Vila (born June 20, 1946) is an American home improvement television show host known for This Old House (1979–1989), Bob Vila's Home Again (1990–2005), and Bob Vila (2005–2007).


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Early life

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Vila, a Cuban-American, is a native of Miami, Florida. When Vila was a child, his father built the family home by hand. Vila graduated from Miami Jackson High School (1962) and studied journalism at the University of Florida. After graduating, he served as a volunteer in the Peace Corps, working in Panama from 1971 to 1973.


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Vila was hired as the host of This Old House in 1979 after receiving the "Heritage House of 1978" award by Better Homes and Gardens, for his restoration of a Victorian Italianate house in Newton, Massachusetts. On This Old House, Vila appeared with carpenter Norm Abram as they, and others, renovated houses. In 1989 he left the show following a disagreement arising from his involvement with outside commercial endorsements for New Jersey-based Rickel, and the subsequent retaliatory pulling of underwriting from Rickel's competitor Home Depot and lumber supplier Weyerhaeuser. He was replaced by Steve Thomas.

Bob Vila The Godfather of DIY a Conversation with Bob Vila

After leaving This Old House, Vila became a commercial spokesman for Sears, and beginning in 1990 he hosted Bob Vila's Home Again, (known from 2005 on as Bob Vila), a weekly syndicated home-improvement program. His series ran for 16 seasons in syndication before it was canceled by distributor CBS Television Distribution due to declining ratings; the series remains in reruns.

From 1989, Bob Vila appeared in Sears commercials to promote the Craftsman tools brand. The partnership broke down in 2006, after a dispute between him and the company.

Vila also appeared on various episodes of the situation comedy Home Improvement as himself on "Tool Time", the fictional show within the sitcom, where main character and cable TV host Tim Taylor (played by Tim Allen) saw him as a rival and made futile attempts to outdo Vila. Vila also made a cameo in the 1993 comedy spoof Hot Shots! Part Deux.

Vila has written 10 books, including a five-book series titled Bob Vila's Guide to Historic Homes of America.

As of 2006, Bob Vila still appears regularly on television. He can also be seen on the Home Shopping Network, selling a range of tools under his own name brand that he founded in 2016.

Other productions

Bob Vila's less widely known productions include Guide to Historic Homes of America (1996), In Search of Palladio, (1996) for A&E, and Restore America for HGTV.

Historic Homes of America

Guide to Historic Homes of America (1996) included two-hour segments on each of four major regions of the United States: the Northeast, including New England and the Mid-Atlantic States, the South, the Midwest and the West.

The Northeast
  • Morris–Jumel Mansion overlooking Yankee Stadium in Washington Heights, Manhattan
  • Dyckman House on Broadway in Upper Manhattan
  • Hancock Shaker Village in western Massachusetts.
  • Strawbery Banke restoration in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
  • Olana – "a palatial amalgam of Middle Eastern and European influences."
  • The Mid-Atlantic States
  • Chesapeake Bay and Annapolis, Maryland – William Paca House and Hammond–Harwood House
  • New Castle, Delaware – George Read, Jr. House, built by the son of George Read
  • Baltimore, Maryland – Homewood House on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus
  • Washington, D.C. – Decatur House on President's Park and Tudor Place in Georgetown
  • The South
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • University of Virginia – ten residential pavilions surround the great, terraced Lawn.
  • Ash Lawn–Highland
  • Poplar Forest – octagonal house filmed while undergoing complete restoration
  • Monticello – includes Dome Room at top of building (not open to the public) and Honeymoon Cottage.
  • Natchez, Mississippi
  • House on Endicott Hill – early trader's house
  • Rosalie – Federal architecture mansion with John Henry Belter furniture and a panoramic view of Mississippi River.
  • Stanton Hall – "perhaps the grandest Greek Revival house anywhere." Designed by Captain Thomas Rose.
  • Longwood – begun in 1860 by Samuel Sloan. Never finished: construction halted in April 1861.
  • Texarkana, Texas – the Ace of Clubs House.
  • The Midwest and West
  • Ellwood House – built by barbed wire entrepreneur Isaac L. Ellwood in DeKalb, Illinois.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Dana-Thomas House in Springfield, Illinois. "It's richer in detail than any other Wright home."
  • Fallingwater in the Laurel Highlands of the Allegheny Mountains
  • Cooper–Molera Adobe – early Spanish Colonial owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Monterey State Historic Park.
  • Filoli – Woodside, California in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Designed by Willis Polk.
  • Tor House – stone house and tower overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, built by Robinson Jeffers.
  • In Search of Palladio

    In Search of Palladio (1996) is a three-part, six-hour study of the work and lasting influence of the 16th-century architect Andrea Palladio. Palladio designed various types of buildings, but the series concentrates on his domestic architecture. (See also: Palladian Villas of the Veneto).

    I. Villas of the Veneto
  • Villa Giustinian, Roncade. – For Vila this building (not by Palladio) provides the context for Palladio's innovative thinking – gothic battlements, portcullis and stone walls concealing a Renaissance palace and farm buildings.
  • Villa Pisani in Montagnana – a descendant of the original owners served as Vila's guide.
  • Villa Cornaro – A suburban villa on a town street, a palatial residence which was also an on-site place of business for running a large farming enterprise.
  • Villa Barbaro.
  • Villa Emo – For Vila this is "perhaps the most dramatic farmhouse ever built".
  • La Rocca Pisana – spectacular hilltop belvedere by Palladio's pupil Vincenzo Scamozzi.
  • II. The Palladians in England and Ireland
  • London: Chiswick House, Marble Hill House and Stourhead.
  • Bath, Somerset: Queen Square, The Circus and the Royal Crescent.
  • Republic of Ireland: Casino at Marino – "the architectural equivalent of a Fabergé egg".
  • Northern Ireland: Castle Ward – overlooking Strangford Lough with both Palladian and Gothic facades and interiors.
  • III. The Palladian Legacy in America
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Mount Pleasant.
  • Marblehead and Waltham, Massachusetts: Jeremiah Lee Mansion and Gore Place
  • Hudson Valley, New York: Boscobel House Museum – purchased in 1955 for thirty-five dollars. Meticulously restored, situated on a bluff on the east bank of the Hudson River opposite the United States Military Academy at West Point.
  • Hartford, Connecticut: Austin House – built for Wadsworth Atheneum director Arthur Everett Austin, Jr.
  • South Bend, Indiana. In Indiana Vila looks at University of Notre Dame architectural school "where Palladio and classical architecture are taken seriously indeed", Vitruvian House designed by Thomas Gordon Smith and Villa Indiana designed by Duncan G. Stroik.
  • Restore America

    Restore America consists of 50 one-hour segments which explore historic preservation and building restoration in each of the fifty U.S. states. Anticipating the turn of the 3rd millennium, it was first broadcast on HGTV between July 4, 1999 and July 4, 2000.


    Bob Vila Wikipedia