Biography is a documentary television series. It was originally a half-hour filmed series produced for CBS by David Wolper from 1961 to 1964 and hosted by Mike Wallace. The A&E Network later re-ran it and has produced new episodes since 1987. The older version featured historical figures such as Helen Keller and Mark Twain, or long-dead entertainment figures such as Will Rogers or John Barrymore. The A&E series has placed the emphasis on such people as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Plácido Domingo, Freddie Mercury, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Eric Clapton, Pope John Paul II, Gene Tierney, Selena, Diego Rivera, Mao Zedong and Queen Elizabeth II, and fictional characters like The Phantom, Superman, Hamlet, Betty Boop, and Santa Claus. The program ended up profiling enough figures that in 1999, A&E spun it off into an entire network, The Biography Channel. Initially, most of the episodes featured the life stories of historical figures or present political or social leaders. People such as William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Enrico Caruso, and Eva Peron were profiled. After a few years, however, the show began producing episodes on figures from pop culture, including Britney Spears, Al Pacino, Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson. This move away from purely intellectual subject matter has been criticized by some.
Where to Watch Biography
Where to stream every episode from all 30 seasons of Biography. Filter these episodes by what's available to watch free or on your streaming services using the tabs above.
Season 1DirecTV Now | Rent or Buy
S01 E01Jun 26, 1995
Pocahontas Jun 26, 1995 She was a Native American princess who saved the life of English explorer Captain John Smith at the age of twelve. Before her death ten years later, she had single-handedly forged an improbable peace between two warring nations. Popular history remembers Pocahontas for a single act of courage, yet she had a highly developed vision of peaceful cooperation between the European settlers and her own people that was revolutionary in its day. Ambassador, stateswoman, peacemaker, and visionary, Pocahontas's admirable struggle ultimately cost her life, but she lives on in the history of a grateful nation. Through location footage, fascinating interviews, dramatic reenactments, and original period accounts, Biography proudly presents the remarkable life and enduring legacy of one of the most intriguing figures in early American history.
S01 E01Jul 19, 1994
Donald Trump Jul 19, 1994 He is a modern Midas who has elevated the business of deal-making to an art form. He came to epitomize a glitzy, greedy, late-twentieth-century America, only to see his fortune and fame threatened by changing times. By the age of 40, Donald Trump was one of New York's most successful real estate developers. The epitome of '80s glamour, he had a high-profile wife, a lavish lifestyle, and public adulation. But as the decade ended, it seemed that his luck went with it. In this revealing program, discover the story of his incredible rise, decline, and improbable rebirth as a mogul in the 1990s. Biography takes a fascinating look at the life and times of the man whose name has become a symbol of wealth and status, Donald Trump.
S01 E01Sep 15, 1994
Benjamin Franklin Sep 15, 1994 He was America's ambassador to the world, a unique citizen who came to symbolize the inventiveness and industriousness of an entire nation. Benjamin Franklin's fascinating and diverse accomplishments throughout his lifetime helped to define him as a Renaissance man, and assured him of a place in America's pantheon of heroes. Among his myriad triumphs, this "First American" famously invented the lightening rod, created the fuel-efficient Franklin Stove, and penned many insightful and philosophic documents, as well as the still popular Poor Richard's Almanack. Most importantly, Franklin offered wise leadership as a founding member of the first Continental Congress and as the ambassador to France during America's tumultuous march toward freedom. Through expert commentary, archival material, and Franklin's own writings, Biography proudly presents the story of one of the most dynamic, colorful, and captivating figures in American history.
S01 E01Apr 6, 1987
6 Apr. 1987 Apr 6, 1987 He spent much of his life in jail for the perversions he recounted in his famous writings, while his name has entered the English language as a definition of sexual cruelty. Donatien Alphonse Francois was a sick man, but he did not try to hide the fact. In a series of scandalous and long suppressed books, he celebrated deviant sexual activities and challenged every aspect of civilized authority, including the church and the government. In this comprehensive account of his life, Biography descends into the depths of the human psyche to take an unflinching look at the life of the notorious nobleman, celebrated by some as a pioneer for his absolute rejection of society's constraints. Follow his many trips in and out of jail, examine the notorious writings and practices that secured his place in history, and meet a descendant of the infamous Marquis who reveals what it is like to live with the name de Sade! This is a compelling look at the depraved aristocrat whose lascivious behavior brought him infamy, and whose shocking writings earned him immortality.
S01 E02Dec 23, 1996
Mary of Nazareth Dec 23, 1996 Though she is rarely mentioned in the Gospels, she is perhaps the most important and the most revered woman in biblical history. Shortly after 13-year-old Mary of Nazareth became engaged to Joseph, the fate of the world changed forever. Inexplicably pregnant, the frightened teenager faced the possibility of being stoned to death, enduring ridicule that continued even after the birth of her son. Despite her own struggles, Mary vigilantly stood by Jesus throughout his years of scorn and prejudice, remaining loyal to him even as he was dying on the cross at Calvary. In this penetrating program, biblical experts and leading historians probe for clues to uncover the truth behind the woman who is revered by millions worldwide. Biography is proud to present the amazing story of the woman hailed as the Blessed Virgin, Mother of God.
S01 E02Sep 21, 1998
Satan Sep 21, 1998 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Not long after, he was forced to create hell, a domain for the fallen angel who dared disobey him. That defiant angel was Lucifer, the light bearer, but he would soon come to be known by the more sinister name of Satan, the devil. He is the nightmare that visits our darkest hours, the phantom that calls in the middle of the night. From the dawn of the universe to the present day, Satan is believed to roam the earth, on a mission to destroy humankind. Where there is light, Satan brings darkness. Where there is peace, he wages war. Where he finds love, he ushers in hate. He is said to take on many forms to fool us, but in his most demonic role, Satan has been the keeper of the darkness, the evil that lurks just around the corner, and deep within our souls. Join BIOGRAPHY for the terrifying tale of the evil creature that has hunted humans since the beginning of time, SATAN: PRINCE OF DARKNESS.
S01 E04Jan 4, 1998
Mikhail Gorbachev Jan 4, 1998 His drastic reforms led to the end of his nation as it was known to the world. Yet Mikhail Gorbachev was ultimately undone by his own success. One of the most compelling figures of the twentieth century, the son of a mechanic from the Caucasus, Gorbachev's vision to change his nation was shaped by his childhood experiences under Stalin's rule. In a candid interview, conducted by Biography for this historic program, Gorbachev recounts how he rose through the party ranks without betraying his radical visions for the future. Once in power, however, the changes were swift and sweeping. Extensive footage chronicles the turbulent years of his rule, from the first stirrings of Glasnost to the unsuccessful coup that marked the last gasp of the old, hard-line leadership, while renowned Soviet historians and political experts detail Gorbachev's world-changing legacy.
S05 E07Jun 6, 1996
The Boston Strangler Jun 6, 1996 A history of the case