|Born||June 20, 1946|
Miami, Florida, U.S.
|Education||University of Florida (Journalism, 1969)|
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).
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 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.
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 by Rickel's competitor Home Depot and lumber supplier Weyerhaeuser. He was replaced by Steve Thomas.
After leaving This Old House, Vila became a commercial spokesman for Sears, and beginning in 1990 he hosted Bob Vila's Home Again, (renamed to simply Bob Vila in 2005), 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 onward, 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. Contrary to Home Improvement, when Allen was interviewed by Nintendo Power and asked if he could make a video game, Allen proposed one about aspects of carpentry, and the end scene would be the player being featured on Bob Vila's Home Again.
Vila 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.
Vila has appeared on the Home Shopping Network selling a range of tools under his own name brand that he founded in 2016.
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.
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.
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).
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 has written over two dozen books, which include:
The white picket fence is of unusual construction, in that no nails exist in its entire structure. Rosalie is now the State Shrine of the Mississippi Daughters of the American Revolution.
From England came Captain Thomas Rose who gained Natchez experience to design and build Stanton Hall in 1857.
Built for Frederick Stanton, wealthy cotton commission broker, Stanton Hall was completed in 1857 to the designs of Natchez architect Thomas Rose. Longwood, the largest octagonal house remaining in America, is a superb example of the mid-19th century "villa in the oriental style."
According to local legend, money to build the Ace of Clubs House came from the winnings of a poker game won with the draw of the ace of clubs.
Francesco Pisani, powerful and influential Venetian patrician, was the patron and friend of artists and letterati, from Paolo Veronese to Giambattista Maganza, from Alessandro Vittoria to Palladio himself … a villa on two floors: the upper floor for the seigniorial apartments; the lower for everyday life, where business is conducted [with] the tenant farmers (both city palace and country villa).
In his innovative designs Palladio created a new type by combining the summer house or castello with vernacular farm buildings and by wedding them architecturally to the agricultural landscape.
In celebration of the 3rd millennium, Bob Vila led viewers on an enlightening, year long, 50-state tour of hundreds of historic homes, public buildings, gardens and neighborhoods across America. Vila explored the nation's flourishing restoration boom, celebrating the people working to preserve the best of this country's rich culture, heritage and history as host of HGTV's "Restore America." HGTV periodically rebroadcasts this programming.