An iconic fixture of the television landscape since the late 1970s, Jay Leno is perhaps one of the only actors on Earth with enough real-world cred to pull off the latest role he’s been cast in—Ed Sullivan.
Best known as the face of The Tonight Show from 1992 to 2014, Leno will be appearing as Sullivan—who hosted his own show from 1948 to 1971—in a new biopic on The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein. The film, titled Midas Man, is currently in production and is set to star The Queen’s Gambit actor, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, as Epstein.
The Beatles made their first legendary appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964, just a few months after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Bringing their feel-good vibes and youthful love tunes to the American public, the performance was a dazzling success—and with 73 million viewers tuning in, it’s what launched The Beatles right into the limelight of American culture.
And behind the scenes, Epstein was making the magic (err, the logistics and effective management) happen—as The Beatles’ manager, he orchestrated many of the amazing feats in their early career. He was even the fella who got them hooked up with George Martin (the rest, of course, is history). Yet, he met a tragic end—in August 1967, at the dusk of the Summer of Love, he died from an accidental overdose.
Now, the story is being brought to life in Midas Man, and Leno will surely illuminate his scenes with the kind of wonder only a celebrated host knows how to conjure. No stranger to acting—he’s appeared in a plethora of television shows and loaned his voice to several cartoons—this will be his first on-screen role since appearing in Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing.
Read more coverage on The Beatles HERE and watch their original appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show below:
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