Bruno Tonioli was born on 25 November 1955, in Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, and is a television personality, dancer and choreographer, best known for serving as a judge in TV dance competition series such as “Dancing with the Stars” and “Strictly Come Dancing”.
While little is known regarding Bruno’s childhood or how he came to discover his passion for dance, he began his professional career in 1980 with the company La Grande Eugene based in Paris. He later joined the Lindsay Kemp Company, but spent most of his time working as a freelance dancer. He then joined the group called Duke and the Aces, and entered the “Eurovision Song Contest” competition, at which they were unsuccessful. After the competition, he started working in the music industry, mainly as a choreographer for music videos, tours, and stage shows. This allowed him to work with numerous celebrities including Freddie Mercury, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Boy George and Duran Duran. One of his first appearances on screen was in the music video entitled “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John, in which he was shown dancing. He was also close to the girl pop group Bananarama, and helped them produce several music videos, including “I Heard A Rumour” and “Venus”.
Posted by Bruno Tonioli on Friday, 26 October 2007
Film and Television Work
After choreographing for the music video entitled “Election Day” by Arcadia, Tonioli then began finding opportunities in the film and television industry, working with various film projects including “Ella Enchanted” with Minnie Driver. Other projects included “What A Girl Wants”, “Dancin’ Thru the Dark”, “The Gathering Storm”, and “Blonde Bombshell”. He also expanded his reach to theatre, and appeared in productions of “Godspell” as well as “The Man Who Think He’s It”. This led to a few acting roles, including playing the manservant in the BBC TV trilogy entitled “Oscar”.
He actually had consistent work on television and one of the projects he did included “Absolutely Fabulous”. He also worked on “The BRIT Awards” for three years, and with the show “Top of the Pops”. He was one of the choreographers for two years of “Miss World”, and then became a guest judge at Australia’s “Dancing with the Stars”. His work in the industry led to an invitation to various popular talk shows, including “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, “Larry King Live”, “The View”, “Lopez Tonight”, and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”.
Reality Television and Later Work
In 2008, Bruno created the show “Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie-Ann”, in which his team won the reality competition series, earning a contract with Hollywood Records. The following year, he became a judge of the UK show “Strictly Come Dancing Live” and appeared in 45 shows in each of his two seasons with them. Eventually, he became a judge of the US version of the show “Dancing with the Stars” and quickly drew the attention of viewers for his colorful descriptions of performances.
In 2010, he attracted controversy after stating to contestant Michael Bolton that he saw one of the worst jive dances he’d seen in all the seasons of “Dancing with the Stars”, which prompted Bolton to express his dissatisfaction with the media, then ABC to release a statement defending Bruno. He also had a guest role in an episode of the show “Fuller House”, in which he played a dance teacher. One of his latest projects is the 2016 album entitled “An Italian Romance” which is a compilation of Italian songs selected by him. In 2012, Bruno released his autobiography entitled “Bruno Tonioli: My Story”.
The Net Worth of Bruno Tonioli
How rich is Bruno Tonioli? As of late-2018, sources estimate a net worth that is over $10 million, earned through a successful career in the entertainment industry. He is also the co-creator of the show “DanceX” along with the American adaptation “Dance War: Bruno vs. Carie Ann”. As he continues his endeavors, it is expected that his wealth will also continue to increase.
For his personal life, not much is known in terms of any romantic relationships, as Tonioli prefers to keep that aspect of his life private. It is known that he is gay, and that he suffered homophobic bullying during his youth. He is fluent in five languages which are French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and English. While he was raised in Italy, he has mainly resided in London since 1975. He mentioned that he grew up with his paternal grandparents, and that his father was a bus driver, while her mother worked to stitch car-seat upholstery.