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Lara Christine Von Seelen
June 19, 1969
Garden City, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Pennsylvania State University|
|Occupation||Television host, television producer|
(m. 2000; div. 2015)
Lara Christine Von Seelen (known professionally as Lara Spencer) (born June 19, 1969) is an American television presenter. She is best known for being the co-anchor for ABC's Good Morning America. She is also a correspondent for Nightline and ABC News. Previously, she was the host of the syndicated entertainment newsmagazine The Insider from 2004 to 2011, and was a regular contributor to CBS's The Early Show. Before then, she was the national correspondent for Good Morning America and spent several years as a lifestyle reporter for WABC-TV. She also hosted Antiques Roadshow on PBS for the 2004 and 2005 seasons, and Antiques Roadshow FYI, a spin-off of Antiques Roadshow, during 2005. She hosts the show Flea Market Flip on both HGTV and the Great American Country channel. In April 2018, Spencer announced she would be only appearing on GMA three days a week to focus on her television producing.
Spencer grew up in the New York suburb of Garden City, Long Island, where she graduated from Garden City High School in 1987. She attended Pennsylvania State University on an athletic scholarship for springboard and platform diving and was a nationally ranked competitive diver. She was named an All American Athlete in 1991, her senior year, and graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism.
Following college, Spencer went into the NBC page program where she would volunteer to work with other reporters in order to gain experience. From there, she landed a position at the CBS affiliate WDEF-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where she "was literally a one-man band", serving as reporter, producer, editor, cameraman and news-van driver. A year later, she joined News 12 Long Island and two years following that she was anchoring the 3 AM newscast for WABC-TV. While there, she covered the TWA Flight 800 crash, which was considered her big break. She then joined ABC's Good Morning America in 1999 as a national correspondent.
Spencer married former CNNfn journalist David Haffenreffer on September 30, 2000 at St. Andrew's Dune Church in an Episcopal ceremony. The couple have two children, Kate (2004) and Duff (January 22, 2002). They lived in the Riverside section of Greenwich, Connecticut. In March 2015, the couple announced that they had separated and they were divorced in June 2015.
In 2017, Spencer hosted the limited series People Icons.
Spencer announced in January 2018 that she was engaged to New York tech entrepreneur Richard McVey. Spencer first met McVey after a mutual friend set them up on a blind date. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of MarketAxess, a publicly traded financial technology company. On September 1, 2018, Spencer and McVey married in an outdoor ceremony in Vail, Colorado.
Also in 2018, People announced Lara’s plans to leave her job as one of the co-anchors on Good Morning America to focus on her production company, known as DuffKat Media. The news outlet explained that Lara would still be a part of the show, working behind the scenes from home, but in a lesser capacity.
Spencer was the creator and executive producer of the prime time game show, It's Worth What?, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, which aired during the summer of 2011 on NBC. Spencer has also created and produced two shows based on her passions for interior designing, which were a one-hour special titled I Brake for Yard Sales that originally aired in April 2012 on HGTV, and a flea market-themed television series currently airing on Great American Country called Flea Market Flip.
Spencer's first book, titled I Brake for Yard Sales, a guide on how to create high-end looking rooms using second hand finds, was published and released in April 2012. In September 2013, she along with Chris Harrison hosted the 87th Miss America pageant at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in which Spencer had replaced Brooke Burke-Charvet. The pageant was broadcast on ABC on September 15, 2013. She later returned to co-host Miss America 2015 with Harrison on September 14, 2014. Her second book, titled Flea Market Fabulous: Designing Gorgeous Rooms with Vintage Treasures, a guide on designing rooms and homes, was published and released on September 16, 2014.
In August 2019, Spencer's comments about six-year-old Prince George of Cambridge enjoying ballet classes (among other hobbies) were interpreted by some as offensive, causing public backlash. Spencer issued an Instagram apology stating "I fully believe we should all be free to pursue our passions," and later apologized on-air during an interview with three professional male dancers.
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- "'Flea Market Flip': Lara Spencer on her new HGTV show and her top 4 treasure-hunting tips". Entertainment Weekly. September 28, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- "I Brake for Yard Sales: and Flea Markets, Thrift Shops, Auctions, and the Occasional Dumpster [Paperback]". Amazon.com. April 1, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
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- "Flea Market Fabulous: Designing Gorgeous Rooms with Vintage Treasures by Lara Spencer - 9781617690952 - Paperback - Barnes & Noble". Barnes & Noble. Retrieved October 31, 2014.
- Staff, A. O. L. "'GMA' anchor Lara Spencer accused of 'bullying' Prince George for liking ballet: 'Despicable'". AOL.com. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
- Ohmer, S. "Defending Dance". Facebook.com. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
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- Todisco, Eric (August 23, 2019). "Lara Spencer Apologizes for 'Insensitive Comment' About Prince George's Ballet Lessons on GMA". People.
- France, Lisa Respers; Garvey, Marianne (August 26, 2019). "Lara Spencer, 'Good Morning America' co-anchor, apologizes for mocking Prince George's interest in ballet". CNN. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
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| Miss America co-host with Chris Harrison