Not Gay: Why Jay and Mavis Leno Don’t Have Children

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Jay Leno is a famous television host. He was born and raised in Andover, Massachusetts in 1950, and will celebrate his 72nd birthday on April 28, 2022. While he was attending Emerson College in Boston, he worked part-time as a stand-up comic, which helped him gain confidence and stage presence.

After graduating, he moved to Los Angeles. Just a few short years later, Leno made his debut on NBC’s The Tonight Show in 1977. He was incredibly successful in the role. In 1992, Jay Leno was selected to replace Jonny Carson after Carson’s retirement.

Actors Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, and talk show host Jay Leno at the premiere Mission: Impossible II at the Empire, Leicester Square, a cinema on the north side of Leicester Square, London, on July 4, 2000Actors Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, and talk show host Jay Leno at the premiere Mission: Impossible II at the Empire, Leicester Square, a cinema on the north side of Leicester Square, London, on July 4, 2000 (Credit: (Credit: Dennis Gill / WENN)

Jay Leno was known for his easygoing manner and immense ability to connect with the audience. He modernized The Tonight Show, bringing a new trendy image to the show, and ensuring its longevity with younger generations.

After almost a decade of hosting The Tonight Show, in 2000, Jay Leno was given a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, forever commemorating his success.

Leno made two exits from The Tonight Show – one in May 2009, when Conan O’Brien replaced him. However, neither The Tonight Show nor Jay Leno had much success without the other.

Host Jay Leno at the Jenesse Silver Rose Gala & Auction at the Beverly Hills HotelHost Jay Leno at the Jenesse Silver Rose Gala & Auction at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on April 27, 2008 (Credit: WENN)

In late January 2010, it was announced that Jay Leno would be returning to The Tonight Show. He served for four more successful years, until February 2014, when Jay Leno stepped down and Jimmy Fallon stepped up as the new host of The Tonight Show.

Despite leaving The Tonight Show for good, Leno has stayed busy, hosting his new TV show Jay Leno’s Garage where he shares his passion for automobiles, and going back to his roots through stand-up comedy shows.

Who Is Jay Leno’s Wife?

Although she isn’t quite as famous as her husband, Jay Leno’s wife, Mavis Leno, is an extremely accomplished woman in her own right. The two have been happily married since 1980.

Mavis Leno was born in San Francisco, California in 1946, making her four years older than her husband. She’s an incredibly successful philanthropist and feminist but generally prefers to stay out of the public eye, except for when she makes appearances with her husband.

Jay Leno met his older wife Mavis Elizabeth Nicholson-Leno in 1976 at The Comedy Store in Los AngelesJay Leno met his older wife Mavis Elizabeth Nicholson-Leno in 1976 at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles (Credit: WENN)

Mavis has dedicated her life and career to fighting for global women’s rights as a political activist and works for several humanitarian non-profit organizations to do so.

Her first major career success came in 1997 when she actively voiced her opposition against Proposition 209, which was an anti-affirmative-action initiative.

1997 was a big year for Mavis Leno, as it was the same year she joined the Board of Directors of the Feminist Majority Foundation. She works with them to this day and is currently the director of their Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls.

The Pussyhat Project founder Krista Suh, activist Mavis Leno, The Feminist Majority Co-Founder and President Eleanor Smeal, and singer-songwriter MILCK arrive at the Feminist Majority Foundation 30th Anniversary CelebrationThe Pussyhat Project founder Krista Suh, activist Mavis Leno, The Feminist Majority Co-Founder and President Eleanor Smeal, and singer-songwriter MILCK arrive at the Feminist Majority Foundation 30th Anniversary Celebration at the Directors Guild Of America on May 22, 2017, in Los Angeles, California (Credit: FayesVision / WENN)

Continuing her efforts, in 1999, Mavis and Jay Leno directly influenced history when they donated $100,000 to a non-profit organization that educated Americans about the plight of Afghan women under Taliban rule.

Mavis Leno’s efforts in particular were crucial in educating and influencing former US President Bill Clinton to change his mind regarding the Taliban and their numerous human rights violations.

Comedian Jay Leno (R) and wife Mavis NicholsonComedian Jay Leno (R) and wife Mavis Nicholson arrive at the 2009 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter held at the Sunset Tower on February 22, 2009, in West Hollywood, California (Credit: Roger Eldemire / WENN)

Through her notable work protesting against the Taliban and helping Afghan women, among other causes, Mavis Leno has gained worldwide recognition. In fact, she is so well-respected that she was one of the nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

How Jay Leno Met His Wife

Jay Leno first met Mavis (then known as Mavis Nicholson) in 1976. She had seen him perform at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, California, and was quite impressed.

She found him to be quite charismatic, and after the show, met him backstage and congratulated him on his work.

Jay Leno and his shorter wife Mavis Leno attend the premiere of "Jay Leno's Garage"Jay Leno and his shorter wife Mavis Leno attend the premiere of “Jay Leno’s Garage” at Ink 48 on October 7, 2015, in New York City (Credit: Macguyver / WENN)

Mavis was one of Jay Leno’s biggest supporters even before he got his big break on The Tonight Show in 1977, and the two quickly fell in love. Four short years later, they married on November 30th, 1980.

Fast forward four decades and the two are still happily married in January 2022, making them one of the longest-standing couples in Hollywood.

All About The Happy Couple

Despite having been married to a woman since the early days of his career, Jay Leno has been subject to rumors hinting at his potential homosexuality for years.

Most of these false rumors about him being gay stem from the fact that Jay Leno has openly supported the LGBTQ+ community for years, and the fact that he and Mavis Leno never chose to have children.

However, in 2014, Mavis Leno revealed that she was in fact the driving force behind the couple’s decision not to have kids of their own. Infertility clearly wasn’t the cause. Nor is Jay Leno gay.

Jay Leno's wife Mavis ultimately agreed to get married but did not want to have childrenJay Leno’s wife Mavis ultimately agreed to get married but did not want to have children (Credit: Brian To / WENN)

Growing up, Mavis Leno never felt inclined to have children or get married in the way that many young girls growing up in the ’50s and ’60s were raised to.

She never wanted to feel trapped with kids, having to push her own career and life to the side. Given their respective busy schedules and intense careers, although Jay is likely relieved that Mavis relented on her “never getting married” policy, he was more than happy to forgo children, and instead focus on their relationship with one another.

“I would see a young woman who was very attractive and a thousand times smarter, and she’s living in this little tenement hovel with her husband, Ralph, and then this Ed Norton, who has an even hotter wife,” Mavis Leno said in a 2014 interview with The Washington Post.

“These men spend all their time talking about what a drag the wives are and asking how can they get away from them. It’s perfectly obvious the women are the ones trapped,” she added.

“I remember telling my mother when I was 7 or 8 that I was never going to get married or have children,” she recalled. “To me, this is the way women get caught.”

Jay Leno (R) and wife Mavis Leno arrive at the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar PartyJay Leno (R) and wife Mavis Leno arrive at the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Sunset Tower on February 26, 2012, in West Hollywood, California (Credit: WENN)

While Mavis is four years older than Jay Leno, he has her beat in terms of both height and net worth. Jay Leno stands at 5’11, though he once proclaimed that he was six feet tall.

Although Mavis’ exact height isn’t known, it is clear from red carpet photos that Jay is a few inches taller than her, making her approximately 5’8.

In a September 2019 Q&A interview with The Wall Street Journal, Leno said about the secret of a successful marriage, “I always tell people that you should marry the person you wish you could have been. That’s a pretty good goal.”

“The secret to a long marriage is realizing there’s nothing really worth fighting about,” he added about avoiding unnecessary fights.

Falsely claimed to be gay, Jay Leno decided not to have children with his wifeFalsely claimed to be gay, Jay Leno decided not to have children with his wife (Credit: Rob Rich / WENN)

Before Lindsay Lohan pulled a total fail at the November 2012 premiere of ‘Liz and Dick’ in Beverly Hills, the freckled face starlet actually almost got it right when she appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno a few hours earlier.

Actress Lindsay Lohan during an interview on The Tonight Show with Jay LenoActress Lindsay Lohan during an interview on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on November 20, 2012 (Credit: YouTube / NBC)

Save for the awkward interview and extremely fake red hair color, LL actually looked pretty decent in a noteworthy black frock with cutouts and mesh details by designer Dion Lee and lace-covered heels by Christian Louboutin. She also wore the same shoes while shopping in London.

What do you think of LL’s “talk show” style? It’s a little hard to appreciate her look from the screenshot above, but the dress is actually quite stunning, and the Christian Louboutin shoes are even more so. On Lindsay’s feet are the “Aeronotoc” booties in embellished gold/black.

They’re an updated version of the “Bridgette,” which features a mix of materials from textured metallic to mesh/lace to exquisite crystal beads decorating the back of the heels. It is also quite high at 160 mm (6.3 inches), with platform thickness running at just 60 mm (2.4 inches).

Red Sole Aeronotoc 160 mm Booties in Gold/Black, $2,995

Christian Louboutin Red Sole Aeronotoc 160 mm Booties in Gold/Black

Christian Louboutin Red Sole Aeronotoc 160 mm Booties in Gold/Black

Christian Louboutin Red Sole Aeronotoc 160 mm Booties in Gold/Black

Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous, yes? It is seriously showstopping, and we’re completely in love. Can you say the same?

If you want something bolder, fiercer, and brighter, you may prefer the leopard/red calf hair version. There’s also a shorter rendition with a thinner platform that you can check out below.

Red Sole Aeronotoc 160mm Booties in Leopard/Red Haircalf, $2,395

Red Sole Aeronotoc 160mm Booties in Leopard/Red Haircalf

Red Sole Aeronotoc 1200mm Booties in Leopard/Red Haircalf, $1,995

Red Sole Aeronotoc 1200mm Booties in Leopard/Red Haircalf

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