An Israeli-born rock music icon, actor and author, Gene Simmons formed the band KISS
with his friend Paul Stanley, and they went on to be one of the most successful rock groups in the world.
He was born on August 25, 1949 Haifa, Israel. His parents immigrated to the U.S. when he was just nine years old. His father is Feri Witz, and his mother is a Hungarian immigrant who survived the Holocaust. As a kid, he enjoyed comic book heroes, monster movies and rock and roll, so it’s no surprise that later he would incorporate these elements into his future musical career.
He was in several bands before he finally found the other people with whom he would find success: Paul Stanley first, and later Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. In 1974 they released their debut album as the band KISS
, and they became incredibly popular, selling tons of records and touring all over the world. Their makeup and costumes, as well as Gene's prominent tongue, are 1970s rock and roll icons.
He has been in a long-term romantic relationship with actress/Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed
, and the couple has two children together - a son, Nicholas, and a daughter, Sophie. The entire family can be seen on their reality show, Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels
, on A&E.