The following biography
Phillip Calvin McGraw Ph.D. (best known as
Dr. Phil; born September 1, 1950 in Vinita, Oklahoma) is the host of the
popular American psychology TV-show Dr. Phil who gained celebrity status
following appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Born in Vinita, Oklahoma, McGraw attended high
school at Shawnee Mission North High School in Overland Park, Kansas. He enjoyed
hunting ducks with his longtime childhood friend Alex McKenna. He was given a
football scholarship to attend the University of Tulsa, but was injured and
forced to transfer to Midwestern State University. McGraw graduated from the
Midwestern State University in 1975 with a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in
psychology, and then went on to get a Masters in experimental psychology and a
Doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of North Texas. 
In 1996, Oprah Winfrey hired Phil McGraw to prepare
her for the Amarillo Texas beef trial. Winfrey was so impressed with McGraw that
she credited him for her victory in that case, which ended in 1998. Soon after,
she invited him to appear on her show. His appearance proved so successful that
he began appearing weekly as a "Relationship and Life Strategy Expert." In 2002,
he was given his own syndicated daily TV show, Dr. Phil, produced by Winfrey's
Harpo Studios. The format is an advice show, where he tackles a different topic
on each show, offering advice for his guests' troubles. McGraw has authored a
number of self-help books on topics such as relationships and weight loss.
McGraw is noted for his Texas accent. His celebrity
is largely attributed to his behavioral approach to psychology. Many critics
regard advice given by him to be at best simplistic and, at worst, invective.
However, the style of McGraw's advice is said to prompt the person to "get
real," and to confront the issues at hand. In 2005, he signed a five-year
extension of his syndication deal with his show's distributors, King World
Productions, Inc. The deal will pay McGraw a reported USD$15 million and keep
him on the airwaves through the 20132014 TV season.
In September 2005, McGraw called for Americans to
boycott Aruba in response to the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee
Holloway. A taped segment was shown on McGraw's show in which one of the
suspects in the case made incriminating statements. However, the tape's
authenticity has been disputed by experts. 
McGraw announced the formation of the Dr. Phil
Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood obesity, on October 22,
McGraw was married to Debbie Higgins McCall from
1970 to 1973. He married Robin Jameson in 1976, and they have two sons, Jay
(1979) and Jordan (1986). Jay McGraw has partially followed in his father's
footsteps, publishing books aimed at teenagers based on Dr. Phil's books and
working for his father's production company, Stage 29. Jordan is currently a
sophomore at Southern Methodist University and is pursuing his interests in
Criticisms and controversies
The Making of Dr. Phil, a book by Sophia Dembling
and Lisa Gutierrez, accuses McGraw of unethical business practices and courtroom
theatrics, exploiting his guests with a brand of "pop psychology", and having an
affair with one of his clients. Reviewers of the book accuse the authors of
"gutter press" tactics and unfair criticism; detractors accuse McGraw of
violation in Texas
After being reprimanded by the Texas State Board of
Examiners of Psychologists for an "inappropriate dual relationship" with a
therapy client in 1988, McGraw was required to take ethics classes in order to
continue his private practice in Texas. McGraw admits to giving the client a job
at his office (which is not allowed) but denied carrying on a sexual
relationship with the 19 year old, who says their relationship was both sexual
and stupid. He did not complete the required classes and instead went on to
found Courtroom Sciences, Inc, a consulting firm that provides advice to law
firms in making psychological arguments. Oprah Winfrey's legal team hired the
firm in 1996 to help fight a lawsuit from cattle ranchers.
Dr. McGraw can be a polarizing figure. His
technique, which differs considerably from traditional psychology, has been
criticized by those inside and outside the profession, but he maintains a loyal
fan base and there certainly appears to be a market for his brand of self-help.
He also has a considerable cult following. McGraw, like Dr. Laura, does not
emphasize discovering the cause of emotional distress earlier in life, and
instead focuses on behavior modification therapy that is, changing a behavior
without necessarily investing time in discovering the cause of an unwanted
behavior. In Psychology Today journalist Pamela Paul writes that McGraw "knows
what's best and he's not afraid to tell you. Dr. Phil issues counsel as marching
orders."  To date there have been no scientific studies validating or
invalidating the long-term effectiveness of his technique.
In 2003, McGraw entered the weight-loss business,
selling shakes, energy bars, and supplements. These products' labels, which
carried the brand name "Shape Up", stated: "These products contain
scientifically researched levels of ingredients that can help you change your
behavior to take control of your weight." Facing a Federal Trade Commission
investigation into Shape Up's claims, McGraw pulled his supplements off the
market in March 2004, and the FTC dropped its probe. In October 2005, several
people who used McGraw's products declared an intent to file a class-action
lawsuit against him, claiming that although the supplements cost $120 per month
they did not stimulate weight loss.
Erroneous medical advice
In January 2006, in a segment titled "Extreme
Disorders", Dr. Phil's show presented inaccurate information about the treatment
of two neurological conditions (Tourette syndrome and Asperger syndrome).
Information from Quackwatch and the American Psychiatric Association suggest
that the information Dr. Phil and his guest, Dr. Hipskind, gave about the
usefulness of brain imaging for treatment and diagnosis of these conditions was
not only wrong, but possibly dangerous. Various advocacy organizations, such as
NAMI, and others representing persons with ADHD, OCD, Tourette syndrome and
autism have taken issue with Dr. Phil's information about neuropsychiatric
McGraw is 6 ft 2 and a quarter in (1.90 m)
He was once commonly referred to as the "leg
He was ranked 4th on thephoenix.com's list of the
"100 unsexiest men in the world." 
McGraw is scheduled to guest star in the Simpsons
episode Treehouse of Horror XVII.
He is an avid tennis player, golfer and scuba
He is the father in law of 1998 Playboy Playmate
Family First (2004) ISBN 0743264932
Family First Workbook
Getting Real (Audio: 2001) ISBN 1561709328
Life Strategies (1999) ISBN 0786865482
Life Strategies Workbook
Love Smart (2005) ISBN 0743272099
Relationship Rescue (2000) ISBN 0786866314
Relationship Rescue Workbook
Self Matters (2001) ISBN 074322423X
Self Matters Companion
The Ultimate Weight Solution (2003) ISBN 0743236742
The Ultimate Weight Solution Cookbook
Ultimate Weight Solution Food Guide
Unauthorised biography: The Making of Dr. Phil by
Sophia Dembling, Lisa Gutierrez (2003) ISBN 047146726X
Foreword to The ADD Answer by Dr Frank Lawlis
(2004) ISBN 0670033367
"What you thinking monkey?"
"Get reallly high!"
"This is gonna be a changing day for your momma!"
"You can't change what you cant know."
"Ya think your high enough?!" (Sarcastic response
to a guest finally recognizing the obvious.)
"That retard cant feel your hits" (In response to
"How's that workin' for your laxy self?"
"It aint about you it is about me!"
References in pop culture
Dr. Fill was a spoof of Dr. Phil in a commercial
about Awful Arthur's Oyster Bar, a seafood restaurant in Kill Devil Hills, North
Carolina complete with catchphrases.
Dr. Will on Comedy Central
In The Suite Life of Zack and Cody episode "Ask
Zack," when Darlene takes Shirley's (a.k.a. Zack) advice to date Zack, she tells
him that she can open up to him, to which Zack responds, "just think of me as
Dr. Phil with hair."
In the video game, Duke Nukem: Waiting For Forever,
Dr. Phil was featured in the beginning sequence, interviewing Duke Nukem
Dr. Feel Up On You on Wild 'N Out on MTV.
Dr. Phil appeared in the opening scene of Scary
Movie 4, spoofing the thriller Saw.
Dr. Phil appeared on an episode of Frasier.
Dr. Phyllis, an obvious parody of Dr. Phil, is
mocked when Drake and Josh in Drake & Josh go to Dr. Phyllis to patch their
relationship after a big fight. The parody was also used in a Brandy and Mr.
On The Late Show with David Letterman, Letterman
showed short clips from the TV series called "Dr. Phil's Words of Wisdom." It
would feature Dr. Phil delivering a one-liner, taken extremely out of context,
making him look like a foolish or demoralizing person.
A Muppet character called Dr. Feel appears on
The show was spoofed during a scene where R.J. and
the forest friends flip channels on the HDTV set in the film Over the Hedge.
Dr. Phil/Oprah spoofs on various episodes of MADtv
on Comedy Central.
Dr. Phil is parodied in the video game Grand Theft
Auto: Liberty City Stories on its soundtrack as the host of a show called
"Heartland Values with Nurse Bob"
In Sex and the City Miranda Hobbes (played by
Cynthia Nixon) notices one of his 'self-help' books in a bookstore and comments
"Yeah, like I need his advice!"
Dr. Phil was portrayed by Dr. Bill on Arthur.
In the last The Fairly OddParents movie, "The Jimmy
Timmy Power Hour 3: The Jerkinators", Wanda calls the villian a genius and
super-powerful- and Cosmo remarks, "Just like Dr. Phil!"
Comedian Patrice O'Neal regularly gives
relationship advice on the Opie and Anthony Radio Show as Black Phillip.
In Friends, Chandler asks Monica whether she
watched the Dr Phil he taped for her.
On The BOB & TOM Show, a voice impersonator playing
Dr. Phil frequently makes telephone calls to the radio program.
Dr. Phil is quoted on Stargate SG-1 (during
Scary Movie 4 (2006)
Treehouse of Horror XVII From TV Simpsons (2006)
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