This article includes more background on Joe, and a little better pic, which I will try to post below.
This dating show
has quite a catch
'Joe Millionaire' isn't rich at all
By EARL SWIFT
Merely a thousandaire
The latest of television's "reality" shows has 20 comely young women competing for the attention of an obscenely rich bachelor. Or so they think.
In fact, the title character in "Joe Millionaire," which airs on Fox starting Jan. 6, is a heavy-equipment operator, sometime model and former military school cadet from Virginia Beach, Va. - and, alas, merely a thousandaire.
Evan Marriott, 28, will pull a bait-and-switch on a grand scale, wooing the bachelorettes on romantic dates in the French countryside, whittling the field to a sole "winner," then — in the climactic seventh episode — revealing the truth about his humble finances.
The network figures the show's audience will learn something of value in whether the final contestant ditches Marriott or is commanded by true love.
That audience will be in on the scam throughout, as Marriott — who Fox describes as "raised in humble surroundings with only limited financial security" — morphs from rough-and-tumble construction worker to suave boulevardier before setting out to break 19 hearts.
But the Internet is already busy with folks who detect a rat, along with desperation, in the show's premise. Postings on several Web sites speculate that the trick on the women is wrapped in another, bigger hoax, this one on the show's viewers.
Marriott isn't talking.
"He's under a very heavy blanket," said his father, Robert H. (Hank) Marriott III. "I don't think I'd call it 'hiding,' exactly, but they want to move him to a gated community, and maybe they already have."
"I really don't know how to reach him," said his mother, Charlotte Marriott, "because he's in and out and in between places."
Marriott was brought up in a comfortable neighborhood in Virginia Beach. In the seventh grade, he was enrolled in the Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Va. He graduated in 1992.
Over the next seven years, Marriott split his time between construction jobs in Virginia Beach and modeling gigs in Paris, where he spent several months, and New York, where he worked with famed fashion photographer Bruce Weber.
"I rarely touch star power in this area, but he's got it," said Kim Wadsworth, a Virginia fashion consultant and writer who put together several photo spreads in which Marriott figured prominently.
Invited by New York contacts to pursue modeling in California, Marriott moved to the Los Angeles area in January 1999. He's worked mostly in construction since, his father said.
While his upbringing wasn't quite the log-cabin story Fox would have its viewers believe, it wasn't wealthy, either: The Marriotts live in a house that's modest by the standards of its neighborhood. His father is vice president of Norfolk's Old Dominion Trust Co. His mother manages a linens boutique.
Hank Marriott said they're a long way from millionaires, and as far as he knows, Evan's not one, either.
"There's nothing fancy about us," he said.
Whatever happens on the show, one of Marriott's military-academy classmates figures he'll be up for it. "The role he'll be playing on the show fits his personality perfectly," said Kevin McKeon of Houston. "Evan was a big cutup. He was always a practical joker."