Date of Birth: June 8, 1978
Maria Menounos first stepped into the spotlight in 1996 when she was crowned Miss Massachusetts Teen USA. Not long after, while double-majoring in broadcast journalism and film at Boston's Emerson College, she became the first freshman in the college's history to win the Evvy Award for Best Newscaster. She also hosted a Greek-American radio talk show on Boston's WNRB.
A year later, she was hired as an International correspondent/anchor for Channel One News
-a program aimed at teenagers. After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles, where she debuted on Entertainment Tonight
in 2002 as a correspondent.
Not content to just report on actors, Menounos decided to take a shot at joining their ranks herself. She began landing guest appearances on TV series such as Without a Trace
, One on One
and One Tree Hill
, on which she played a recurring character for ten episodes.
Maria's film debut was a bit part as a sexy nurse in the major motion picture Fantastic Four
(2005), followed by her first feature starring role in the romantic comedy Kickin' It Old Skool
(2007), opposite Jamie Kennedy
She has also directed a short filmed called Longtime Listener
(2006) starring Wilmer Valderamma, which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival.
After leaving Entertainment Tonight
, Menounos joined both the Today
show as their West Coast correspondent and Access Hollywood
as a special correspondent. She also often hosts the third hour of the Today Show
A spokesperson for Pantene hair care products, Menounos was chosen as one of People Magazine
's '50 Most Beautiful' in 2004. She lives with four dogs in Los Angeles and volunteers at various animal shelters.
Kickin' It Old Skool