One of the child stars who made a successful transformation to adult actress, Alyssa Milano is well-known for portraying Phoebe Halliwell, the sister of fellow witches Rose McGowan and Holly Marie Combs, in the popular bewitched weekly show “Charmed” (WB, 1997- ) and as the conniving Jennifer Mancini in another Aaron Spelling’s hit, “Melrose Place” (Fox, 1997-1998). Before the huge victories, Milano was launched to teen stardom as rambunctious daughter Samantha Micelli on the well-received sitcom “Who’s the Boss?” (1984-1992). Her performance was highly praise and she was handed three consecutive Young Actress Awards from 1987-1989. As a movie actor, the brown-eyed, dark brown-haired beauty won a Spirit award for her brilliant starring turn in the Sundance Film Festival-premiered Hugo Pool (1997) opposite Patrick Dempsey, Richard Lewis and Robert Downey Jr. She is also memorable to moviegoers for playing roles in such films as the David Spade comedy Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003), the hit Fear (1996), Poison Ivy II (1996), Deadly Sins (1995), Embrace of the Vampire (1994) and Commando (1985).
In addition to a successful onscreen career, the 1-800-Collect girl has also created a solid music career in Japan. So far, Milano has released 5 albums, Alyssa, Look In My Heart (both in 1989), Best In The World (1990), Locked In a Dream (1991) and Do You See Me (1992). All have reached sales of over 1 million copies.
Off screen, the spokesperson for Candie’s perfume Milano was one of FHM’s “100 Sexiest Women” (in 2001 and 2003), Stuff magazine’s “102 Sexiest Women in the World” (2002), and once ranked #28 of VH1’s “The 100 Greatest Child Actors of All Time.” Milano, who has dogs named Ripley, Stella, and Hugo, is a vegan and an active supporter of PETA. On a more private note, she was married to Cinjun Tate, the vocalist of a rock band called Remy Zero, in January 1999, but divorced in December that same year. Her private life has also been linked with Charmed costar Brian Krause (began dating in 2001, no longer together), pop icon Justin Timberlake (together in September 2002- January 2003) and actor Scott Wolf (met in 1992; became engaged to be married on October 24, 1993; relationship and engagement ended in 1994).
“I’ve dated the sweet mama’s boy, the musician rocker, the struggling artist - basically a lot of people without jobs.” Alyssa Milano
Childhood and Family:
In a working class neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, Alyssa Jayne Milano was born on December 19, 1972. She is the daughter of Thomas M. Milano (born in 1947), a film music editor, and Lin Milano (born in 1948), a fashion designer, and has one brother named Cory Milano, who is 10 years her junior. Of Italian-American heritage, Alyssa, who carried the nicknames Lyssa and Conan, attended The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, CA, and Bel Air Preparatory School in Los Angeles, California. As a child, she was dragged by her aspiring dancer-babysitter to an open audition for the first national tour of the Broadway play “Annie.” By the time she was 7, Alyssa was obsessed to become an actress. A year later, she began her professional career by joining the tour, as June, one of the orphans.
Together since 1998, Alyssa finally decided to marry the lead singer of rock band Remy Zero, Cinjun Tate, on New Year’s Day in 1999. However, they became estranged on November 20, 1999, and eventually filed for divorce on December 1 that same year.
Who’s the Boss?
Alyssa Milano kicked off her acting career at age 8 when she went on tour throughout the U.S as one of the orphans named June in the Broadway musical “Annie.” 14 months later, she left the show and took on the part of Adele in the musical version of “Jayne Eyre” and followed that with a role in “Tender Offer” at the New York Ensemble Studio Theatre. Young Milano went on to appear in John O’Keefe’s “All Night Long” at Manhattan’s Second Stage Theatre. Milano made her film acting debut at age 12 as Diane in Marisa Silver’s Old Enough and won notice for her role as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s daughter in the feature Commando (1985).
However, it was the popular sitcom Who’s the Boss that made Milano a star. During 1984-1992, she played Samantha Micelli, the tomboy-then-young-beauty daughter of Tony Danza, Milano successfully collected millions of fans and took home three consecutive Young Artist awards in the categories of Best Young Supporting Actress in a Television Series in 1986, Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress, Starring in a Television, Comedy or Drama Series in 1987 and Best Young Female Superstar in Television in 1988. The actress’ success on the show led to her releasing an exercise video called “Teen Steam,” which became a best-selling video in 1988.
While her role on Who’s The Boss continued to flourish, Milano starred in a string of unmemorable TV films, including The Canterville Ghost (1986), Crash Course (1988) and Voices That Care (1991), and forgettable movies like the Jimmy Zeilinger-directed Little Sister (1992, starring opposite Jonathan Silverman) and the drama Where the Day Takes You (1992).
Wanting to change her image from child to adult actress, Milano did several topless pictures for “Bikini Magazine” and various other nude photos in Europe. She also accepted the role of Amy Fisher, the sexpot teen in the CBS TV-movie Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story (1993). Milano’s was the naughtiest, meanest Amy in that year’s triple-header Fisher-fest. She was also seen naked screen in such films as Embrace of the Vampire (1994), Deadly Sins (1995) and Poison Ivy II (1996), and in an episode of “The Outer Limits” (1995). Her efforts were blossomed as renowned men’s magazine FHM voted Milano No. 4 in its “100 Sexiest Women” list in 2001 and 2003.
Milano was cast alongside relative newcomers Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon in the surprise hit Fear (1996), appeared in the Ben Affleck and Sam Rockwell vehicle Glory Daze (1996) and starred as Denise Harris in a TV film about a couple combating for their lives while abandoned in Alaska in To Brave Alaska (1996).
With a lack of victory in film, Milano returned to TV series, joining the cast of the primetime Aaron Spelling soap “Melrose Place” on FOX for the 1997-1998 season. Her role as troublemaker Jennifer Mancini again thrust her into the public eye and sent her career rebounding. Also in 1997, she delivered a strong performance as Hugo Dugay in Robert Downey Sr.’s Hugo Pool, a rough comedy also starring Mark Boone Junior, Malcolm McDowell, Sean Penn and Robert Downey Jr. For her bright performance in the film, Milano was garnered a Spirit Award at the Sundance Film Festival.
The TV star gathered even more popularity in the following year when she was recruited as one of the three witches on the WB hit Charmed (1997- ), costarring Shannen Doherty (replaced by Rose McGowan in 2001) and Holly Marie Combs. Portraying Phoebe Halliwell, one of a trio of twentysomething sisters that learn their family tradition of witchcraft, Milano cemented her position as a successful adult star.
Since the fame of Charmed, Milano appeared in important TV ad campaigns and became famous for being the spokesperson for 1-800-Collect and Candie’s perfume. She also continued to pursue her film career by playing roles in Kiss the Bride and Buying the Cow (both in 2002) and in the David Spade comedy Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003, playing sexy hitchhiker Cyndi). In 2005, she provided her voice for character 26 in the animated feature Dinotopia: Quest for the Ruby Sunstone. Milano can currently be seen in the bewitched weekly show “Charmed” with co-stars Holly Marie Combs and Rose McGowan.
Aside from her acting career, Milano is also an accomplished singer and recording artist, although not in her home country of America. She has launched five albums titled Alyssa, Look In My Heart (both in 1989), Best In The World (1990), Locked In a Dream (1991) and Do You See Me (1992) in Japan, which all went platinum. She even appeared in the blink-182 video for the song “Josie.”
Spirit: Women Award, Hugo Pool, 1997
Young Artist: Best Young Female Superstar in Television, Who’s the Boss?, 1998
Young Artist: Exceptional Performance by a Young Actress, Starring in a Television, Comedy or Drama Series, Who’s the Boss?, 1987
Young Artist: Best Young Supporting Actress in a Television Series, Who’s the Boss?, 1986