"Get involved, work hard, and take pride in even the smallest tasks. Find a dream and pursue making it a reality. We all have one dream or more... some of us just never take the time to find it. So take the time!" Maria Menounos
American journalist/presenter/actress Maria Menounos became known for her work as a correspondent reporting on films, television, music and fashion, for the number one syndicated entertainment newsmagazine in the world, Entertainment Tonight. Her work on the show brought her hosting gigs for ET on MTV as well as on VH1. Previously, Menounos was an international correspondent for Channel One News, the top source of news for America's teen students.
As a filmmaker, she produced the musical fantasy George's Auto (1999), written and directed by former MTV head writer Kevin Indigaro.
She also once served both as a producer and executive producer in the feature film In the Land of Merry Misfits.
Menounos was listed one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful in 2004 and reportedly wore a diamond-studded dress costing more than $2.5 million at the 2004 Oscars. As for her romantic life, she is rumored to be dating Hollywood star Vin Diesel.
After guest starring in a number of television shows, Menounos recently added the wide screen film Fantastic Four (2005) to her resume.
Massachusetts Teen USA
Childhood and Family:
Daughter to Greek descendent parents, Maria Menounos was born on June 8, 1978, in Medford, Massachusetts. During her early years, Maria discovered her interest lay with journalism. She was a bright student at school.
Encouraged by family and friends, Maria tried her hand in modeling by enrolling in a beauty pageant in 1995. The following year, she won the title of Miss Massachusetts Teen USA. In the year 1999, she placed second at the Miss Massachusetts USA pageant. Though she did not win the Miss Massachusetts USA crown, Maria's participation in the beauty contest opened up a chance for her to enter Hollywood. She then became a model and did several commercials for television. About the same time, Maria attended Boston's Emerson College where she began to pursue a career in journalism. Later on, she added acting and producing to her endeavors.
Off screen, Menounos is a philanthropist who formed Take Action Hollywood, a foundation that enlists the help of the entertainment industry and raises social awareness.
Channel One News
Since childhood, Maria Menounos developed a love for journalism. As a teenager, she was crowned 1996's Miss Massachusetts Teen USA and was the runner-up in 1999's Miss Massachusetts USA. She then began her modeling career and appeared in a number of commercials.
In 1999, Menounos made her first feature film, George's Auto. It was a fantasy, musical film that was directed and written by former MTV head writer Kevin Indigaro. The Boston Phoenix called her indie film a Gen-X Wizard of Oz. In the 35mm feature length film, In the Land of Merry Misfits, Menounos both served as producer and executive producer.
"I was producing a film with a former MTV writer when I got a call from my friend Mark. He was working as a PA at Channel One and told me they were looking for anchors/reporters. At the time I thought my path was to produce films, but after auditioning with Channel One and getting the job, I realized that part of my career would get put on hold for a while." Maria Menounos
While she was a senior at college, Menounos started her journalism career after she received the offer to work as an international correspondent for Channel One News. As a reporter for their 10-minute segment, Menounos informed more than eight million students about current issues. Her work included interviewing President George W. Bush and other celebrities, reporting on the AIDS epidemic in South Africa and traveling to El Salvador to cover the 2001 earthquake.
During her time at Channel One News, Menounos also produced and co-hosted a weekly radio talk show on Boston's WNRB-AM. Additionally, she wrote, produced and broadcasted news sections for one of the major college radio stations in the country, WERS-FM.
Menounos' biggest career boost arrived when she joined the world's most-watched entertainment news show in 2002 as a correspondent reporting on film, television, music and fashion in syndication Entertainment Tonight, produced by Paramount Domestic Television. Her excellent work so impressed ET executives that she was asked to host Entertainment Tonight on MTV, one of the highest rated shows on the cable network, as well as Entertainment Tonight on VH1.
Being famous as a reporter, Menounos branched out to acting and guest starred in such popular shows as CBS's "Without A Trace," UPN's "One on One" and in an eight-episode story arc for "One Tree Hill." She also appeared in the comic book film Fantastic Four (2005), portraying a nurse who is romanced by Chris Evans' character.