Multi-Talented Maria Menounos
Maria Menounos (born June 8, 1978) is an American actress, journalist, and television presenter on various shows such as "Extra" and "Access Hollywood." She also was an anchor on the E! Television network from 2015-2017, and hosts a daily, one-hour radio show on SiriusXM, "Conversations with Maria."
Maria Menounos is one of the hardest-working women in show business, with multiple careers in progress at the same time, each of which would be sufficient for most people.
Maria even wrestles professionally in her spare time. She is probably best known for her long-time association with World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE), for which she has played numerous roles. For instance, she has had some high-profile tag team matches in the ring, and engaged in a long-running feud with WWE Divas champion Beth Phoenix. She also does occasional hosting duties for WWE, including hosting the WWE Hall of Fame red carpet pre-show from 2014-2017.
Maria plays up her Greek heritage and speaks Greek fluently, but she actually was born in Medford, Massachusetts and is completely American. From humble beginnings, Maria has climbed from a teenage job at Dunkin' Donuts to your nightly television.
Maria gained her start in show business by entering beauty pageants. She was the first runner-up for Miss Massachusetts 2000.
While studying at Emerson College in Boston, Maria began reporting for a local television station. Her assignments took her around the world. "Entertainment Tonight" hired her in 2002, and then she began an acting career.
Several episodic television show appearances followed, including recurring roles on "Without a Trace" and "One Tree Hill." As a sort of hobby, Maria also has wrestled on various WWE programs.
Maria Menounos remains a fixture on television, but she also is in films, hosts a show on radio and makes live appearances.
Maria has been engaged to Keven Undergaro since he proposed to her on the Howard Stern Show on March 9, 2016. Stern and Maria are both hosts on SiriusXM.
Maria had a health scare in 2017 when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She had an operation, and the illness contributed to her decision to leave E!. Maria's mother also was diagnosed with a brain tumor in recent years and both mother and daughter wound up fighting similar afflictions at the same time. Maria has Stage 4 meningioma, and the early prognosis in July 2017 was good with hope that the cancer was benign. She stated:
I'm getting stronger and stronger every day and I'll be back to normal very soon.
Maria does charitable work, including creating the Cosmo Girl Cup and founding the "Take Action Hollywood" charity to battle AIDS. She also is active with Earth Day.
In 2014, Maria won a daytime Emmy for Outstanding Entertainment News Program with Extra.
Maria has a sort of hobby as an actress. She was in "Fantastic Four" (2005) as "Sexy Nurse," and makes occasional appearances on episodic television series such as "Knight Rider," "Entourage," "Donny!" and "Louie." She often plays some fictionalized version of herself or a generic television personality.
It is a stretch to call Maria a renowned thespian ready to go out and do Shakespeare in Stratford-on-Avon. However, she definitely is competent at what she does and keeps getting asked to play similar roles all the time. That said, this is what Maria herself has to say about it:
A lot of people didn't realize that I acted before I did anything else.
Maria specializes in light, fun, tongue-in-cheek newscaster-type roles that play off her tabloid celebrity. As an example, Maria was in "Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!" (2015) playing C.J. Sorkin.
Maria told Megyn Kelly about her cancer:
I think that this was a gift, because I needed to change my life. I needed to change the way I did everything.
Maria became a "Bond Girl" by appearing in video game "From Russia with Love" in 2005:
I am honored to be a Bond girl and be a part of the Bond legacy, To star in a video game with Connery, the original Bond, is incredible.
You have to take control of your own career.
So most of my acting experience came in college when I was living away from them. I acted in various independent films, and I got some commercial work and stuff like that.
I am so grateful for the past three years at E!, I had such an amazing time co-hosting with Jason Kennedy and working everyday with the wonderful roster of talent on the show including producers, staff and crew. It was such a special, good-hearted group and one I'll always consider family. A special thank you to Frances Berwick and Adam Stotsky for all the support they have shown me through the years especially during these tough times. I will truly miss everyone and looking forward to this next chapter in my life.
One of the first things I did was interview the President of the United States. Some people work their whole lives and can't interview someone of that stature.
That's why charity work is very selfish at the same time, because it makes you feel good.
I love comic book movies, and Marvel Comics obviously are the best.
The odd thing is, I don't consider what I do work, because it's what I love. But it is also an enormous amount of pressure, and you have to work an enormous amount of hours.