Making her grand entrance on June 8th, 1978 in Medford,
Massachusetts, Maria Menounos was a shining star at birth.
By the time she was a student (and a good one at that), her
sights were set on a career in journalism. Some days, she
would even arrive late to school after watching the morning
news on CNN for too long.
In 1995, thanks to the encouragement of her friends and
family, Menounos began to enroll in beauty pageants. The
following year, she won the title of Miss Massachusetts Teen
USA. Though she did not win the Miss Teen USA crown, her
involvement in such a big production helped her gain a lot
of experience, not to mention pave the way for her career.
In fact, she boldly told pageant host and Entertainment
Tonight reporter Bob Goen that she would love to work with
him at ET. Her six years of foresight seem quite prophetic
Her string of success on the pageant circuit ended in 1999,
when Menounos finished a very respectable second place to
Miss Massachusetts USA. By this time, she was on to bigger
and better things as a student at Boston's Emerson College.
During her senior year, she was hired as a reporter for
Channel One News, known as the top news source for American
students. Her work for Channel One's 10-minute segments
included traveling to El Salvador to report on the
devastating earthquake of 2001 and interviewing President
George W. Bush.
She also lent her broadcasting skills to two radio stations;
she produced, hosted and wrote news segments for both a
local and a college channel. Menounos even made an
independent film in 1999 called George's Auto, proving that
she is truly an all-around talent.
These achievements translated into a wave of high-profile TV
offers. The best and most lucrative by far came from the
most popular news show in syndication, Entertainment
Tonight. The famed celebrity news show convinced Menounos to
join its team as a correspondent in 2002. She excelled
immediately, interviewing everyone from the Osbournes to
Robin Williams, and reporting on movies, music and fashion.
Menounos did so well that ET executives offered her a
hosting gig for ET on MTV & VH1, a crossover program that
brings the latest celeb news to the two popular networks.
She remains a correspondent on ET but, to many, her most
important contributions involve charities. Menounos formed
Take Action Hollywood!, a foundation that raises social
awareness and enlists the help of the entertainment
Of late, Menounos has created her own news by appearing in
FHM magazine and being the subject of a rumored romance with
Hollywood star Vin Diesel. The praise for this beautiful
host should continue with few obstacles, proving that beauty
pageant babes are more than just a big smile and bikini
body. And if Maria continues to give us glimpses of that
body, like she did at the 2004 Oscars by wearing a
diamond-studded dress worth more than $2.5 million, she'll
always be priceless to us.
Joined "Entertainment Tonight" (1981) on April 30, 2002 as a
correspondent, reporting on film, television, music and
Graduated from Emerson College in Boston.
Was an anchor on Channel One, a news program for school
children usually played during the school day.
Worked as an international correspondent for Channel One
When a contestant in the Miss Teen USA Pageant in 1996,
representing the state of Massachussetts, Miss Menounos was
asked by pageant host Bob Goen what she would like to do
when she "grew up." Her response was "I want to work with
you at E.T., Bob!". Her wish came true when she joined
"Entertainment Tonight" (1981) six years later as a
correspondent for the show. She also answered viewers'
questions about celebrities at the E.T. website (etonline.com),
where her page was called 'Maria's Mailbox'. Miss Menounos
is now a Los Angeles-based correspondent for "Access
She is of Greek descent.
Was Miss Massachussetts Teen USA 1996.
Speaks Greek fluently
Ranked and Voted #5 by AskMen.com's Top 99 Most Desirable
Women of 2006
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