Dancing with the Stars Wiki
Advertisement
Maria Menounos
Maria Menounos S14
Celebrity Profile
Birth Date 8 June 1978 (1978-06-08) (age 46)
Hometown Medford, Massachusetts
Known For TV host

Dancing with the Stars 14

Partner(s) Derek Hough
Placement 4
Highest Score 30 (Paso Doble & Argentine Tango)
Lowest Score 21 (Cha-Cha-Cha)
Average Score 26.8

Maria Menounos is a celebrity from Season 14 of Dancing with the Stars.

Early Life[]

Menounos was born in Medford, Massachusetts, to Greek immigrant parents Costas and Litsa Menounos. She has one younger brother, Peter. She is fluent in the Greek language. From age thirteen through nineteen, she was an employee of Dunkin' Donuts. Menounos attended the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Somerville, Massachusetts. Menounos attended Medford High School in Medford, Massachusetts.

Beauty Pageants[]

In 1995, Menounos began to compete in beauty pageants. The following year, she won the title of Miss Massachusetts Teen USA, and she competed at Miss Teen USA where she placed in the top 15, receiving an honorary mention, during the preliminary competition. Menounos placed 13th in preliminaries. Maria competed for the title of Miss Massachusetts USA 2000. She was the first runner-up.

Film and Television Career[]

Later Menounos attended Boston's Emerson College where she participated in the now award-winning organization, Emerson Independent Video. She graduated from Emerson in 2000. During her senior year, she was hired as a reporter for Channel One News. Her work for Channel One's ten-minute segments included traveling to El Salvador to report on the 2001 El Salvador earthquakes, interviewing NATO aircrew members aboard an E-3 AWACS plane while flying a combat air patrol mission during the military alliance's Operation Eagle Assist, and interviewing President George W. Bush.

Entertainment Tonight hired Menounos as a correspondent in 2002, where she reported on movies, music, and fashion. ET executives offered her a hosting gig for ET on MTV and VH1. She left the program in 2005 to focus on her acting career, though she would eventually join rival program Access Hollywood later that fall as a special correspondent. She went on to co-host a few episodes of the Today show in the late summer and fall of 2006 as well as in April 2007. In 2003, Menounos appeared in the 30 November episode of Punk'd where she was one of many celebrities caught in the awkward and embarrassing "Red Carpet Interviews".

In 2004, Menounos appeared in an episode of the UPN series One on One as Glenda, an eccentric, self-proclaimed "Fairy Godmother to the Stars". In the summer of 2005, she appeared in the comic book film, Fantastic Four, where she played a nurse who is romanced by the Human Torch, played by Chris Evans. Her likeness and voice was featured in the 2005 Electronic Arts video game, From Russia with Love as Eva Adara, Red Grant's henchwoman, which stars Sean Connery as James Bond. She is also the spokesperson for Pantene hair products. Menounos presented the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest (along with Greek singer Sakis Rouvas) that took place in Athens.

As an actress, Menounos had recurring roles in the CBS-TV program Without a Trace and as Jules in the second season of The CW's One Tree Hill (during its run on The WB). Menounos also appeared in the Scrubs episode "My Extra Mile", which aired in May 2006 where she is attracted to John Dorian because she likes his hair. In 2006, Menounos appeared in the music video for "A Public Affair" by Jessica Simpson. On 27 April 2007, Menounos starred in Kickin' It Old Skool. In 2007, Menounos continued in her run as international spokesperson doing print and television commercials for Pantene hair products as well as print ads for New York & Company. From 17 to 20 December 2007, Menounos hosted the reality game show miniseries Clash of the Choirs.

In 2008, she became the host of Hollywood Green on the Planet Green network. In 2008, she had a role in the movie Tropic Thunder, and in the same year she became the first (and to date, the only) journalist to interview the entire Obama family as a whole. She also reported for NBC Nightly News.

In May 2008, she played in the AVP Cuervo Gold Crown Huntington Beach Open, but was eliminated in the qualifying round. On 13 July 2008, Menounos starred in the celebrity softball game at Yankee Stadium in New York. In November 2008, when Richard Belzer fell ill, she filled in as host for the North Shore Animal League's Dogcatemy Celebrity Gala, which takes place in NYC's Capitale. From 2009 to 2012, she hosted various reunion specials of MTV's The Real World and The Challenge. Menounos appeared in the 2008 Knight Rider episode "Fly By Knight", which aired 11 February 2009 where she played a DEA agent who is in charge of investigating a plane crash.

It was announced 4 August 2011 that she was joining Warner Bros.'s Extra, where she would co-host the show with Mario Lopez. She'd also have on-air duties at Dr. Drew's Lifechangers, and would develop new projects.

In May 2014, after three years of hosting Extra, Menounos left the show and signed a multi-year contract with E! Entertainment, where she will host and produce several programs. In July 2015, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Menounos would replace Giuliana Rancic as the co-anchor of E! News.

Professional Wrestling[]

Menounos is a long-time WWE fan and has made several appearances with the promotion. Menounos' first appearance came 12 October 2009, when Menounos joined Nancy O'Dell in guest hosting WWE Raw. She made her in-ring debut that night in a six diva tag team match with Gail Kim and Kelly Kelly against Alicia Fox, Beth Phoenix, and Rosa Mendes; Menounos's team was victorious, with the match highlighted by Menounos slapping the much larger-statured Phoenix.

At WWE Tribute to the Troops 11 December 2011, Menounos returned and teamed with Alicia Fox, Eve Torres, and Kelly Kelly to defeat the team of The Bella Twins (Brie and Nikki) and The Divas of Doom (Beth Phoenix and Natalya) where Menounos got the win for her team by pinning Phoenix.

Menounos continued her feud with WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix after Phoenix and Eve Torres interrupted an interview segment with Kelly Kelly on Extra. This led to tag team match at WrestleMania XXVIII with Menounos teaming with Kelly Kelly to take on Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres. Despite legitimately suffering two cracked ribs during practice for Dancing with the Stars before the match, Menounos and Kelly were successful in defeating Phoenix and Eve on 1 April 2012, at WrestleMania, with Menounos pinning Phoenix for the win.

At Madison Square Garden 6 April 2013, Menounos inducted Bob Backlund into the WWE Hall of Fame. On 18 August 2013 at Summerslam Axxess, she team up with Natalya to defeat Brie Bella and Eva Marie.

Menounos was seen 17 August 2014 at the SummerSlam pay-per-view, appearing in the crowd and later in a backstage segment with Stephanie McMahon, who accepted Menounos's challenge for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Menounos was actually nominated in the first place by McMahon's father and chairman of WWE, Vince McMahon.

She has also hosted the WWE Hall of Fame red carpet pre-show for two years in a row, in 2014 and 2015. She also appeared during the event as a guest backstage interviewer for WrestleMania 31.

Production[]

At the age of seventeen, Menounos produced In the Land of Merry Misfits, an independent film fairy tale. The 35mm feature film was produced by Menounos while attending Emerson College with director Keven Undergaro, then head writer for MTV's Singled Out. The negative of the film was stolen and the film was never completed but her work on the film, and the film's director, helped her land her reporting job at Channel One News and at MTV. Menounos, however, never forgot the film or the film's director. In 2005, Menounos personally funded the recovery and restoration of the film, which was narrated by John Waters and starred an eclectic group in the Waters vein — including former WWE champion Bob Backlund, actress Josie Davis from the TV show Charles in Charge and B-movie icon Randal Malone. The film premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

Menounos also directed Longtime Listener starring Wilmer Valderrama. The film was an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival 2006. Menounos acted in and produced Adventures of Serial Buddies, which is credited with being the first serial killer buddy comedy. In May 2013 Menounos launched a new interview series called Conversations with Maria, with Zoe Saldana being her first guest. Menounos also continues to maintain AfterBuzzTV, which is an online entertainment broadcast network that she founded with partner Keven Undergaro. And AfterBuzzTV has quickly gained prominence as a pioneer in digital broadcasting and now covers over 200 series with an astounding audience of over 20 million each week to more than 100 countries.

Menounos' creation of AfterBuzzTV as a digital media innovator has also earned her the distinct honor of being named the 2014 CES Entertainment Maters Ambassador in Las Vegas.

Maria's new reality series premiered 18 March 2014 on the Oxygen Network entitled Chasing Maria Menounos. The show is emotional and comedic as it follows Maria and long-time boyfriend Keven Undergaro's fast-paced life and chronicles the tough decisions and obstacles that arise while dealing with career and family matters with her traditional Greek immigrant parents that namely demand she gets married and has children.

Charity Work[]

Menounos founded the charity "Take Action Hollywood!" after her trip to South Africa. Reporting on the devastating effects of the AIDS crisis she was inspired to create TAH!, a charity that utilizes the power of the entertainment industry and the medium of film to affect for positive social change. Maria also created the Cosmo Girl Cup, a national, annual competition and award given to the group of teens who do the most in their communities to affect for positive social change. Menounos presented 25 April 2010 at the Earth Day Network's Climate Rally in Washington, DC. She encouraged people to go green and threw carrots into the crowd. Menounos acted as the Master of Ceremonies for the First Annual Los Angeles CureSearch Walk for Children's Cancer held 24 October 2010 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Personal Life[]

Menounos has been in a relationship with director and producer Kevin Undergaro since April 1998. In addition, they work together, owning AfterBuzz TV. Maria and Kevin became engaged live 9 March 2016 on the Howard Stern Show.

In 2014, Maria was visiting New York when someone threw a tire iron at her moving vehicle, shattering the window. She was not injured.

Dancing with the Stars 14[]

She was a contestant in the 14th season of Dancing with the Stars partnering with Derek Hough. The couple were eliminated 15 May 2012, ending up in 4th place.

Scores[]

1The dancer Hough and Menounos chose for the Trio Challenge was Henry Byalikov.

Trivia[]

  • On 14 December 2020, it was announced that she will compete in Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, which would begin airing 7 January 2021.
    • On 28 January 2021, she competed in the fourth episode of Celebrity Wheel of Fortune alongside Constance Zimmer and Yvette Nicole Brown. She won $39,300 for her charity, The Brain Trust & UCLA Foundation.

Gallery[]

Advertisement