Maria Menounos is a renowned American film and television actress, entertainment journalist and a television host. Menounos also appears as an occasional professional wrestler and wrestling host on the World Wrestling Entertainment network where she has been signed on as an ambassador since the year 2013. Menounos has made appearances as herself on several popular television shows which include ‘Punk’d’, ‘Entourage’, ‘Sesame Street’, ‘Hell’s Kitchen’, ‘The Mindy Project’, ‘Nashville’, ‘Ridiculousness’, ‘Cupcake Wars’ etc while also appearing in a recurring role of Emily “Jules” Chambers on the WB/CW show ‘One Tree Hill’.
Prior to her acting and wresting career, Menounos began her stint in the media industry as a Channel One News Reporter. She also served as an entertainment correspondent covering movies, fashion and music at Entertainment Tonight. Menounos also served in the same position at Access Hollywood and served as a news correspondent for ‘The Today Show’. She co-hosted the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest in Athens, Greece. Furthermore, Menounos is the co-creator and CEO of AfterBuzzTV, an online podcast network.
Early Life and Education
Menounos was born in a poor family on 8 June 1978 in Medford, Massachusetts and raised in the cities of Boston and Somerville as the eldest child and only daughter of her parents Litsa and Costas Menounos, who served as janitors at a nightclub in Boston. She has one sibling, a younger brother called Peter. Menounos is of Greek ancestry on both sides of her parents’ family and attended Somerville’s Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church.
Menounos graduated from the at the Medford High School before she moved to Boston to attend Emerson College. She completed her graduation in 2000 from Emerson College. Menounos began competing in beauty pageant in 1995 and was crowned Miss Massachusetts Teen, USA in 1996. She also participated in the Miss Teen USA pageant and finished in the top 15. She was adjudged the first runner-up at the 2000 Miss Massachusetts USA beauty pageant.
Menounos began her journalism career as a Channel One News reporter while she was still a senior at Emerson during which time she travelled to El Salvador to cover the 2001 earthquake. She also interviewed the president George W. Bush and NATO aircrew members aboard the E-3 AWACS plane during operation Eagle Assist. From 2002-2005, Menounos served as an entertainment reporter for Entertainment Tonight covering stories on movies, fashion and music. Menounos left Entertainment to focus on her acting career in 2005 but soon joined as a correspondent at Access Hollywood. From 2006-2007, Menounos co-hosted some episodes of ‘Today’. Menounos had acting roles in TV shows like ‘One Tree Hill’, ‘Scrubs’, ‘Entourage’, ‘Sesame Street’, ‘The Mindy Project’, ‘Nashville’ etc, appearing as herself in most shows.
Menounos made her debut as a professional wrestler in October 2009, after being an avid WWE fan for several years. She made her in-ring debut while guest hosting the WWE show ‘WWE Raw’ in a six-diva tag team match with team members Kelly Kelly and Gail Kim against Beth Phoenix, Alicia Fox, and Rosa Mendes and emerged victorious. She also defeated Brie and Nikki Bella and The Divas of Doom i.e. Beth Phoenix and Natalya at the 2011 WWE Tribute to the Troops with Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox. She also won WrestleMania XXVIII with Kelly Kelly in 2012 and inducted Bob Backlund in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. From 2014 to 2017, Menounos served as the host of the red-carpet pre-show of the WWE Hall of Fame.
Menounos has been involved in a romantic relationship with producer and director Keven Undergaro since the couple first started dating in April 1998. In September 2011, Menounos announced that she was freezing her eggs to ensure she could have children someday, after achieving her career goals.
Undergaro proposed marriage to Menounos on 9 March 2016 in a live broadcast of the ‘The Howard Stern Show’ which she accepted. In July 2017, Menounos was diagnosed of brain tumour for which she underwent brain surgery.
Maria Menounos -Net worth
Menounos has an estimated net worth of approximately of $7 Million.