Maria Menounos
Menounos in 2014
Born (1978-06-08) June 8, 1978 (age 45)
  • United States
  • Greece
Alma materEmerson College
  • Television presenter
  • journalist
  • actress
  • podcaster
Years active1996–present
(m. 2017)

Maria Menounos (/məˈnns/ mə-NOO-nohss; Greek: Μαρία Μενούνος [maˈri.a meˈnunos]; born June 8, 1978)[1] is an American television presenter. She has hosted Extra and E! News; she was a TV correspondent for Today, Access Hollywood, and co-hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2006 in Athens, Greece. She also co-created and is currently CEO of online podcast series network AfterBuzz TV. She is currently signed to WWE where she has served as an ambassador since 2013, having even competed in some tag team events as a pro since 2009. She hosted the podcast Conversations with Maria Menounos She also co-hosted Miss Universe 2023 pageant on 18 November 2023.

Early life

Menounos was born in the Boston suburb of Medford, Massachusetts,[1] to Greek immigrant parents Costas and Litsa Menounos who worked as janitors in a Boston nightclub.[2] She has a younger brother named Peter.[2] Maria Menounos attended the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Somerville, Massachusetts. She also attended Medford High School in Medford.[3]

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. She placed 13th in the preliminaries. She competed for the title of Miss Massachusetts USA 2000 and was the first runner-up.

Menounos attended Boston's Emerson College participating there in the organization Emerson Independent Video. She graduated from Emerson in 2000.[4]


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Film, television, and radio

During her senior year at Emerson, Menounos worked as a reporter for Channel One News. For her 10-minute segments, she traveled to El Salvador to report on the January 2001 and February 2001 earthquakes, interviewed NATO aircrew members aboard an E-3 AWACS plane during the military alliance's Operation Eagle Assist, and interviewed President George W. Bush.[citation needed]

Entertainment Tonight hired Menounos as a correspondent in 2002;[5] she reported on movies, music, and fashion. She left the program in 2005 to focus on her acting career, although she joined rival program Access Hollywood that fall as a correspondent.[6] 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, she appeared on the November 30 episode of Punk'd as one of many celebrities caught in the awkward and embarrassing "Red Carpet Interviews".

Menounos signing autographs in 2005

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 playing a nurse romanced by the Human Torch who is played by Chris Evans. Her likeness and voice was featured in the 2005 Electronic Arts video game James Bond 007: 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) which took place in Athens.[7] Menounos also directed Longtime Listener starring Wilmer Valderrama. The film was an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival 2006. She acted in and produced Adventures of Serial Buddies, which is credited with being the first serial killer buddy comedy.[8]

At the age of 17, Menounos produced In the Land of Merry Misfits, an independent film fairy tale. The 35 mm 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 (ET on MTV). She however, never forgot the film or the film's director. In 2005, she 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 in February 2009

Menounos also maintains AfterBuzzTV, an online entertainment network she founded with Undergaro,[9] for which she was named the 2014 CES Entertainment Matters Ambassador. As an actress, she had recurring roles on 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 on 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, she appeared in the music video for "A Public Affair" by Jessica Simpson. On April 27, 2007, Menounos starred in Kickin' It Old Skool. In 2007, she 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 December 17 to 20, 2007, she hosted the reality game show miniseries Clash of the Choirs.

Menounos at The Heart Truth Fashion Show 2008

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 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, Menounos played in the AVP Cuervo Gold Crown Huntington Beach Open but was eliminated in the qualifying round. On July 13, 2008, she played 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 is held at NYC's Capitale.[10] From 2009 to 2012 she hosted various reunion specials of MTV's The Real World and The Challenge. She appeared on the 2008 Knight Rider series episode "Fly By Knight", which aired on February 11, 2009; she played a DEA agent who is in charge of investigating a plane crash.

On August 4, 2011, it was announced that she would join Warner Bros.'s Extra, where she co-hosted the show with Mario Lopez. She also had on-air duties at Dr. Drew's Lifechangers, with plans to develop new projects.[11] For her work on Extra, Menounos won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Entertainment News Program.

She was a contestant on the 14th season of Dancing with the Stars partnering with Derek Hough.[12] The couple was eliminated on May 15, 2012 placing fourth in the competition. In May 2013, Menounos began a new interview series called Conversations with Maria Menounos;[13] Zoe Saldana being her first guest.

On March 18, 2014, Menounos' reality TV series Chasing Maria Menounos premiered on the Oxygen Network.[14]

In May 2014, after three years of hosting Extra, Menounos left the show signing a multi-year contract with E! Entertainment to host and produce several programs. In July 2015, The Hollywood Reporter announced that she would replace Giuliana Rancic as the co-anchor of E! News.[15] In July 2017, Menounos stepped down due to an ongoing battle with a brain tumor.[16][17][18]

In late 2015, it was announced that Menounos would host a daily, one-hour radio show on SiriusXM called Conversations with Maria on Stars 109.[19] She continues to host a pre-movie show named Noovie.

In 2020, GSTV announced a partnership to air short-form videos called Better Together with Maria Menounos on GSTV-affiliated gas pump video screens in more than 28,000 locations. The brief videos feature Menounos providing tips for physical and emotional health, relationship advice, and other wellness-based information.[20]

In June 2021, Menounos hosted the reunion show for season one of The Challenge: All Stars, a special-limited series of the MTV reality-competition series The Challenge, alongside Nate Burleson.[21] In December 2021, Menounos hosted the reunion show for the 37th season of the main series of The Challenge, titled The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies.[22]

Professional wrestling

Menounos is a long-time WWE fan and has made several appearances with WWE. Her first appearance was on October 12, 2009; Menounos joined Nancy O'Dell and guest hosted 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' team was victorious; a highlight was Menounos slapping the much larger-stature Phoenix.[23]

On December 11, 2011, at WWE Tribute to the Troops, 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 (Phoenix and Natalya). Menounos got the win for her team by pinning Phoenix.[24]

Menounos (front) celebrating her victory at WrestleMania XXVIII along with tag-team partner Kelly Kelly in April 2012

Menounos continued her feud with WWE Divas Champion Phoenix after Phoenix and Eve Torres interrupted an interview segment with Kelly Kelly on Extra. This led to a tag team match at WrestleMania XXVIII with Menounos teaming with Kelly Kelly to take on Phoenix and Torres.[25] Despite suffering two cracked ribs during practice for Dancing with the Stars before the match,[26] Menounos and Kelly were successful in defeating Phoenix and Torres on April 1, 2012, at WrestleMania, with Menounos pinning Phoenix for the win.[27]

On April 6, 2013, at Madison Square Garden, Menounos inducted Bob Backlund into the WWE Hall of Fame.[28] On August 18, 2013, at SummerSlam Axxess, she teamed with Natalya defeating Brie Bella and Eva Marie.[29][30]

On August 17, 2014, Menounos was seen 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 by McMahon's father and chairman of WWE, Vince McMahon.

She has hosted the WWE Hall of Fame red carpet pre-show for six years in a row (2014-2019). She also appeared during the event as a guest backstage interviewer for WrestleMania 31, WrestleMania 32 and WrestleMania 33. In 2016, Menounos appeared in one episode of the WWE Network's Swerved and was a backstage interviewer for SummerSlam. On January 28, 2018, she was the special guest ring announcer for the first-ever women's Royal Rumble match at the Royal Rumble.

Charity work

In a 2008 NBC interview, Menounos shared she has been involved in charity work since age 13 and has always wanted to be able to help many causes in the charity world.[31]

Menounos founded the charity "Take Action Hollywood!" after her trip to South Africa, where she reported on the effects of the AIDS crisis there.[32] She 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.[33] Menounos presented at the Earth Day Network's Climate Rally in Washington, DC on April 25, 2010.[34] in 2012 Menounos took part in Red Cross's and AMC joint effort to raise awareness for donating blood.[35]


Personal life

In 2012, Menounos posed nude for the May issue of Allure magazine.[36] In the same year, Menounos told Howard Stern that she had previously been sexually abused by two doctors during medical examinations.[37]

In April 2017, she had surgery to remove a meningioma, an intracranial tumor which was benign.[38][39] In January 2023, she was diagnosed with stage II pancreatic cancer and underwent surgery. The cancer was found on a whole body MRI screening, after being missed earlier on a hospital-ordered CT test.[40][41]

Menounos married Keven Undergaro in Times Square during the 2017 New Year's festivities in a ceremony officiated by Steve Harvey[42] and then again in a 2018 Greek Orthodox wedding in her father's village of Akovos, Greece.[43] On February 7, 2023, Menounos and her husband announced they were having a baby with the aid of a surrogate.[44]

Menounos announced her dual citizenship between the United States and Greece on May 19, 2023.[45]


She was Spike TV's 2005 "Cyber Vixen of the Year",[46] and the 2010 Madden NFL Pro-AM MVP.[47] In 2014 Extra, which she co-hosts, won the Daytime Emmy award for Outstanding Entertainment News Program.[48]



Year Title Role Notes
2005 Fantastic Four Nurse
2006 Gladys Short film
2007 Kickin' It Old Skool Jennifer
In the Land of Merry Misfits Risandra Voice role
2008 Tropic Thunder Herself Cameo appearance
2011 Adventures of Serial Buddies Katelyn
2012 The Elders Producer Producer
2013 Paranormal Movie Dr. Luni
2015 Entourage Herself
2021 The Holiday Fix Up Jenny


See also: List of Eurovision Song Contest presenters

Year Title Role Notes
2000 Channel One News Herself Host
2002–2005 Entertainment Tonight Correspondent
2002 Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Reporter #1 Episode: "Free Sabrina"
2003 Without a Trace Chris Sanders Episode: "Trip Box"
Punk'd Herself 1 episode
2004 One on One Glenda Episode: "We'll Take Manhattan"
2004–2005 One Tree Hill Emily "Jules" Chambers 10 episodes
2005–2011 Access Hollywood Herself Correspondent
2006 Eurovision Song Contest Co-host
Scrubs Tamara Episode: "My Extra Mile"
Entourage Herself Episode: "Aquamom"; cameo appearance
2007 Clash of the Choirs Herself/host
2009 Knight Rider DEA Agent Jessie Renning Episode: "Fly by Knight"
2009–2011; 2021– The Challenge Herself Host of Reunion episodes
2009–2012 The Real World
2009 WWE Raw Co-Host/Herself Special
2010 Entourage Herself Episode: "Buzzed"; cameo appearance
2011–2014 Extra Herself/host
2011 Funny or Die Presents Talk Show Host "Paco Dances" segment
2012 Sesame Street Herself Episode: "The All of Our Senses Club"; cameo appearance
Dancing with the Stars Season 14 contestant
WrestleMania XXVIII Wrestled with Kelly Kelly to face Beth Phoenix and Eve
Louie Entertainment news anchor Episode: "Late Show: Part 2 & 3"
2012–2013 The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange Herself Guest appearance
2013 WWE Hall of Fame Inducted Bob Backlund
The Eric Andre Show Episode: "Maria Menounos; Eric Balfour"
Hell's Kitchen Episode: "7 Chefs Compete Part 2"; Chef's table guest in the blue kitchen
The Mindy Project 2 episodes
2013–2014 Nashville 2 episodes
2013–2017 Live from E! Co-host
2014 Chasing Maria Menounos
2014–2015 Bar Rescue 3 episodes
2014 WWE Hall of Fame Co-Host of the Red Carpet Pre-Show on the WWE Network
Ridiculousness Guest
Untold Host
Botched Host of the two-part reunion episode
2015 The Celebrity Apprentice 7 Guest donor for Team Infinity on Episode 1
WrestleMania 31 Guest backstage interviewer
Total Divas 1 episode
2015–2017 E! News Anchor
2016 Cupcake Wars Celebrity baker
Have You Been Paying Attention? Guest quiz master
2017 Total Bellas Episode: "Bella-Mania"
2018 Royal Rumble Guest ring announcer
2019 Ryan's Mystery Playdate Reporter Episode: "Ryan's Camera Ready Playdate/Ryan's Rattlin' Playdate"
2020 The Boys Herself Episode: "Nothing Like It in the World"
2021 Celebrity Wheel of Fortune Episode: "Constance Zimmer, Maria Menounos, and Yvette Nicole Brown"
The Challenge: All Stars Reunion show host
2022 The Pentaverate 6 episodes
2023 The Challenge: Ride or Dies Reunion show host
2023 Miss Universe 2023 Herself Final Show Co-Host

Video games

Year Title Voice Role Notes
2005 James Bond 007: From Russia with Love Eva Adara Also Likeness


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  2. ^ a b Coulton, Antoinette Y. (November 12, 2008). "Maria Menounos's Greek Christmas". People. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  3. ^ Waller, John (March 19, 2014). "Medford Native Maria Menounos Now Has Own Reality Show". Patch.
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  7. ^ "In pictures: Eurovision 2006". BBC News. May 21, 2006. Retrieved August 9, 2008.
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  10. ^ "View Co-Hosts Dish to OK! About Sherri". OK! Magazine. September 6, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
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  12. ^ "New Dancing with the Stars cast revealed". ABC News. February 27, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
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  14. ^ "Menounos Launches New Reality Series". Chasing Maria. Archived from the original on March 18, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  15. ^ Massabrook, Nicole (July 30, 2015). "Maria Menounos To Replace Giuliana Rancic On 'E! News' Despite Viewer Criticism During SAG Awards". International Business Times. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
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  18. ^ Johnson, Zach (July 3, 2017). "Maria Menounos Diagnosed With a Brain Tumor as Her Mom Is Fighting Stage 4 Brain Cancer". E! News. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  19. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (October 19, 2015). "Maria Menounos to Host Daily Pop Culture & Lifestyle Show for SiriusXM". Retrieved May 6, 2017.
  20. ^ "Better Together: GSTV and Maria Menounos Launch Partnership To Bring New Lifestyle Content to National Video Network". GSTV. June 25, 2020. Retrieved October 26, 2022.
  21. ^ Warnock, Caroline (June 2021). "'The Challenge' Sneak Peek Hints at Upcoming Reveal About On-Screen Hookup". heavy. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
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  27. ^ Artus, Matthew (April 2, 2012). "Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos def. Divas Champion Beth Phoenix & Eve". WWE. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
  28. ^ "Maria Menounos to induct Bob Backlund into the WWE Hall of Fame". Retrieved April 8, 2013.
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  30. ^ "SUMMERSLAM PPV RESULTS: Quick rundown of match results". PRO WRESTLING TORCH ( August 18, 2013. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  31. ^ Lee, Brian (April 17, 2008). "For Menounos, it's lights, camera, Take Action". MSNBC. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  32. ^ Raynor, Roxanne (March 6, 2013). "Maria Menounos: Take Action Hollywood". Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  33. ^ Mitovich, Matt (October 13, 2005). "Maria Menounous Is Hollywood's It Girl". TV Guide. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  34. ^ "Actress Maria Menounos at the Climate Rally Earth Day Concert in Washington". Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  35. ^ "Maria Menounos, Whitney Port Become Zombies for a Good Cause". Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  36. ^ "The Naked Truth: Five Celebrities Go Nude for Allure". Allure. April 17, 2012. Archived from the original on July 10, 2016. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  37. ^ Everett, Cristina; Chen, Joyce (June 11, 2012). "Maria Menounos reveals she's been sexually abused by multiple doctors during examinations". NY Daily News. Archived from the original on June 14, 2012.
  38. ^ Jordan, Julie (July 3, 2017). "Maria Menounos Reveals She Was Diagnosed with a Brain Tumor — While Her Mom Is Fighting Stage 4 Brain Cancer". People.
  39. ^ "Maria Menounos Battles Brain Tumor". TMZ. Retrieved March 20, 2023.
  40. ^ Harvey, Marianne (May 4, 2023). "Maria Menounos reveals she's recovering from pancreatic cancer". CNN. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  41. ^ "Maria Menounos opens up about pancreatic cancer diagnosis". CBS Today. May 4, 2023. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  42. ^ "Maria Menounos Got Married on Live TV on NYE With Steve Harvey Officiating". Vulture. January 1, 2018.
  43. ^ "Maria Menounos says her wedding in Greece was an absolute 'fairytale'". October 31, 2018.
  44. ^ D'Zurilla, Christie (February 7, 2023). "Maria Menounos, beaming and grateful, announces a baby is on the way — with some help". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  45. ^ Kokkinidis, Tasos. "Maria Menounos is Now Officially a Greek Citizen". Greek Reporter. No. 2023–05–19. Retrieved August 23, 2023.
  46. ^ "Every VGA Winner from Years Past". Spike TV. Archived from the original on November 19, 2013. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  47. ^ Coman, Nick (August 9, 2010). "Maria Menounos Named MVP of Madden NFL Pigskin Pro-Am". NESN. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  48. ^ Weinstein, Shelli; Litteton, Cynthia (June 22, 2014). "Daytime Emmy Awards: 'Young and the Restless,' 'Ellen DeGeneres,' Steve Harvey Among Top Winners at Raucous Ceremony (FULL LIST)". Variety. Retrieved July 3, 2017.