For many, having a brain tumor could mean the end of the world, but for Maria Menounos, there is always a better future once you can fight through it. Maria is a popular television host, actress, Journalist, and occasional professional wrestler. The Medford, Massachusetts native is best known for appearing as a TV correspondent for The Today Show, Extra, and Access Hollywood. Also, she joined in hosting the 51st edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2006, which was held in Athens, Greece.
The hardworking self-described “superachiever” had worked her way into fame, and even after undergoing brain surgery, Maria bounced back to take her place in the entertainment industry. Until today, she remains one of the leading faces in various fields.
Maria Menounos Began Her Career As A Beauty Queen
Born to Greek parents Costas and Litsa Menounos on June 28th, 1978, Maria grew up in Medford, Massachusetts. She attended the city’s High school before enrolling at Boston’s Emerson College, where she graduated fro in the year 2000. Maria holds the American nationality, but she belongs to white ethnicity. She has a brother named Peter Menounos.
Mostly described by her colleagues as a workaholic, she has always been a busy person. In her early years, she participated in various beauty pageants and was able to win the Miss Massachusetts Teen USA title in 1996, after which she participated in Miss Teen USA and was placed in the top fifteen. She additionally took part in the Miss Massachusetts USA pageant held in the year 2000 and ended up becoming the first runner up.
Her Career In Journalism Started From College
Maria Menounos started her career as a reporter for Channel One News while still in her senior year at Emerson College. There, she interviewed notable people like the former American President George W. Bush. However, in 2002, she was hired by Entertainment Tonight to report on music, movies, and fashion. After spending three years with the media outlet, she left and subsequently started working as an Access Hollywood correspondent. Between 2006 and 2007, Maria served as a co-host of NBC’s news and talking morning TV show, The Today Show.
Then in December 2008, she anchored Clash of the Choirs – a reality game show miniseries. In the next year, she served as a correspondent for NBC Nightly News and equally got associated with the Planet Green network, working as the host of Hollywood Green. She additionally hosted several reunion specials of The Challenge and The Real World on MTV between 2009 and 2012. Meanwhile, in 2011, she began co-hosting Extra with Mario Lopez, which eventually earned her a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Entertainment News Programs.
In 2014, Maria signed a multi-year contract with the cable and satellite TV channel E! Entertainment and began working as a host, editor, and producer, but after three years of service, she announced that she would be stepping down due to a brain tumor she battled with. She previously anchored a one-hour radio program titled Conversations with Maria on SiriusXM Stars 109 before launching her podcast, Better Together With Maria Menounos in April 2019. She has also been hosting the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame red carpet pre-show since 2014.
The Highlights Of Her Wrestling Career
Aside from being a TV host, Maria is a professional wrestler. She began her journey to the wrestling scene in October 2009 when she guest hosted WWE Raw. Soon after, she debuted in a match with Canadian-American professional wrestler Gail Kim and the American model and wrestler Kelly Kelly against other notable wrestlers like Beth Phoenix, Alicia Fox, and Rosa Mendes, which her team won.
Later in December 2011, she took part in WWE Tribute to the Troops alongside Alicia Fox, The Bella Twins, The Divas of Doom, and others. She went on to help her team win the match by pinning Beth Phoenix. She subsequently teamed up with Kelly Kelly in a WrestleMania XXVII match against Phoenix and Eve Torres, which her team also won. In 2013, the gorgeous actress inaugurated Bob Backlund into the WWE Hall of Fame at Madison Square Garden.
Afterward, she defeated Eva Marie and Brie Bella alongside her teammate, Natalya in Summer Slam Axxess. She has gone on to make appearances in WrestleMania 31, WrestleMania 32, and WrestleMania 33, working as a guest backstage interviewer. She further worked as a special guest ring announcer for Women’s Royal Rumble Match in January 2018.
These Are Maria Menounos’ Notable Acting Gigs
As an actress, Maria appeared in movies and TV series like One on One, My Extra Miles, Without a Trace, Kickin’ It Old Skool, One Tree Hill, and Fantastic Four, to mention a few. In 2014, she starred in a reality series that follows the story of her long-term relationship with Keven Undergaro titled Chasing Maria Menounos, which aired for one season on Oxygen network. Her voice and likeness were also used as Eva Adara in the 2005 Electronic Arts video game James Bond 007: From Russia with Love.
Having put a start to her acting career in the early 2000s, Maria Menounos took to film production at the early age of 17 when she served as the producer of an independent film titled In the Land of Merry Misfits. Subsequently, she produced Adventures of Serial Buddies and equally worked as the director of Longtime Listeners. Besides making waves in the movie industry, Menounos was also shot to fame for her participation in the 14th season of Dancing With The Stars, partnering with Derek Hough as the two ended up taking the fourth position.
The comely journalist has additionally boosted her earnings by working as a brand ambassador for New York & Company, as well as Pantene Hair. As a New York Times Best Selling author, Maria has so far published three books entitled “The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life” (2011), “The EveryGirl’s Guide to Diet and Fitness” (2014), and “The EveryGirl’s Guide to Cooking” (2016).
How Much Has She Made From Her Works So Far?
Maria Menounos has carved a niche for herself in the entertainment industry through her works over the past years. Kicking off her professional career in the journalism field while still in college, the brunette beauty has gone on to spread her tentacles in the show biz world, thus establishing herself as an eminent host, actress, wrestler, author, and spokesperson. She is said to be worth $9 million and is not showing any signs of slowing down in her journey to becoming a Hollywood superstar
She and Her Boyfriend Dated For 18 Years Before Getting Engaged in 2016
Maria Menounos got acquainted with Keven Undergaro while still in her senior year at Emerson College. The two eventually kick-started a romantic affair in April 1998. They went through years of hardship together as Maria’s parents, who could not accept her relationship with a non-Greek, disowned her for that. As a result, she was rendered homeless at the time. She eventually moved in with Keven in an unfinished basement situated in Boston, where they stayed for a few years before relocating to Los Angeles.
Having met and worked with Maria Menounos while producing a movie in Boston, Keven knew the actress was born to be a star, so he became very determined to assist her in everywhere that could usher her to the spotlight. Thankfully, the two have been together all through her journey to stardom and equally faced lots of adversities together, especially family dramas, which got them closer and clung to each other.
On March 9th, 2016, when the award-winning TV host was promoting her then-newly released book “The EveryGirl’s Guide to Cooking,” Undergaro made a surprise marriage proposal to her during The Howard Stern Show with a customized engagement ring created by designer Jean Dousset, and she happily said yes. The two then decided to take their relationship to the next level after Maria underwent surgery for meningioma in June 2017, during which Keven stood by her side.
The Couple Exchanged Vows Twice
Maria Menounos got married to her longtime boyfriend and business partner Keven Undergaro on December 31st, 2017. They held a surprise wedding officiated by Steve Harvey and was broadcast live during Fox News Eve Special With Steve Harvey, held at the Times Square. With Menounos’ father missing out on his daughter’s big day, he began planning for a big white Greek wedding the following year.
The two love birds then got to exchange vows for the second time on October 6th, 2018. The fairy tale ceremony was held in Menounos’ father’s village of Akovos in Greece. Maria, who was dressed in Celia Kritharioti’s off-the-shoulder gown, looked stunning all through the big occasion. She alongside Keven organized a rehearsal dinner at Museum Restaurant the previous day, during which they danced Zeimpekiko – a traditional Greek dance.
The beautiful couple is enjoying marital bliss and has since been trying to raise a family of their own through IVF treatments, which have proved abortive. Hopefully, the two will expand their small circle soon.
Meet Maria Menounos’ Husband Keven Undergaro
Just like Maria, Keven Undergaro is also a Massachusetts native, born on November 16th, 1967. He was raised by his working-class parents, who lived in Massachusetts. While he was young, he developed a strong interest in comic books, movies, as well as video games. He attended Saint Anselm College, where he majored in History. Undergaro alongside Maria Menounos created an online broadcast network called AfterBuzz TV, which has now registered over one billion downloads, thus becoming the World’s largest online broadcast network. Maria’s husband is also known as a writer, as well as a movie producer.