Best known as a special correspondent for Access Hollywood, Maria Menounos is also a bestselling author who is deeply involved with a variety of worthwhile causes. She is also proof that you can succeed no matter how humble your beginnings.
Raised by working-class immigrant parents, Maria didn’t speak English until the third grade. As a teenager, she worked as a janitor cleaning nightclubs in Boston, yet she became the West Coast contributor for NBC’s Today show, a special correspondent for Nightly News and the youngest person ever to host both Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight (at the age of 22).
In addition to being a journalist (who holds the distinct honor of having conducted the only interview with the entire Obama family), Maria is also a filmmaker and producer whose films have been shown at most of the major film festivals including Tribeca, SXSW, Hollywood, Palm Springs, Boston and CineVegas. As an actress, she has appeared on both large and small screen, including Tropic Thunder, Scrubs and Entourage.
She is founder of the non-profit Take Action Hollywood!, whose mission is to utilize the power of the entertainment industry to educate, empower and raise social awareness. So far it has helped raise awareness for Diabetes, pet adoption, women’s issues, MS, racism and several others. Also, as a Diabetes Awareness Ambassador for Entertainment Industry Foundation, Maria has spoken on Capitol Hill and is working with lobbyists on improving treatment for the disease worldwide.
She is also very involved in social media, and her book, The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life, (2011) was an instant bestseller. Maria brings her own “EveryGirl” experiences to audiences nationwide.