First Published: April 30, 2006 2:35 PM EDT Credit: Access Hollywood
-- Entertainment Reporter Maria Menounos joined both NBC Universal’s “Access Hollywood” and NBC News’ “Today,” in the fall of 2005.
Menounos serves as a special correspondent for “Access Hollywood,” and as a “West Coast” contributor for “Today.”
“We’ve always been huge fans of Maria and believe she has the skills, attitude and style that fits ‘Access Hollywood’ perfectly,” says “Access Hollywood” executive producer Rob K. Silverstein. “She’s current, a unique talent, someone that cuts through, and definitely stands out in a crowd. We could not be more pleased with Maria joining the most credible entertainment news magazine in the world.”
“Maria’s wide-ranging experience is a tremendous asset for “Today,” said “Today” show executive producer Jim Bell. “Her enthusiasm and energy for her work will be invaluable to our coverage - she’s a welcome addition to our roster of strong contributors.”
“I’m so thrilled to be part of the NBC family,” said Menounos. “To be working at such a cutting-edge show like ‘Access,‘ and have the opportunity to be a part of the #1 morning news program on television is so exciting. My thanks to Jeff Zucker, Rob Silverstein and Jim Bell for all of their support and encouragement.”
Menounos has served as a correspondent for syndicated newsmagazine “Entertainment Tonight” since the fall of 2001, reporting on film, TV, music and fashion. She also hosted ET on MTV and ET on VH1. In addition, Menounos currently serves as the spokesperson for PANTENE hair products and continues to pursue outside projects in both television and film.
In addition to being named one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful” for 2004, Menounos has also appeared in a number of high-profile television shows, which includes a recurring role on “One Tree Hill” (WB), and a guest-starring role on “Without A Trace” (CBS). Her feature film work includes playing Chris Evan’s love interest in the current 20th Century Fox sci/fi action film, “Fantastic Four” and her upcoming starring role opposite Jamie Kennedy in “Kickin’ It Old Skool.” Recently, Menounos starred opposite Sean Connery in “From Russia With Love,” an Electronic Arts video game due out this holiday season.
As a filmmaker, Menounos recently formed her own production company, “Omega Girl Inc.,” and has several projects in development. She serves as both executive producer and producer of the film, ‘In the Land of Merry Misfits,‘ a 35mm feature length movie to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, and as director and producer of 35 mm feature length dark comedies, “Longtime Listener,” and “Fwiends.com,” both having played the festival circuit starring Wilmer Valderrama and Lara Flynn Boyle, respectively. In addition, her company is currently in pre-production on a sitcom starring Kevin and John Farley.
Menounos made her television debut as an international correspondent for Channel One News, the #1 source of news for America’s teen students. During her tenure, she interviewed President George W. Bush, numerous celebrities, and traveled the world to cover such tragedies as the 2001 earthquake in El Salvador and the AIDS epidemic in South Africa.
Her experiences as a journalist have compelled Menounos to spend time off-camera on philanthropic and social issues close to her heart. After witnessing the devastating effects of AIDS in South Africa as a Channel One reporter, she formed Take Action Hollywood! (TAH!), a charity whose mission is to utilize the power of the entertainment industry and the production medium to educate, empower and raise social awareness. Menounos and TAH! worked with Miramax Films on a joint venture to promote ‘Paper Clips,‘ a holocaust documentary and has also produced a television commercial on AIDS awareness and pet adoption.
In addition, TAH! has teamed up with Cosmo Girl Magazine in awarding the 3rd annual Cosmo Girl Cup. A nationwide competition, the Cup is awarded to the group of teens who do the most to affect for positive social change in their communities and/or the world. A panel of celebrities assembled by Menounos, judge the competition.
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