Alyssa Jayne Milano (born December 19, 1972) is an American actress and former singer. Her acting career began after she appeared in the Broadway show Annie. Her childhood role as Samantha Micelli in the sitcom Who's the Boss? made her famous, and an eight-year stint as Phoebe Halliwell on the supernatural series Charmed brought her a new round of fame. She also starred on the ABC series Romantically Challenged as Rebecca Thomas. Milano has a female sports apparel line, Touch. Milano is the daug...
Alyssa Jayne Milano (born December 19, 1972) is an American actress and former singer. Her acting career began after she appeared in the Broadway show Annie. Her childhood role as Samantha Micelli in the sitcom Who's the Boss? made her famous, and an eight-year stint as Phoebe Halliwell on the supernatural series Charmed brought her a new round of fame. She also starred on the ABC series Romantically Challenged as Rebecca Thomas.
Milano has a female sports apparel line, Touch.
Milano is the daughter of Italian-American parents: Lin, a fashion designer and talent manager, and Thomas M. Milano, a film music editor and boating enthusiast. Milano was born in Brooklyn, grew up in Staten Island, and was raised Roman Catholic. She has a younger brother, Cory (born in 1982), who is also an actor. In a 2003 interview, Milano recalled having had a good childhood, having grown up in a "loving, true family."
Milano began her career at age eight after winning a role in an open audition for a national tour of Annie. She was one of the four picked out of an audition with over 1500 girls. She appeared in television commercials and off-Broadway productions.
At age eleven, she won her first major role in the television show, Who's the Boss?, alongside Tony Danza, Judith Light, Danny Pintauro, and Katherine Helmond. She starred as Samantha Micelli, the daughter of Danza's character. After Milano won the role, she and her father relocated from Staten Island to Hollywood. The rest of the family followed a year later, because her mother was initially unwilling to give up her home life "for a show that wasn't a guarantee." Although born and raised in Brooklyn, Milano had trouble getting this accent, because she worked to lose it to land more roles in the theater, including in a stage adaption of Jane Eyre.
On stage, she starred in Tender Offer, a one-act play written by Wendy Wasserstein, All Night Long by American playwright John O'Keefe, and the first American musical adaptation of Jane Eyre. She returned to the theater in 1991, when she starred in and produced a Los Angeles production of Butterflies Are Free.
In 1985, Milano was in the film Commando as Jenny Matrix, daughter of John Matrix (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Appearing at age 12 in an R-rated action film, Milano admitted she was sometimes "freaked out" by the weapons on set. A few years later this film was shown in Japan, prompting a producer to offer Milano a five-album record deal.
In the late 1980s, Milano had established a teen idol status, appearing in made-for-television teen films such as Crash Course and Dance 'til Dawn (both 1988). Both projects allowed Alyssa to work alongside close personal friend Brian Bloom. Bloom and his brother Scott Bloom worked with Milano in episodes of Who's the Boss. This working comradere would later expand in 1993 when Alyssa guest starred in Brian's series The Webbers. Alyssa produced a teen workout video in 1988 called Teen Steam and achieved some fame outside the USA with her music career, which lasted until the early 1990s. In 1991, Milano was ready to give up her acting career to pursue an academic career, but she was refused to be released from her contract.
When her role on Who's the Boss ended in 1992, Milano feared having trouble to obtain other roles, aware of the fate of many grown-up child stars in that period. Nevertheless, she was excited when she found out the show was cancelled, being ready "to move on." Milano tried to shed her "nice girl" image by appearing in several films targeted at adults, such as Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story (1993), Embrace of the Vampire (1994), Deadly Sins (1995), and Poison Ivy II: Lily (1996), where she starred opposite Johnathon Schaech and Xander Berkeley.
The transition started in 1992, when Milano auditioned for female lead as a homeless teenager in the independent film Where the Day Takes You. Although the crew was reluctant to assign a former child star, she was given a smaller role as a prostitute in the production. She was noticed by the media, which led her to landing the controversial role of Amy Fisher in the high profile TV movie Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story. Appearing as a vicious, psychotic seductress, Milano was excited to be cast.
In 1996, Milano appeared opposite Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon in the thriller Fear. The actress recalled the role in the film being one of those she "fought for", instead of it being given to her because of her name.
Her performance in Fear led to a starring role in Hugo Pool (1997), her first film released through cinemas since Commando. Despite the milestone, Milano was soon out of work and after a period of six months, she decided to return to television. She portrayed bad girl Jennifer Mancini on Melrose Place (1997–1998), Meg Winston in Spin City, and most notably as Phoebe Halliwell on the eight-year run of the popular hit tv series Charmed (1998–2006). Her role on Melrose Place was offered to the actress by Aaron Spelling himself. The stint garned her new fame and she was named the most successful and popular actress on the primetime soap, alongside Heather Locklear. Milano and close friend Holly Marie Combs became producers for Charmed during the show's fifth season.
She played the role of Eva Savealot in MCI's 1-800-COLLECT commercials. In 2007, Milano filmed a pilot for ABC entitled Reinventing the Wheelers. The series was not picked up for the 2007–2008 season, but instead, Milano appeared in ten episodes of the show My Name Is Earl. This reunited her with Jaime Pressly, who guest-starred in the two-part Season 5 premiere of Charmed, "A Witch's Tail".
Milano's commercial work includes appearing in the "Josie" music video by Blink-182, as well as 2007 television ads for Veet and Sheer Cover.
Milano was part of TBS's special coverage installment Hot Corner for the 2007 Major League Baseball playoffs. She reported at Fenway Park during the ALDS between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. She also reported at Chase Field during the NLCS between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.
Milano starred in the 2008 film Pathology alongside Milo Ventimiglia and was then cast in a television sitcom, Single with Parents, which was pulled prior to production.
On March 20, 2009, it was announced that Milano would provide a voice for the Ghostbusters: The Video Game. In a 2010 interview, she told the press that she had 'a blast' working on the game, although she recalled it being 'odd' having to grunt in a room alone. It was speculated that following the voice over in the video game, she was set to star in Ghostbusters III, although Milano claimed she was never approached.
On March 24, 2009, her book on her baseball fandom, Safe At Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic, was released. Milano has signed on to star in and produce My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, a romantic comedy in which she plays a woman with a relationship dilemma.
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