Kate's Notes

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Alyssa Milano

Alyssa Milano

Alyssa Jayne Milano (born December 19, 1972 in Brooklyn, New York) is best known and might always be remembered for her role as Samantha in the 1980s sitcom "Who’s the Boss?" starring opposite Tony Danza. After that television show, she tried relentlessly to break out of her “good girl” image with several movies aimed more at adult audiences, which shocked her younger fans, but which also cemented herself as an actress able to make the transition out of child-star and on to more broad roles. Since then she has been seen in several advertising campaigns including the 1-800-COLLECT girl and most notably a fixture on the supernatural series "Charmed."

Early Life and Career

Milano is the daughter of Italian-American parents Lin, a fashion designer, and Tom, a film music editor. She has a younger brother, Corey Milano (born 1982), who is also an actor. They grew up on Staten Island in New York.

At the age of 7, after seeing the Broadway play Annie, Milano discovered that she wanted to become an actress . One year later, she made her acting debut with the role of "July" in the same musical, and toured with the play for 18 months. After that time, Milano left Annie to star in off-Broadway productions and TV commercials. After 4 years of intermittent acting, she won her first television acting role at the age of 11 in the sitcom, "Who's the Boss?" Her family relocated from Brooklyn, New York to Hollywood, California and starred alongside veteran Tony Danza, as Samantha Micelli, the daughter of Danza's character; her native New York accent proved to even rivaled her on screen father’s. Judith Light, Danny Pintauro and Katherine Helmond also starred in the sitcom at it became a regular fixture in American living rooms everywhere.

Singing Career

In 1985, Alyssa played the self-sufficient and survivor role of Arnold Schwarzenegger's daughter in Commando. When this film aired on cable in Japan in 1988, she became an overnight sensation and record executives took notice and asked if she could sing. Having recorded the theme song to her workout video, released earlier that year, she said yes. She signed a five-album deal with Pony Canyon and a few months later, her first album, Look In My Heart, was released. The album was a #1 in Japan and all of her subsequent albums reached #1 as well in Japan, save only one album a compilation CD of remixes which topped off at #5. The lead single from the compilation, "The Best In The World" did reach #1 on the Pop charts and #1 on the Dance club charts.

Later Career

Like most child stars from the 1980s, Alyssa was pigeonholed after her role as Samantha Micelli on Who's the Boss?, as a nice girl from suburbia. She found herself not receiving any other notable roles, and so she decided to shed her "nice girl" image by appearing in several films targeted at adults, such as Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story (1992), Embrace of the Vampire (1994), Confessions of a Sorority Girl (1994), Deadly Sins (1995), and Poison Ivy II: Lily (1995), where she starred opposite Johnathon Schaech and Xander Berkley.
She caused a commotion with her TV dad, Tony Danza, when she posed nude in the 1993 pages of 'Bikini' magazine. "I worried about her, but it wasn't my place to say anything," explains Danza. "I played her father, but I wasn't her father.” She also starred alongside relative newcomers Reese Witherspoon and Mark Wahlberg in the surprise hit Fear (1996).

Also in 1996, Alyssa starred in To Brave Alaska, a made-for-TV flick about a couple fighting for their lives while abandoned in Alaska.

On stage, she starred in "Tender Offer," a one-act play written by Wendy Wasserstein, All Night Long, and the first American musical adaptation of Jane Eyre. She returned to her theater roots in 1991, when she starred in and produced a Los Angeles production of Butterflies Are Free.

In 1997, Milano then returned to television full-time as troublemaker Jennifer Mancini in the primetime Aaron Spelling soap, "Melrose Place." She was cast as a regular for one season, and became the enemy of fellow beauty Amanda, played by Heather Locklear.
She followed up this more mainstream success in television as Meg Winston in "Spin City" with Michael J. Fox, and again, Heather Locklear, and most notably as Phoebe Halliwell on "Charmed" (1998-2006).

In 1998, Milano settled into a television role in which she portrays one of the three witches on the WB's "Charmed", as the sister of fellow witches Rose McGowan and Holly Marie Combs (Shannen Doherty quit in 2001 and was replaced by McGowan).

Both Milano and Holly Marie Combs became producers for "Charmed" during the show's fifth season.


In 2000, Milano caused a stir with her television Commercial for Candies perfume, which featured a black-lingerie clad Alyssa and a goateed man. The "Anywhere You Dare" campaign was rejected by such stations as WB and FOX, and caused a stir again with two of her Candies Print Ads, which one shows a man perfuming Milano's cleavage, the other presents her standing before a medicine cabinet stocked with perfume and condoms. Both ads were turned down by youth-oriented magazines Seventeen and Teen People.

Milanso also played the recurring role of Eva Savelot in MCI's 1-800-COLLECT commercials.

Personal Life

Though Milano has been named on several sexiest women poles as one of the top ranking women, including Named #6 in FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005" and #22 in FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2006," Milano has made a reputation for herself as being a nice person, and, in fact, her favorite quote is, "It's nice to be important, but it's important to always be nice."

She is an avid fan of tattoos and has eight of them, including a sacred heart on her behind, a fairy kneeling in grass on her hip, rosary beads on her back, an angel on her left ankle, an Orobous (a snake biting its own tail) on her right wrist, an "om" on the other wrist and a garland of flowers around her right ankle. She is a liberal and supported John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential Election.

Milano has taken groundbreaking action to protect her rights and the rights of celebrities on the World Wide Web. She has won several copyright infringement suits, and has dedicated the settlement money to the launch of a new search index on the web, Safesearching.com, a global community dedicated to offering a safe way to get the best entertainment information on the Internet.

Milano is a fan of baseball and particularly the Dodgers and has been linked to pitchers Carl Pavano, Barry Zito, and more recently Brad Penny. In the 1993, she was engaged to actor Scott Wolf.

She announced on June 30, 2006, that she'll be partnering with G-III Apparel Group and Major League Baseball to create a line of ladies' baseball gear designed for juniors.

Milano lives in Los Angeles, California. Outside of acting, her hobbies include photography, humanitarian work and spending time with her 4 dogs; Ripely, Stella, Hugo, and Lucy. Her other pets are birds and horses. Milano loves animals, and has said that each time she wants a child, she gets another pet. She is also quoted as saying, "Animals, they are one of the most beautiful gifts we have and, you know, if there are people that have compassion, there are very few people that put their money into animal rescue organizations. And if there is someone that has that passion, animals need all the help they can get."

Charity Work

Milano recently became a National Ambassador for UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund). She traveled to India this summer, as well as Angola in 2004, to work with UNICEF field officers there. In the fall of 2004, she launched UNICEF's pivotal "Trick or Treat" campaign as an official spokesperson. In 2005, she visited India for UNICEF. She raised approximately $50,000 for South African women and children who have AIDS by selling her photo work, and that of a school's.

Alyssa is also a supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and supposedly turned vegetarian after 9/11. She has been quoted as saying, “A friend of mine came back from New York and said that he couldn't stand the smell of burnt flesh. It immediately reminded me of a barbecue."


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