Early lifeMinnillo was born November 9, 1980 at Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines. Her father, Vince Minnillo, was a member of the U.S. Air Force, stationed in the Philippines at the time. Her father is an American of Italian and Irish descent, and her mother, the former Helen Bercero, is a Filipina from the province of Pampanga on the island of Luzon. Minnillo has an adopted brother, Vincent, who is two years older than she is.
As a child, Minnillo's family moved frequently because of her father's service in the Air Force. She lived in Washington, California, Nevada, Florida, Germany and Japan and attended eight different schools in nine years. Minnillo's parents separated in 1983 and divorced in 1986.
After her mother's remarriage, Minnillo and her brother moved to Turkey with their mother and new stepfather. By 1990, in the wake of Operation Desert Shield, Minnillo and her brother returned to their father's home, eventually settling in Charleston, South Carolina, where Vanessa Minnillo attended the Roman Catholic Bishop England High School and was a cheerleader. From then on, she lived with her father and his second wife, Donna.
She also attended Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic School, located in San Bernardino, California, for one year.
Beauty pageantsMinnillo was crowned Miss South Carolina Teen USA and went on to win the title Miss Teen USA in 1998, the first Miss Teen USA from South Carolina and also the first from South Carolina to be named the pageant's Miss Congeniality.
HostingThe pageants served as a springboard to wider fame. She was a host on MTV's Total Request Live (TRL) from 2003 to 2007 and became a New York City correspondent for Entertainment Tonight in 2005.
She hosted Miss Teen USA (2004) and co-hosted Miss Universe (2007).
Minnillo was a finalist in E!'s competition to replace Brooke Burke as host of Wild On.
She hosts True Beauty, a competition in which 10 contestants vie for $100,000 and inclusion in People Magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People issue. The series premiered on ABC on January 5, 2009, with a first season that ran through February 23, 2009. ABC renewed the series for a second season which ran from May 31, 2010 through July 19, 2010.
AdvertisingAfter leaving MTV and Entertainment Tonight, Minnillo was featured in print and web-based advertising for BONGO Jeans' Spring/Summer 2007 collection.
She has been spokeswoman for Flirt! Cosmetics, a line she helped create which debuted in August 2007, in Kohl's department stores.
In May 2006, Maxim magazine ranked Minnillo #15 in its annual Hot 100 issue.
She has been featured on the covers of Maxim (October 2005, October 2006), Shape (March 2007), and Lucky (July 2007).
ActingMinnillo has appeared in television series including That's Life, City Girls, The Bold and The Beautiful, Psych and Maybe It's Me. In 2008, she played Ashlee in an episode of How I Met Your Mother.
She starred in the 2008 comedy Disaster Movie, a spoof of big-budget Hollywood disaster movies. Released on August 29, 2008, the film had moderate box office success, earning $34,624,652 worldwide. The film received extremely negative reviews, earning six Razzie Award nominations. As of January 2011, it stands at number sixteen on the IMDb Bottom 100.
Minnillo signed on to appear in Redefining Love, a 2009 romantic comedy, but she is not listed in the final cast.
In November 2009, TVGuide.com announced that Minnillo would guest star alongside Disaster Movie co-star Kim Kardashian on CBS's CSI: NY. "The ladies (Vanessa and Kim) portray two women who've managed to concoct a very interesting scheme that ends in murder," confirmed executive producer Pam Veasey. Minnillo's former MTV colleague and close friend, La La Vasquez, as well as the band Train, will also appear in the episode.
In 2011, she guest starred on 30 Rock as Carmen Chao, Avery's coworker at NBC who is competing for the same promotion.
Minnillo's publicist confirmed the couple's split in June 2009. In the fall of 2009 it was announced they had reconciled. In November 2010, they announced their engagement.
|2008||Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer||Julie Angel||Cameo|
|Disaster Movie||Amy||Lead Role|
|2001||That's Life||Cheerleader||Episode: "Oh, Baby!"|
|City Guys||Hot Girl||Episode: "Dances with Malcolm"|
|The Bold and the Beautiful||Amanda Wexler||Recurring Role (Appeared In 8 Episodes)|
|2002||Maybe It's Me||Sexy Student||Episode: "The Prom Episode: Part 2"|
|2003–2007||Total Request Live||Herself / Host|
|2005–2007||Entertainment Tonight||Herself / NYC Correspondent|
|2008||How I Met Your Mother||Ashlee||Episode: "No Tomorrow"|
|2009–present||True Beauty||Herself / Host|
|2009||CSI: NY||Grace Chandler||Episode: "Second Chances"|
|2010||Psych||Gina (Mary Armstrong)||Episode: "Shawn and Gus in Drag (Racing)"|
|2011||30 Rock||Carmen Chao||Episode: "Qué Sorpresa"|
|2011||Hawaii Five-0||Susan||Episode: "Powa Maka Moana (Pirate)"|
|2006||What's Left Of Me||Nick Lachey||Love Interest|