Intimate Portrait

Season 10 Episode 8

Alyssa Milano

Aired Monday 7:00 PM Aug 11, 2003 on Lifetime
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Alyssa Milano
Alyssa Milano: Child-Star Survivor Alyssa Milano was born on December 19, 1972, in Brooklyn. She was bitten by the acting bug at the early age of seven, after seeing a Broadway production of "Annie." When she accompanied a family friend to an audition for the touring company of "Annie" shortly thereafter, she landed the role instead of her friend. Other plays soon followed, as did her first film role in the 1984 movie "Old Enough." That same year, 12-year-old Milano auditioned to play actor Tony Danza's daughter, tomboy Samantha "Sam" Micelli, on a new sitcom called "Who's the Boss?" Audiences immediately took to the show and to Milano; before long, her work on TV and in film became popular overseas. She tried her hand at music, landing a five-album deal in Japan, where her 1989 debut record reached platinum. In 1992, "Who's the Boss?" went off the air, and Milano faced the daunting task of transitioning from child star to adult actress. At first she found it difficult to get good roles, but her career got a boost in 1997, when Aaron Spelling cast her as a troublemaking vixen on his nighttime soap "Melrose Place." Becoming a sex symbol came with an unexpected price: Illegal and often doctored nude photos of the actress began popping up all over the Internet. In a 1998 lawsuit, Milano and her mother won a quarter of a million dollars from a number of porn sites. The pair used the money to set up a Web site, called Safe Searching, to help protect celebrities' images online. Meanwhile, Milano was cast in another Aaron Spelling endeavor: "Charmed," a show about three witch siblings. This move officially put the actress back on top.But in her personal life, all was not charmed. Her 1999 marriage to Cinjun Tate, the singer of the band Remy Zero, was short-lived. But some soul-searching after the breakup helped Milano discover another passion — photography. While she was shooting a movie in South Africa, she began volunteering at local hospitals on her days off, which inspired her to chronicle the experience in a series of photographs. Soon after, her pictures were exhibited by the United Nations, which also honored the actress for her humanitarian efforts. Milano continues to use photography to express herself and share the world with others. In 2003, she brought her camera on a visit to Baghdad, where she and other entertainers performed to boost the morale of U.S. troops. The actress, whose talent and persistence have kept her in the acting industry for nearly her entire life, says that she hopes to continue inspiring others across the globe.moreless

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