December 13, 1974
Richmond, Virginia, U.S.
|Education||John Randolph Tucker High School|
|Alma mater||Virginia Commonwealth University|
New York University
|Occupation||Television host, |
television personality, actress
(m. 2003; div. 2008)
Thespina "Debbie" Matenopoulos (born December 13, 1974) is an American television host, journalist, and lifestyle expert.
Matenopoulos was born in Richmond, Virginia, of Greek ancestry. She is the daughter of Efrosini, a hair stylist, and Nicolaos T. Matenopoulos, a furniture maker, She also has an older sister, Maria, and older brother, Ike. Her birth name is Thespina Matenopoulos, named after her grandmother. Thespina was later anglicized to Debbie.
Matenopoulos went to John Randolph Tucker High School, and then attended Virginia Commonwealth University for one year before transferring to the Journalism Department at New York University. She was a member of the women's fraternity Alpha Omicron Pi. While at NYU she also worked at MTV as an intern. She quickly moved up the ranks, soon becoming story coordinator for UnFiltered.
In 1997, Matenopoulos was an MTV production assistant and, after a chance meeting with Barbara Walters was invited to audition and was cast, at age 22, as the youngest co-host on Walters's new talk show, The View. She was parodied on Saturday Night Live by Ana Gasteyer, Claire Danes, Cameron Diaz, and Sarah Michelle Gellar as being an uninformed ditz and eventually invited to appear on SNL as a guest, where she played herself. In January 1999, her contract with the show was not renewed, and she was replaced by Lisa Ling. Later that same year, she joined the TV Guide Channel as one of their first on-air hosts.
In January 2004, Good Day Live brought in Matenopoulous (along with Arthel Neville) to co-host the nationally syndicated program. On September 29, 2004, she was hospitalized for an injury that was the result of a stunt she attempted for a segment of Good Day Live. The segment was focused on firefighter training, in which she practiced a fall from a three-story building at a Los Angeles fire station. She landed incorrectly on an airbag and was rushed to the hospital for a possible head injury. It was a closed head wound and she was temporarily blind. Despite massive promotion, including a mall-tour featuring Matenopoulous and Arthel Neville, Good Day Live was canceled by its syndicators in March 2005.
In January 2006, Matenopoulos joined E!'s coverage of the Golden Globe Awards. In April of that same year, she became one of the three hosts on E!'s weeknight celebrity gossip and pop culture series, The Daily 10, a position she held until August 2009. While at E!, Debbie also hosted Fashion Police, Live from the Red Carpet, and the Style Network's Instant Beauty Pageant.
On July 25, 2006, over seven years after her last appearance on The View, she was invited back as a special guest co-host for a day, the first of many subsequent guest appearances she has made on the show over the years.
Debbie's first critically acclaimed and bestselling cookbook, It’s All Greek to Me, was initially released in the Spring of 2014. Calling the book her love letter to her family's native Greece, Debbie journeyed to Greece to write and photograph the book and is proud to share her family's favorite classic Greek recipes right from their own kitchens. A revised paperback edition was released in 2018.
On July 6, 2015, Matenopoulos was named the co-host of The Insider, a position she held until the show's cancellation on September 9, 2017. Debbie was subsequently named as a Special Correspondent for Entertainment Tonight.
On July 5, 2003, Matenopoulos married Jay Faires, the president of Music at Lions Gate Entertainment and founder of Mammoth Records. The pair separated in March 2008, and Faires filed for divorce on November 12, 2008, in Los Angeles County Superior Court. citing "irreconcilable differences."
Matenopoulos eloped with Jon Falcone in Greece in the summer of 2013. She gave birth to their daughter, Alexandra Kalliope Falcone, on October 29, 2014.
- Published: July 06, 2003 (2003-07-06). "WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS; Debbie Matenopoulos, Jay Faires - New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- Athens, Maria (17 November 2014). "Debbie Matenopoulos Delivers Daughter Alexandra Kalliope". newgreektv.com. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
- "The View dumps young co-host". Associated Press via the Ottawa Sun, January 8, 1999: 34.
- "E!'s Debbie Matenopoulos's Husband Files for Divorce". November 14, 2008.
- "Debbie Matenopoulos Is Married and Pregnant". April 18, 2014.
|New show|| The View co-host