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Maria Kanellis from "The Celebrity Apprentice" is one of the stars featured on Season 3 of the NBC reality competition series that raises money for charity.

Maria Kanellis, whose ring name is simply Maria, is a professional wrestler and WWE Diva featured on both "WWE Raw" and "WWE SmackDown." Kanellis is also a trained actress, developing singer, aspiring songwriter, practicing fashion designer and a model.

Born on February 25, 1982 in Ottawa, Illinois, Kanellis grew up surrounded by cars and in her free time could be found juggling sports, pageants and dancing. The oldest of three siblings, she graduated from Ottawa Township High School in 2000 before spending some time as a student at Northern Illinois University.

In 2004, Kanellis made her first of many television appearances when she was a contestant on the reality series "Outback Jack." Soon after she tried out for and placed fifth in the "WWE Raw Diva Search" out of thousands of contestants. Although she was eliminated, she was later hired by WWE as a backstage interviewer on "Monday Night Raw" and began training for the next 3 years at the Ohio Valley Wrestling facility. She began competing in the ring as a wrestler in 2005. Since her debut Maria has worked alongside the company's biggest superstars including Vince McMahon, John Cena, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Kanellis has never shied away from a story line and is most comfortable in the spotlight. She posed for the April 2008 cover and pictorial in Playboy magazine, which WWE incorporated into one of the year's most popular story-lines on "Monday Night Raw." For the Playboy shoot, she was involved in determining several elements, including lighting, wardrobe and style. She has also created outfits for her wrestling matches, television appearances, red carpet charity events and high profile WWE ceremonies. She is currently developing her own clothing line, which is in its infancy stages. She also writes and produces her own music.



Kanellis is also currently performing on WWE's "Smackdown" roster, and has live events, signings and appearances worldwide. Her television credits include appearances on "Family Feud," "Project Runway," "VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown," "The Insider," "Best Damn Sports Show," "Red Eye," and "The Today Show."

She is also very active when it comes to charity work, from The Make-A-Wish Foundation to Generation Rescue, Paws For Style, St. Jude's Children Hospital and The Kentucky Humane Society to name a few. Philanthropy holds a special place with Maria and she continually donates her time and money towards newfound, worthy causes. She has also traveled overseas with the WWE for the past 5 years for it's annual "Tribute to the Troops Tour," donating her time and energy to entertain and spread goodwill to our servicemen and women stationed overseas. She has just begun her rise to stardom but already has millions of fans and an intense drive for success. The life mantra that inspires her is "Passion is my motivation."

WWE Debut: 2004

Career Highlights: Competed in the 2004 Raw Diva Search, Raw backstage interviewer, hosts WWE Kiss Cam, featured every month in WWE Magazine



MARIA KANELLIS: FACTS

How tall is Maria Kanellis? How old is Maria Kanellis? Who is Maria Kanellis dating? Find out here.

Age: 32 years old
Birthday: February 25, 1982
Height: 5' 7"
Nickname: Boop
Dancer
Full Name / Real Name: Maria Louise Kanellis
Birthplace: Ottawa, IL





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taylor_13 says:
I think she is a truly amazing person
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