Debbie Matenopoulos

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Debbie Matenopoulos
Despina Matenopoulos

(1974-12-13) December 13, 1974 (age 49)
EducationJohn Randolph Tucker High School
Alma materVirginia Commonwealth University
New York University
Occupation(s)Television host,
television personality, actress
Years active1997–present
Jay Faires
(m. 2003; div. 2008)
Jon Falcone
(m. 2013)

Despina "Debbie" Matenopoulos (born December 13, 1974) is an American television host, journalist, and lifestyle expert.[1]

Early life[edit]

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.[1] Her birth name is Despina Matenopoulos, named after her grandmother. Despina was later anglicized to Debbie.[2]

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 MTV News: Unfiltered.

TV career[edit]

In 1997, Matenopoulos was an MTV production assistant[3] 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.[3] She was parodied on Saturday Night Live by Ana Gasteyer, Claire Danes, Cameron Diaz, and Sarah Michelle Gellar as being an uninformed ditz[3] 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.[citation needed]

Matenopoulos starred in the claymation show Celebrity Deathmatch as herself.[citation needed]

In 2004, Matenopoulos served as a panel judge on the TBS series He's a Lady.[4]

In January 2004, Good Day Live brought in Matenopoulous (along with Arthel Neville) to co-host the nationally syndicated program.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] Despite massive promotion, including a mall-tour featuring Matenopoulous and Arthel Neville, Good Day Live was canceled by its syndicators in March 2005.[citation needed]

In January 2006, Matenopoulos joined E!'s coverage of the Golden Globe Awards.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] While at E!, Debbie also hosted Fashion Police, Live from the Red Carpet, and the Style Network's Instant Beauty Pageant.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Matenopoulos has also been a frequent contributor to VH1 specials, including I Love the 90s and I Love Toys. She has also been a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race 3.[citation needed]

Debbie's first cookbook, It’s All Greek to Me, was released in the Spring 2014. A revised paperback edition was released in 2018.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

In 2016, while still co-host of The Insider, Matenopoulos became co-host of Home and Family, replacing Cristina Ferrare.

Personal life[edit]

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."[5]

Matenopoulos eloped with Jon Falcone in Greece in the summer of 2013.[6] She gave birth to their daughter, Alexandra Kalliope Falcone, on October 29, 2014.


  1. ^ a b Published: July 06, 2003 (2003-07-06). "WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS; Debbie Matenopoulos, Jay Faires - New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-11-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Athens, Maria (17 November 2014). "Debbie Matenopoulos Delivers Daughter Alexandra Kalliope". Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "The View dumps young co-host". Associated Press via the Ottawa Sun, January 8, 1999: 34.
  4. ^ "New TBS reality show to make men live as women". The Advocate. August 31, 2004. Archived from the original on April 26, 2022. Retrieved April 26, 2022.
  5. ^ "E!'s Debbie Matenopoulos's Husband Files for Divorce". November 14, 2008.
  6. ^ "Debbie Matenopoulos Is Married and Pregnant". April 18, 2014.

External links[edit]

Media offices
New show The View co-host
Succeeded by