Masiela Lusha in 2010
October 23, 1985 |
|Education||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Occupation||Actress, poet, humanitarian|
|Notable work||Drinking the Moon
|Spouse(s)||Ramzi Habibi (m. 2013)|
|Awards||Two Young Artist Awards for Leading Young Actress in a Comedy and Drama|
Masiela Lusha (/ /; born October 23, 1985) is an Albanian-American actress, author, producer and humanitarian who first gained recognition after starring in film and TV projects such as the Emmy Award-winning ABC series George Lopez and Sony Picture's Blood: The Last Vampire. As an author, Lusha has translated poems and prayers by Mother Teresa, and has written several books in various languages.
Lusha spent her childhood chiefly in Albania, Hungary and Austria. She studied ballet in Vienna, and then moved to Michigan in 1993, where she continued to train in various forms of dance. She co-starred as the passionate and rebellious character, Carmen Lopez, for five years, on the syndicated Warner Brothers series, George Lopez. This reportedly established Lusha as a TV veteran by the age of 20. She then appeared in movies such as Muertas, Katie Malone, Ballad of Broken Angels, Summoning, A Father's Love, Time of the Comet, and Sony Pictures Entertainment, Blood: The Last Vampire. Lusha has been awarded two consecutive Young Artist Awards for Leading Young Actress in a Comedy and Drama. In 2007, Lusha founded a production company, Illuminary Pictures, and has since produced two films with the company.
She is also recognized as one of the Top Ten Talented Poets of North America for her published work Lusha has written four books of poetry, Inner Thoughts, Drinking the Moon, Amore Celeste, The Call, a novel The Besa, and two children's books. Lusha has also written and translated poetry in English and Albanian.
In 2006 Lusha founded the nonprofit, Children of the World Foundation, which shelters, educates and promotes healthy communication between family members. She donated 10 acres (40,000 m2) of land so the charity could build its first community center in Southern California.
In 2013, Lusha was appointed Athgo International's Ambassador for Youth. As an Ambassador, Lusha will encourage a dialogue between aspiring global entrepreneurs and Athgo's bodies of support such as the World Bank Group, the United Nations, and international universities. Lusha will participate in a forum with H.E. Mr. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda and Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of ITU and Vice-Chairman of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Literary career
- 3 Acting career
- 4 Humanitarian work and public service campaigns
- 5 Cultural influence
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Bibliography
- 8 Filmography
- 9 Awards
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Early life and education
Lusha was born in Tirana, in Albania and is the only child of Max and Daniela. Her mother was a magazine publisher. In 1990, Lusha and her family left Albania. Upon leaving Albania, Lusha moved to Budapest, Hungary, and Vienna, Austria.
Childhood and adolescence in America (1992–present)
At the age of seven, Lusha moved to Michigan, at the age of twelve, Lusha began a modeling career in Michigan. After a few months of professional modeling and acting in local theater plays, she was discovered by a Hollywood talent agent who held an open call in Detroit, Michigan. That following year, while acting in Los Angeles, Lusha became a published author with her first book of poetry, Inner Thoughts.
Early recognition (1997–2004)
Lusha wrote poetry in various languages from the age of eight. As a poet, Lusha was recognized as one of the Top Ten Talented Poets of North America for her published work, and also received the public recognition of former President Bill Clinton. Upon graduating high school, Lusha had published two collections of poetry. As of 2010, Lusha has since written seven books.
Drinking the Moon, novel and children's books (2005–present)
From 2005-2008, Lusha wrote three poetry books.
Lusha reciting one of her poems, My Mind's Leopard from her book Drinking the Moon.
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Career beginnings and early roles (1997–1999)
Lusha launched her career as a model and theater actress in Michigan. While residing in her hometown, Lusha's first theatrical role was a nonspeaking, background character in her school's production of Up and Away. Upon entering the drama department, Lusha then portrayed the role of Cinderella in the play, The Last Dress Rehearsal and Belle in Beauty and the Beast. She also portrayed an Umpa Lumpa and a Tap-Dancing Box in the play, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Soon after moving to California, Lusha was selected as the principle fashion model in a multinational Back-to-School J. C. Penney television campaign which aired in America and South America, and was cast in the Alanis Morissette Music Video, Hands Clean.
Hollywood: George Lopez and popularity established (2000–2007)
Then in 2000 it was Lusha's television debut with a guest appearance on the Disney Channel series, Lizzie McGuire as the character Olivia in the episode Last Year's Model. Lusha made her film debut in the 2000 film A Father's Love, as Lisa, the lead who reminisces on her experiences with her father.
In 2001 she was picked to play Carmen Lopez on the newly developed ABC sitcom, George Lopez. The show was executive produced by Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock and Bruce Helford. After completing its 120th episode, the show reached global syndication, and established Lusha as a TV veteran by the age of 20. That following year, the George Lopez show won an Emmy and was established as the second-longest-running sitcom in television history to star a Hispanic lead, after I Love Lucy. To this date, it continues to be Nick at Nite's highest rated series. In 2007, the character was written off of the show by George Lopez due to "creative differences".
Lusha won two consecutive Young Artist Awards for Best Leading Actress in a Comedy and Drama for her portrayal as Carmen. While working on George Lopez, Lusha also voiced the role of Nina for four years on the children's animated series Clifford's Puppy Days. It has been reported that portraying the character of Nina introduced Lusha to children's entertainment, inspiring her to write a children's book in 2009.
International film roles and global recognition (2008–present)
In December 2009, Lusha joined the original cast of George Lopez for a televised reunion on Lopez Tonight. During the live reunion taping, when asked about her experiences on the show, Lusha said: "it is the show that keeps giving. Every year it offers something to society, and it offered something to each and every one of us. It brought us all together for a lifetime".
Lusha has since appeared as Mira on an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. At the suggestion of George Clooney, Lusha has also appeared in the Spanish language film Muertas (2008) in which she portrayed the main character Aracelli.
Lusha also starred as Saint Agnes in the Albanian production of Time of the Comet (2008) based on the novel A Difficult Year by Ismail Kadare. Throughout the film, Lusha's dialogue was in a specific Albanian dialect. In the film, Lusha plays a catholic nun who falls in love with a Muslim rebel.
Lusha portrayed the role of the sword-wielding, vampire in disguise, Sharon in the Sony Pictures remake of the cult classic Blood: The Last Vampire alongside Jun Ji-hyun. The film was co-produced by French company Pathé and Hong Kong company Edko. In 2009, the film premiered in Japan and was released internationally by Sony Pictures.
In 2011, Lusha also starred in the films, Katie Malone and The Architect. In Katie Malone, she portrayed the role of Ginger, a premed college student who is tormented by the ghost of a slave girl. One Tree Hill actor Stephen Colletti and Superman star Dean Cain costarred in the movie. The film is slated to be released by American World Pictures in 2012. In The Architect, Lusha acted alongside Stacy Keach. In 2012, Lusha also starred in the film, Of Silence, alongside Muse Watson.
In 2012, Lusha starred in the film Orc Wars, portraying the role of Princess Aleya, the last remaining elven warrior.
Lusha re-teamed with George Lopez creator and executive producer Bruce Helford on the FX series Anger Management. Lusha portrayed the love interest, Molly, in the episode "Charlie and Sean Fight Over A Girl." 
Humanitarian work and public service campaigns
Since 2004, as the Ambassador for Scholastic's Read for Life, Lusha has been involved in national PSA commercials and school readings. Throughout her career, Lusha has promoted "the value of appreciating the written word". As the national spokesperson for the Great American Bake Sale, a hunger-relief program, Lusha visits local towns throughout the United States and supports food drives to help battle childhood hunger. For her role as a national spokesperson, Lusha promotes the importance of raising funds to help local communities.
In 2006, she founded the Children of the World Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that offers food, shelter and education to families in deprived conditions. For Children of the World, she donated 10 acres (40,000 m2) of land for a community center focused on rehabilitating families in need.
In the spring of 2013, Athgo International appointed Lusha as their Ambassador for Youth. As an Ambassador, Lusha will encourage a dialogue between aspiring global entrepreneurs and Athgo's bodies of support such as the World Bank Group, the United Nations, and international universities. Lusha will participate with Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda and Dr. Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of ITU and Vice-Chairman of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.
Lusha's career and television influence has been discussed in a number of books, most notably How to Become a Magnet to Hollywood Success by Michele Blood and Rock Riddle. Lusha has also been mentioned in Whiz Kids by Jesee K Mwaura; The Albanian Poets Almanac; The American Family on Television by Maria Brooks; Become a Magnet to Success: Through the Sea of Unlimited Consciousness by Bob Proctor; Contemporary Theater, Film and Television by Thomas Riggs; Albania - Webster's Speciality Crossword Puzzles; George Lopez: Latino King of Comedy by Lila Guzman and Rick Guzman, as well as George Lopez's own autobiography, Why You Crying?: My Long, Hard Look at Life, Love, and Laughter.
During the filming of George Lopez, Lusha was reportedly privately schooled on set. Lusha graduated from Burbank High School at the age of 15. She later attended Glendale College, in Southern California, graduating with an AA degree and transferred to UCLA as a junior at the age of 18. While at UCLA, Lusha majored in Creative Writing.
In 2012, Lusha began dating financier Ramzi Habibi. In July 2013, it was announced that the two were engaged. On December 28, 2013, the couple married on Wanaka Peak in Queenstown, New Zealand.
- Inner Thoughts (1999)
- Drinking the Moon (2005)
- Amore Celeste (2009)
- The Call (2010)
Collected prose and novels
- The Besa (2008)
- Boopity Boop! Writes Her First Poem (2010)
- Boopity Boop! Goes To Hawaii (2010)
|1999||The James Bond Story||Mary Lou|
|2001||Lizzie McGuire||Friend||Episode: "Last Year's Model"|
|2002||Las muertas de Juarez||Araceli|
|2002–2007||George Lopez||Carmen Lopez||101 episodes|
|2003–2005||Clifford's Puppy Days||Nina (voice)||46 episodes|
|2003||A Merry Mickey Celebration||Herself|
|2004||Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade||Herself|
|2004||TV Guide Close Up: Primetime||Herself|
|2006||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Mira||Episode: "Blasters"|
|2007||My Father's Eulogy||Lisa|
|2007||Time of the Comet||Saint Agnes|
|2009||Blood: The Last Vampire||Sharon|
|2009||Ballad of Broken Angels: Harmony||Rox|
|2010||Kill Katie Malone||Ginger|
|2010||Signed in Blood||Nadia||In production|
|2010||Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story'||Herself|
|2011||Science of Cool, TheThe Science of Cool||TBA||Pre-production|
|2014||Fatal Instinct||Melissa Gates|
|2014||Anger Management||Molly||Episode: "Charlie and Sean Fight Over a Girl"|
|2003||Young Artist Award||Won||Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress||George Lopez|
|2004||Nominated||Best Performance in a Voice-Over Role – Young Actress||Clifford's Puppy Days|
|Won||Best Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress||George Lopez|
- Fox News Channel Celebrity Birthdays. Accessed April 20, 2009.
- Shqiptarja Masiela Lusha përkrah Charlie Sheen
- Elmira Muja (November 21, 2008). "Masiela lusha, shqiptarja qe u zbulua ne Michigan nga agjenti prej Californie" [Masiela Lusha, Albanian who began in Michigan succeeds in California through an agent]. Illyria (in Albanian) (Tirana).
- Tanoposki, B. (April 14, 2007). "Shqiptarja e Hollivudit: Masiela Lusha vjen ne Tiane" [Hollywood's Albanian: Masiela Lusha is from Tiranal]. Panorama (in Albanian) (Tirana).
- "Masiela Lusha". masielalusha.com. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
- Henerson, Samantha (October 30, 2006). "Masiela's Poetry Patterns". Scholastic Magazine (USA). pp. 4–5.
- "Masiela Lusha Biography (1985–)". filmreference.com. Retrieved September 2, 2009.
- "Masiela Lusha Foundation". Masiela Lusha Foundation. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
- "Athgo International". Athgo.org. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- "Athgo Forum". Athgo.org. 2013-05-22. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- Madden, Mekeisha (May 1, 2004). "Formal For One Night". The Detroit News (USA). p. Cover/Section D.
- Rudolph, Joyce (October 27, 2010). "Sharing passion for poetry". Burbank Leader. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
- "REEL Lady: Masiela Lusha « REEL Ladies". reelladies.wordpress.com. September 1, 2008. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
- LaGuardia, Gina (October 2004). "Masiela's Musings". College Bound Teen (USA). p. 2.
- Young Author Makes Her Mark in the World of Children’s Literature Tolucan Times
- "Official Masiela Lusha Literary Works – Drinking the Moon". masielalusha.com. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
- "Masiela Lusha says". hollywoodsuccess.com. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
- Schneider, Michael (March 29, 2006). "Slayer of Stereotypes". Daily Variety (Hollywood). p. A1-A14.
- Rice, Lynette (March 14, 2003). "When Reality Attacks". Entertainment Weekly.
- Garron, Barry (April 28, 2006). "Stand-Up Guise". The Hollywood Reporter (Hollywood). p. 13.
- Turner, Timothy (May 1, 2008). "Cast Reunited". The Detroit News (USA). p. Cover/Section C.
- "25th Annual Young Artist Awards – Winners and Nominations". youngartistawards.org. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
- Terril, Joey (April 2004). "Tiger Beat Takes You Behind The Scenes: Masiela Lusha". Tiger Beat (Los Angeles). p. 66.
- "George Lopez Sitcom Reunion December 15!". Lopez Tonight. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
- "Official Masiela Lusha Muertas". masielalusha.com. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
- "Katie Malone director interview".
- Of Silence (2012) - IMDb
- "albaniac : Masiela Lusha - Foto nga xhirimet e filmit te ri "Orc War"". Revistaalbaniac.blogspot.com. 2012-05-15. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
- "Masiela Lusha". YouTube. 2013-06-07. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
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