|Date of Birth||11 February 1972 , Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA|
|Birth Name||Marisa Petroro|
|Height||5' 5" (1.65 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
- it's no wonder this Jersey girl has made a spot for herself in
At the tender age of four, Marisa started participating in East Coast beauty pageants. By eight, this young starlet was taking trips to New York City to study acting at the highly acclaimed HB Studio. After making the pageant circuit as a teenager, Marisa won the title of Miss Italia USA and then retired her pageant days after she went on to place top five in Miss Italia World in 1996.
Marisa then crafted a five-year road-map, packed her bags and convinced a good friend to join her on a 3,000 mile cross-country drive that ended in Los Angeles. Within the first few years, Marisa was landing principal roles in hit films such as MGM's 'Pumpkin' and Columbia Pictures' 'Tomcats'. Also during this breakout period, she built notable television credits on NBC's 'The Pretender', CBS's 'The Young and the Restless', a national commercial directed by David Lynch and starred opposite Rick Schroder in the award winning country music video, Whiskey Lullaby, sung by Allison Krause and Brad Paisley.
2008 was another banner year for this seasoned actor as she starred in the Roadside Attraction's feature film, 'Everybody Wants to Be Italian', the story of the struggle of two Italians and their quest to win each other's hearts in Boston's famed North End. She had also returned for season four as one of the most recognized briefcase models (#18) on NBC's top game show 'Deal or No Deal', as well as landed roles on CBS's popular sitcom 'Rules of Engagement', acting alongside David Spade [Saturday Night Live] and ABC's award winning comedy drama series 'Desperate Housewives', acting alongside Eva Longoria Parker.
This year, fans will get to see Marisa in a new light on the entertainment industry's latest medium, the Web. Due out later this year via Film.com is S.U.D.S. (Simian Undercover Detective Squad), an original online series featuring puppets from The Jim Henson Company. She can now be seen on Duck Walks Into A Bar - Episode: Men & Hunting, a comedy about a dirty mouthed duck who tests his sharp tongue with nightly barflies. And 'In The Bath With Kath' - Aspartame Episode, a comedy shot from the sanctity of a bubble bath.
Outside of acting, Marisa holds philanthropy close to her heart. She recently accepted a second term as spokesperson for the Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA), an organization dedicated to increasing sarcoma related research. In fact Marisa, a cancer survivor of Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare childhood sarcoma that affects the muscles, has said that taking on this responsibility has allowed her to achieve one of her lifetime goals. Not only does she participate in a variety of programs and events to help SFA fulfill its mission, she continues to volunteer her time to helping individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy.
Currently, Marisa is involved with multiple nonprofit and charity organizations including the Tomorrow's Children Fund at the Hackensack University Medical Center, The Young Storytellers Foundation, Tag the World, Operation Shoebox New Jersey, The Embrace Kids Foundation, Team Sarcoma - Los Angeles, Crime Survivors, Redwing 19 and The Sarcoma Foundation of America.
Over the past two years, Marisa has been Commencement Speaker at her alma mater, Kean University in New Jersey and was honored as "Woman of the Year" by The Center for Italian and Italian-American Culture in her home state of New Jersey. She also contributed to the book The Vision Board: The Secret to An Extraordinary Life by Joyce Schwarz.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anthony Murillo & Michelle Cobarrubias