This petite actress was an athletic child who later put her bikini-perfect body to use by posing in Playboy and starring in some of their videos, and then by making her TV debut on Baywatch. She became a daytime-soap star by landing a role on Port Charles in 1999 and eventually scored a Daytime Emmy nomination for her work. She would go on to get another nod for her performance on General Hospital, which she joined in 2003, after Port Charles was canceled. Though she calls herself klutzy, she signed on for the premiere season of Dancing With the Stars in 2005. Monaco was initially dismissed by the judges as lacking grace and poise, but she demonstrated immense amounts of both in dealing with a now-celebrated costume malfunction in the midst of a performance (her initial reaction to the wardrobe crisis: "Is there a five-second delay?"). Through hard work, continued improvement and a strong fan base, she went on to become the Season 1 champ, though there was some controversy surrounding her crown. She later lost a dance off to former Dancing rival John O'Hurley, but she remained the Season 1 titleholder, and her participation in the reality show raised her profile to a whole new level. Some new opportunities that came her way included cohosting the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2006, being a judge for the Miss USA Pageant in 2009, and starring in the burlesque-style show Peepshow in Las Vegas, also in 2009. While embarking on these various side projects, she continues to portray PI Samantha "Sam" McCall on General Hospital, and she's deeply involved with the charity Daytime Gives Back, which works with Feed the Children.
- Is the third of five sisters.
- Considers herself extremely competitive and excelled in soccer, swimming, track and softball in high school, while also participating in debate and theater.
- Was Playboy's Playmate of the Month for April, 1997, and followed it up by starring in some Playboy videos.
- A former real-life lifeguard, she made her first TV appearance in 1997 on Baywatch.
- Starred on the General Hospital spin-off Port Charles until it was canceled, and was then cast on General Hospital.
- Won Season 1 of Dancing With the Stars in 2005.
- Lost a dance off to former rival John O'Hurley after Season 1 of Dancing With the Stars.
- Cohosted the Daytime Emmys in 2006.
- Was a judge for the 2009 Miss USA Pageant.
- Starred as Bo Peep in the burlesque-style show Peepshow in Las Vegas for three months in 2009.
- Her Las Vegas penthouse hotel room was broken into and burglarized in 2009, but Monaco hid and remained unharmed; the burglar was eventually sent to jail.
- Is involved with the charity Daytime Gives Back, which works with Feed the Children.
- Is a vegetarian.
- Carmina Monaco — Mother
- Albert Monaco — Father
- Attended Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States
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