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Alyssa Milano started her career as a child star, appearing on TV's Who's the Boss? and onstage in Annie. She returned as an adult to the drama Charmed.
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Actress Alyssa Milano stepped into the spotlight at the age of 8, when she appeared in a national tour of the musical Annie. At the age of 10, she landed a starring role in the sitcom Who's the Boss?, and as an adult starred on the WB drama, Charmed. She's currently running her own fashion line for female sports fans called Touch, writes a blog about the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Alyssa Jayne Milano was born December 19, 1972, into an Italian-American family in Brooklyn, New York. Her father, Thomas, is a film music editor, and her mother, Lin, a fashion designer. Milano also has one younger brother, named Cory.
Alyssa Milano pursued acting from a young age, unexpectedly breaking into the industry when her babysitter took her to an audition for a touring production of the musical Annie, without the knowledge of Milano's parents. When Milano was offered a role as one of the orphans, her parents were wary of giving their permission. Only seven years old at the time, Milano simply wouldn't back down. She spent the next 18 months on the road with the show. From there, she knew what she wanted to do: "I heard the applause, and right then it was all over ... I knew to myself, this is it, forever."
She continued to pursue acting, and, in 1984, landed a role on the hit sitcom, Who's the Boss?. Milano played Samantha Micelli, the outspoken daughter of Tony Danza's starring character. The show ran for eight successful seasons, turning Alyssa Milano into one of the leading teen icons of 1980s American pop culture.
During her years on the sitcom, Alyssa Milano also released several pop albums, which were only sold in Japan. Additionally, in 1985, Milano played the daughter of Arnold Schwarzenneger's character in the action film Commando.
Who's the Boss? brought Milano widespread recognition, but it also created obstacles for her down the line; fearing that she would be typecast, she spent several years trying to break free of her identification with the character Samantha Micelli. She managed to shed her wholesome teenage reputation by taking risqué roles in movies such as Deadly Sins and Poison Ivy II. From 1997 to 1998, Milano appeared on the television show Melrose Place.
Soon, a grown up Milano came upon her next big big break, landing a starring role as Phoebe Halliwell on the series Charmed, playing one of three sisters who discover they are modern-day witches. The hit show ran for eight seasons, from 1998 to 2006, winning Milano a new generation of fans. Behind the scenes, though, not all was well; costar Shannen Doherty's early departure from the show, after just three seasons, was reportedly the result of backstage clashes with Milano. In 2010, Milano also starred in the short-lived sitcom Romantically Challenged.
Over the decade-spanning course of her Hollywood career, Alyssa Milano has, for the most part, avoided negative celebrity exposure, actively avoiding paparazzi-saturated areas and steering clear of many of the troubles that other former child actors have dealt with in a very public way.
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