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Creator / Alyssa Milano

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The Power of Three has set her free.

"It's nice to be important, but it's important to be nice."
Milano's favourite saying

Alyssa Jayne Milano (born December 19, 1972) is an American actress, model and former pop star.

Born in Brooklyn, New York to Italian-American parents, Alyssa started acting at a young age when she was dragged to an audition for Annie to support a friend. Despite this, Alyssa was the one chosen as the lead at only seven years old. She achieved national fame when she starred as Samantha Micelli on the sitcom Who's the Boss? at the age of eleven.

As is expected with many child actresses, once she reached adulthood, she sought to distance herself from her squeaky clean image and went after a Hotter and Sexier persona — including a sex tape scandal. She managed to avoid becoming a Former Child Star when she landed a role in Melrose Place, but it was her next project that would solidify her fame.

In 1998, a new drama series about three sisters who discover they are witches was being produced by Aaron Spelling for The WB. One of the potential lead actresses, Lori Rom, dropped out at the last minute, and Alyssa, with whom Spelling had worked on Melrose Place, was given the call. The show was Charmed, and it was a worldwide success, lasting for eight seasons and becoming the longest running female-led network show until Desperate Housewives surpassed it. However, the early days of Charmed were not without some controversy — a well-publicised feud between Alyssa and the show's lead Shannen Doherty escalated in the third season, resulting in Shannen's departure. Alyssa became a producer of the show from the fifth season onward.

After Charmed ended in 2006, Alyssa had notable roles in My Name Is Earl and Mistresses. In 2013, she settled comfortably into a role as the host of Project Runway: All Stars. Way back in the '80s, she also had a pop music career in Japan. She was also who none other than Princess Ariel was modeled after — something she did not realize until Disney asked her to host the "Making Of" feature.

Alyssa's notable roles:

She also hosts the podcast Sorry Not Sorry, which is focused on social issues.

Tropes associated with Milano and her work:

  • Actor-Inspired Element:invoked She's admitted to often bringing comedic touches to scenes not intended to be written as such, and will usually try to "find the funny", because performing emotional scenes is painful for her.
  • Adam Westing: Her Family Guy cameo. When Peter compares his company's profits as being higher than her, she appears (in live action watching the show), angry about the quip and calling on her lawyer, who happens to be sitting right behind her at home, to sue.
  • Approval of God:invoked
    • When she found out that Ariel was modelled off her, she was very flattered.
    • On learning that the ship in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) was named after her, she called it "the coolest thing ever".
  • Baby Name Trend Starter: It's probably no coincidence that the name "Alyssa" skyrocketed in popularity in the US during the run of Who's the Boss? and then again during the run of Charmed. The name went from being ranked at 230 for girls in 1982 to number 33 in 1989, and then to its peak at number 11 in 1998 and 1999. 'Phoebe' also saw a rise in popularity, but that was likely also due to Friends.
  • Contractual Purity: Desperate not to be seen as a child star forever, she took grittier roles such as a teen prostitute in Where the Day Takes You and Amy Fishernote  in a docudrama. She also appeared nude in the films Embrace of the Vampire, Deadly Sins and Poison Ivy II.
  • Costume Backlash:invoked Zigzagged with some of the skimpy outfits on Charmed, where she's admitted that they had to be "scantily clad for that show to be successful", although also attributes it to it simply being The '90s. She did eventually say that the show's sex positivity was a good thing in her eyes.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Poison Ivy II was something she did to distance herself from her child star days, before Melrose Place helped her out. Years later when interviewed about it, she replied, "I hope my Poison Ivy days are behind me."
    "I always say that if it was a choice between Poison Ivy II and Beetlejuice, obviously I would have chosen Beetlejuice, but those weren't the things that were offered to me."
    • She doesn't look too highly on her music career, feeling her albums weren't that good, despite selling platinum. She has focused exclusively on acting since. In a 2021 Reddit Q&A however, she did admit she had fun with them.
    • She regrets having done any nudity in her early twenties, describing it as "the opposite of empowering".
  • Disowned Adaptation:invoked Sort of towards Charmed (2018). She was annoyed that none of the original cast or crew were consulted at all, but did say she was glad "a whole new generation gets to love it."
  • Dye Hard: She's naturally brunette but has changed her hair many times. Within Charmed's fourth season alone, she had six different hair changes.
  • Former Child Star: She looked to be a straight example in the early 90s, but Melrose Place and Charmed proved to be a Career Resurrection for her.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:invoked She gained a huge Japanese fanbase in her child star days, enough for her to be signed to a six-record deal over there.
  • I Am Not Spock: She was glad when Who's the Boss ended so she could break out of this, not wanting to be seen as Samantha Micelli. This has been averted thanks to Charmed, Melrose Place and Mistresses. Although it's arguable that Charmed's enduring popularity has ensured she is most likely to be remembered as Phoebe Halliwell.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: A famous mermaid princess was modeled after her. Alyssa is terrified of water, which proved interesting when a Charmed episode required her to be turned into a mermaid.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She's had no shortage of roles showing off her beauty.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: She left during Season 2 of Mistresses due to a scheduling conflict.
  • She Also Did: That's her in the Blink 182 video for "Josie".
  • Star-Making Role: Who's the Boss?.
  • Those Two Actors: She starred alongside Brian Bloom in the TV movies Crash Course and Dance til Dawn, and cameo'd in his film The Webbers.
  • What Could Have Been:invoked Alyssa had been pushing to do Charmed reunion movies for years (Holly Marie Combs likewise), and had mentioned speaking to Netflix about them. The well publicised Twitter feud between Alyssa and Rose McGowan in 2021 makes them unlikely to happen.