Actress Vanessa Minnillo grew up as an army brat, living in Germany, Japan, Florida, Nevada, and California before her family settled in South Carolina. After her parents divorced when she was six, Minnillo lived with her mother and stepfather at the Air Force base in Turkey where he was stationed, before returning to the States when Saddam Hussein's forces invaded Kuwait. Thereafter, Minnillo began living with her father and stepmother in South Carolina, where she settled in and began competing in the pageant circuit. She won the Miss Teen USA pageant in 2000, and continued to model and host other pageants. After some bit acting parts, including a stint on The Bold and the Beautiful, Minnillo landed a hosting job on MTV's Total Request Live, where she would continue to work until 2007. Once she left the show, she continued hosting, but occasionally forayed into acting, with small screen appearances on How I Met Your Mother, CSI: NY and Hawaii Five-0.