Debra (Debbie) Matenopoulos is a television host, journalist, and lifestyle expert.
Matenopoulos was born on December 13, 1974 in Richmond, Virginia, US. She is of Greek ancestry. She is the daughter of Efrosini and Nicolaos Matenopoulos. Her birth name is Despina Matenopoulos, named after her grandmother. Despina was later Americanized to Debbie.
She attended the Virginia Commonwealth University for one year before transferring to the School of Journalism at New York University. While at NYU she also worked at MTV as an intern. She quickly moved up the ranks, soon becoming story coordinator for UnFiltered.
In 1997 after a chance meeting with Barbara Walters she became a co-host on Walters’s new talk show The View. She was an instant hit, parodied on Saturday Night Live and then invited on as a guest. In 1999 she was abruptly let go from the show. On July 25, 2006, over seven years after her last appearance on The View, Debbie was invited back as a special guest co-host for a day. In 1999, she joined the TV Guide Channel.
Debbie has played Lisa Swayzak in the 2000 film Endsville and starred in the claymation show Celebrity Deathmatch as herself.
In August 2004, Good Day Live brought in Matenopoulous (along with Arthel Neville) to co-host the nationally syndicated program. On September 29, 2004, she was hospitalized for an injury that was the result of a stunt she attempted for a segment of Good Day Live. The segment was focused on firefighter training, in which she practiced a fall from a three-story building at a Los Angeles fire station. She landed incorrectly on an airbag and was rushed to the hospital for a possible head injury. It was a closed head wound and she was temporarily blind. Despite massive promotion, including a mall-tour featuring Matenopoulos and Neville, Good Day Live was canceled by its syndicators in March 2005.
Debbie’s first critically acclaimed and bestselling cookbook, It’s All Greek to Me, was initially released in the Spring of 2014. Calling the book her love letter to her family’s native Greece, Debbie journeyed to Greece to write and photograph the book and is proud to share her family’s favorite classic Greek recipes right from their own kitchens. A revised paperback edition was released in 2018.
On July 6, 2015, Matenopoulos was named the co-host of The Insider, a position she held until the show’s cancellation on September 9, 2017. Debbie was subsequently named as a Special Correspondent for Entertainment Tonight.
In 2016, while still co-host of The Insider, Matenopoulos became co-host of The Home and Family Show, replacing Cristina Ferrare.
“I think probably the only reason I continued in this business after kind of being kicked around so much, so young,
was because of my father’s encouragement and his strength.”
Is Debbie Matenopoulos Greek?
Yes, Debbie Matenopoulos is Greek. Both of her parents immigrated to the United States from Greece.
In her own words, interviewed by Oprah’s “Where are they now?”:
Matenopoulos says it was her tight-knit Greek family that helped her get through the criticism. “I think probably the only reason I continued in this business after kind of being kicked around so much, so young, was because of my father’s encouragement and his strength,” she says.”