Alyssa Milano has been on TV practically her whole life, starting with her role as Samantha on Who’s the Boss? Since then she’s become an outspoken philanthropist, avid social media user, and transitioned proficiently into her mature career. After she quit Mistresses in 2013, the actress has been without a recurring role, so what’s she been up to?
Alyssa Milano’s Early Career
Alyssa Milano’s career started when she was, essentially, kidnapped by her babysitter. Born in 1972, Milano was taken by her babysitter to an audition, without her parent’s knowledge in 1979. The audition was for a touring production of Annie. She was offered a role as one of the orphans, and convinced her mom to come with her on the tour, which took them away from their home in Brooklyn for 18 months. When she returned to New York, she appeared in several off-Broadway productions and TV commercials.
In 1984, Milano made her film debut in Old Enough. The small role was enough to get her an audition for Tony Danza’s family sitcom Who’s the Boss? She won the part, so her family moved with her to Los Angeles, where the show was being produced by ABC. Premiering on September 20, 1984, the twelve-year-old actress quickly developed a friendship with Danza.
Milano’s character, Samantha Micelli, was the loud-mouthed daughter of Tony Danza’s character. Her personality on the show quickly established her as a teen idol, and helped her career endure long after the show’s eight season run. Milano’s personality outside the show was also appreciated, leading to Ariel, the lead character in Disney’s 1989 animated The Little Mermaid, being based on her.
In 1988, Milano was in two made-for-TV movies, Crash Course and Dance ’til Dawn. She also released a workout video, called Teen Steam. She also wrote for the teen magazine Teen Machine, where she put out a weekly column called “From Alyssa, with Love.” During this time she also became an activist for AIDS awareness, through her friendship with Ryan White.
Who’s the Boss? was nominated for ten Primetime Emmys, five Golden Globes, and is still in syndication. By the time the show ended in 1992, the tone of family sitcoms and entertainment had changed quite considerably, which proved a challenge for Milano. Her image as Samantha was hard to shake.
Aylssa Milano in the 90s
When The Little Mermaid got to Japan, a Japanese record label signed her to a five-album deal. While the albums, which were blissful bubblegum pop, went platinum in Japan, Milano herself didn’t enjoy them, and said she had no intention of focusing on music. After the end of Who’s the Boss?, she was desperate to reform her image, leading her to play a teen prostitute in Where the Day Takes You, notable for also being Will Smith’s film debut.
Alyssa Milano was accepted as more than just the girl from Who’s the Boss? by critics, and the film helped her get the starring role in Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story. The film was based off the real life shooting of Mary Jo Buttafuoco, earlier in 1992. Milano played Amy Fisher, who was seventeen when she shot Mary Jo for being married to her lover. The movie was filmed in November, only 6 months after the actual crime.
From there, Milano auditioned for nearly every role available to her, which led to her performing in multiple erotic films, such as Embrace of the Vampire, Poison Ivy II: Lily, as well as softer TV films like Confessions of a Sorority Girl and Candles in the Dark.
Ayllsa Milano on Charmed
In 1996, Alyssa Milano was approached by Aaron Spelling. The producer wanted her for a major role in Melrose Place. She was in the Fox drama for a season, before moving to Spelling’s new show, Charmed.
On Charmed, Aylssa Milano plays Phoebe, one of The Charmed Ones, good, powerful witches, who happen to live in San Francisco. The show premiered on October 7, 1998, to an audience of 7.7 million people. This made it the highest-rated debut for The WB, and the show was able to turn that into a cult following.
There was a Charmed video game, there were board games, and a comic book series which continued the story after the show’s end in 2006. Through 2012, the show was reportedly the second-most watched TV series on Netflix, demonstrating how much fans liked it.
Alyssa Milano: Baseball and Activism
After Charmed ended, Alyssa Milano played Earl’s girlfriend in ten episodes of My Name is Earl. She also indulged her life-long love of baseball, writing for the MLB’s blog. She was a correspondent for TBS’s coverage of the 2007 Major League playoffs.
In conjunction with her sports reporting, Milano released “Touch,” a line of team apparel for female fans, which she sold through her blog. In 2009, she released Safe at Home: Confessions of a Baseball Fanatic, a book about her experiences being a woman who enjoys sports.
Also in 2007, Milano started campaigning prolifically on behalf of PETA, and a substantial donor to an organization which fights against tropical diseases. In 2009, she used her birthday to raise money for Charity:Water, and in 2010 went on behalf of UNICEF to western Kosovo.
During this period she met David Bugliari, a talent agent, and in 2009 they got married. Their son, Milo, was born on August 31, 2011, and their daughter Elizabella was born on September 4, 2014.
In 2013, Milano released a series of graphic novels called Hacktivism. The miniseries was praised by critics, especially for its use of modern social dynamics as plot. After several years of activism and public speaking, Milano was cast in her first recurring role since 2008.
With ABC’s primetime drama Mistresses, she played Savannah Davis. Fans of the show loved her performance, but unfortunately she left after the second season. The show was moving filming to Vancouver, and Milano was unwilling to move with them, since she had two young children.
Instead, Milano hosted the third season of Project Runway: All Stars, but then spent most of 2014 promoting Hacktivism, the graphic novel. In 2015, was a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, and hosted an episode of The Talk, one of CBS’ daytime talk shows.
What is Alyssa Milano Doing Now in 2018?
The fourth season of Mistresses is moving filming back to Los Angeles, and a lot of people are wondering if that means Alyssa Milano will be rejoining the cast. Unfortunately, she’s made it clear she’s not coming back.
Milano, at this point, is more interested in focusing on her family and continuing her role as host of Project Runway: All Stars. She also continues to work with UNICEF, and has recently worked to encourage acceptance of public breastfeeding. In a recent interview, Milano said she would love to create a comedy TV show, but didn’t mention having any concrete plans.