From his life as a carnival worker to his success in Hollywood, here's everything to know about Maria Menounos' love of 25 years
Maria Menounos and Keven Undergaro's love story goes way back.
The TV host met her husband for the first time on the set of his independent film when she was 19 years old — but while the pair officially began dating in April 1998, they didn't tie the knot until nearly two decades later.
During the course of their 25-year relationship, they've gotten engaged, married and welcomed a baby. Menounos and Undergaro's daughter, Athena, was born via surrogate in July 2023.
"Just after a decade of trying everything, we are so grateful to the beautiful family helping us conceive our baby," Menounos told PEOPLE in February 2023. "Keven, my dad and I are all beyond excited for this soul to come into our lives. What a blessing."
While awaiting the arrival of their baby girl, Menounos was diagnosed with Stage 2 pancreatic cancer and underwent surgery to remove a 3.9-cm. tumor. In May 2023, she opened up to PEOPLE about her recovery and the couple's decision to not have a baby shower.
"There was a minute when we were planning something, and then it became too much," Menounos explained. "I thought, 'I just need to heal.' "
Undergaro has spent his life in the entertainment industry with an extensive portfolio that spans across various forms of broadcast, including television and film. A writer, producer and creator by trade, he's also involved in shepherding and mentoring hosts in all aspects of their lives and careers.
In fact, he's been by Menounos' side since she just started out as an entertainment host. Despite his involvement in Hollywood though, he tends to remain behind the scenes.
"Keven has not been in the public eye ever. He's never walked red carpets with me. He doesn't go to events. People think he's a ghost in this town," Menounos told Parade of Undergaro in 2014. "It's been really hard for him, because he loves his anonymity... But you can't tell the story of our family without Keven."
Here's everything to know about Undergaro, from his life as a carnival worker to his success in Hollywood.
He's an executive producer for television and film
Undergaro is an established executive producer, widely known for creating the online broadcast juggernaut, AfterBuzz TV, the world's largest online broadcast network that produces TV after-shows featuring expert recaps, discussions and interviews with the cast and crew.
Shows discussed have included pop culture favorites such as Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Real Housewives and Game of Thrones. At one point, the network produced over 100 hours of weekly original programming and had a roster of over 200 hosts, of which Menounos was one of, in addition to being its co-creator and executive producer alongside Undergaro.
He was a carnival worker prior to making it in Hollywood
Undergaro grew up in Medford, Massachusetts, and is a graduate of Saint Anselm College. Prior to making it in Hollywood, he worked summers on the east coast as a "carnie" to make ends meet, a job that involved tremendous amounts of physical labor and long hard hours (seven days a week and 20 hours a day, to be exact).
"Summer months were spent on the road peddling fried dough and cotton candy with the likes of junkies, ex-cons, mobsters and side show freaks: characters answering to such names as Homeless Joe, Big Daddy Crackpipe and Lobster Boy aka the infamed Grady Stiles," Undergaro wrote on his website.
The reason he "put his body through hell" was to afford the alternate winter months he'd spend in Los Angeles as a TV writer on MTV's Singled Out, working with celebrities such as Chris Hardwick, Jenny McCarthy and Carmen Electra.
Following his work at MTV, he attempted to produce an independent film. Although his ambitious intentions fell flat (leaving him bankrupt, homeless and out of Hollywood), his love story had only just begun: he met Menounos (19 years old at the time) on the set of the film.
He proposed to Maria Menounos on the Howard Stern Show
Undergaro proposed to Menounos during the reality star's appearance on Stern's SiriusXM radio show in 2016. At first, the red carpet host thought it was a joke, with Undergaro having to clarify that he was serious.
"This I wouldn't joke about," he said. "I love you so much and this show's meant so much to both of us. Why not make it official now? Will you honey? Will you accept?" (Spoiler: She said yes.)
His wedding to Maria Menounos was officiated by Steve Harvey on TV
Keeping on trend with their major milestones being broadcast to the public, the couple got married on live TV in a major surprise just before midnight during Fox's New Year's Eve broadcast, which Menounos was co-hosting with Steve Harvey in 2018. Harvey also officiated the wedding.
He starred on Chasing Maria Menounos
In 2014, Menounos starred in her own eponymous reality show Chasing Maria Menounos, which aired from March to May of that year. The show also starred her Greek immigrant parents and Undergaro who all lived under the same roof.
"The fact that Keven and I have been together for 16 years, we're not married, we don't have kids, my Greek immigrant parents live with us," she said of the show's premise. "They're very traditional and hounding us for all of those traditional things. We live this kind of Hollywood fairy tale, but we're not really Hollywood. There are a lot of different elements in there that were interesting not only to the network and the producers, but for us to share too."
He and Maria Menounos welcomed their first child in July 2023
The couple welcomed their daughter, Athena, via surrogate in July 2023.
"Maria is the happiest I've ever seen, and she and Kev have this parenting thing down. That little girl is the luckiest and she'll know it every day," a source told PEOPLE.
Just weeks after the baby was born, Menounos appeared on Live with Kelly and Mark.
"She's sleeping really well, actually. She's amazing. She's such a good baby. We're just so overjoyed. It's the greatest feeling in the world," she told the hosts.
Over the years, Menounos and Undergaro have been candid about their fertility journey.
"I definitely didn't think it was going to take this long. It's been years," the TV host, who first began IVF treatments in 2012, told PEOPLE in February 2022. "It's just been a very frustrating process."
A year later, the couple announced that they were expecting their first child together.
"Just after a decade of trying everything, we are so grateful to the beautiful family helping us conceive our baby," the then-mom-to-be told PEOPLE. "Keven, my dad and I are all beyond excited for this soul to come into our lives. What a blessing."
Menounos and Undergaro first began considering surrogacy back in 2018 when former E! News correspondent sought advice from pal Kim Kardashian, who welcomed her daughter Chicago in January 2018 and son Psalm in May 2019 with the help of surrogates.
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