Maria Celeste Arrarás biography

Maria Celeste Arrarás (born September 27, 1960 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican journalist and actress and the host and producer of Spanish language news program Al Rojo Vivo Con Maria Celeste.

Maria Celeste Arrarás was born September 27, 1960 in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. She is one of seven children born to politician, sports leader, lawyer, and educator José Enrique Arrarás.

In her youth Arrarás competed internationally in swimming. In 1971, she won three medals (one gold, one silver, and one bronze) at the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships. She had hopes of competing at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, but had to give up on that goal after she had contracted infectious mononucleosis ("kissing disease") after having shared a glass of water with someone.

At age 18, she represented Mayagüez in 1979 at the Miss Puerto Rico pageant where she placed 1st runner up in the competition. When she reached the age of 20, Arrarás attended Loyola University of New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she majored in communications and public relations.

Arrarás began her broadcasting career when she was employed by local Puerto Rican television station Canal 24 (Channel 24) as a reporter. In 1986, she was hired by the New York Telemundo affiliate WNJU as a reporter. Her work there drew the attention of the executives of the Univision network, who decided to hire her in 1994 as the co-anchor of their Miami, Florida based television news program, Primer Impacto. Along with her co-anchor Myrka Dellanos, she would continue to hold that position until 2002 when she left the show and the network.

In 2002, Arrarás moved to the Telemundo USA network to work as the anchor woman in a new television program that would replace her former competitor, Ocurrio Asi. Her new show was named Al Rojo Vivo con Maria Celeste. That same year Arrarás tried her hand at acting by appearing in two episodes of the American soap opera Passions in November 2002, in which she played herself.

In April 2003, Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin let Arrarás have the first interview that he had done in Spanish in two years. On May of that year, Arrarás was honored by the displaying of a plaque with her name and hand-prints on it in Mexico City's Paseo de los Grandes (Walk of the Great Ones).

Since the NBC network owns the Telemundo company, executives at NBC decided that it would be a good idea for Arrarás to be a panelist for the candidates' debate during the "Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum" in 2004. Arraras mistakenly referred to Representative Dennis Kucinich as "Senator Kucinich" instead of "Congressman Kucinich", and he needed to correct her.

On March 2004, a celebrity gossip magazine ran a story about Arrarás's filing for divorce from her then husband Manny Arvesu. Also, in an interview her Telemundo co-worker, Laura Bozzo, expressed a disliking of her. All this was published shortly after Arrarás attended the wedding of her friend, Lucía Méndez, in Mexico. Arrarás declared that attending the wedding while in the middle of her own marital crisis was hard for her.

On Friday, June 23, 2006, Arrarás became the first Telemundo hostess to co-host the Today Show on NBC. She did this again July 7, 2006, July 30, 2006, and for several days during the first week of July, 2009.

In 2003 and 2006, Arrarás served as a judge for the Miss Universe pageant. She has also become the latest Hispanic celebrity mom to be a part of the Hispanic "Got Milk?" campaign in January 2007, as part of the "Think About Your Drink" campaign.

Over the years Arrarás has interviewed many presidents and other people of note, including Yolanda Saldívar, the woman convicted of murdering Tejano music singer Selena Quintanilla.

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