Vanessa Lachey has a tall order ahead of her when she steps into the shoes of Jane Tennant, Special Agent in Charge. The character oversees forty agents as the leader of the Pearl Harbor division of NCIS: Hawai’i and has all the tough responsibilities to go with the role.
Luckily, Vanessa has relevant life experience to prep her to portray these sorts of responsibilities. So, here are a few things you should know about her before the September 20th premiere.
She Was Born In The Philippines.
A self-identified Air Force BRAT (Born Raised and Trained), Vanessa was born on Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. Her father, Vincent, is from Ohio and her mother, Helen, is from Manila. The family moved around so often that she had attended 8 different schools by age 16. She lived in Washington, California, Nevada, Florida, Germany, Japan, and Turkey, all before high school. She is of Italian, Irish, and Asian descent and will be the first Asian woman to lead an NCIS series.
Vanessa knows what it’s like to live a military lifestyle, which gives her unique perspective and insight into the character she’s bringing to life.
She’s A Former Beauty Queen.
In 1998, Vanessa Minnillo (maiden name) first won Miss Teen South Carolina, and then went on to win Miss Teen USA. Because of her charisma and magnetism, she also snagged the coveted title of Miss Congeniality in the same competition.
Notably, she’s graced Maxim’s Hot 100 list multiple times over the years.
She’s Been On Entertainment TV For Years And Even Met Her Husband Because Of It.
In the early 2000s, she was a co-host on MTV’s Total Request Live (TRL), a Top 10 music video countdown show. She originally met her now husband, Nick Lachey on set in 2003. For those who may not remember, Nick was a heartthrob for teenage girls everywhere as the front man for boy band, 98 Degrees. Both he and Vanessa were in happy relationships at the time, but reconnected as newly single on one of his music videos in 2006 and began dating soon after.
She was also a regular correspondent for Entertainment Tonight from 2005-2007, appeared as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars in 2017, hosted a season of Top Chef Jr, and co-hosted Love is Blind with Nick in 2020.
She and Her Husband Share The Same Birthday.
November 9th is a big day for the Lachey household because it’s Mom’s AND Dad’s birthday. While Nick was born in 1973 and Vanessa in 1980, the day itself is a perfect match!
The two of them share sweet birthday posts to each other on Instagram. Here are the couple’s birthday wishes from 2020:
Nick even suited up and sang to her for 40th!
She Has Three Kids And Wrote A Book About Family Traditions.
Nick and Vanessa were married on July 15, 2011 and have since had three children. The whole family relocated to Hawai’i for Vanessa’s lead role on NCIS, and the children recently started school there: Camden is in 3rd grade, Brooklyn is in 1st grade, and Phoenix is in PreK.
Family is very important to Vanessa, and she has an upcoming book release on that very subject: Life From Scratch: Family Traditions That Start with You.
She didn’t have the ideal family life growing up and her parents divorced and remarried other people. Vanessa found herself split between homes and sometimes between countries. Her mother left when she was nine and her step-mother claimed, at the time, she didn’t want children.
She recently told People Magazine about the thought process behind the book: “Instead of constantly saying, ‘I don’t have a mom to show me how to do my makeup, what not to wear, how to be a good wife or a good mom,’ I said, ‘You know what? I can start that for my daughter and be that positive influence.”
The book gives ideas, hacks, and recipes that parents may start using with their own families and hopefully pass on for generations to come.