Family & Companions
Perhaps best known for the preternatural plumpness of her lips, Lisa Rinna managed to prove that there could be life after ruling briefly as a daytime soap opera diva. Craving the spotlight from an early age, Rinna initially intended to pursue acting after high school but worked as a model for several years instead. Bored with life on the runway, Rinna made the move to Hollywood, eventually joining the cast of the venerable daytime soap "Days of our Lives" (NBC, 1965- ) in 1992 as the volatile Billie Reed, quickly becoming a fan favorite during her short tenure. Four years later, Rinna graduated to primetime, where she chewed the scenery on "Melrose Place" (FOX, 1992-99) as the conniving Taylor McBride. Shortly after joining the primetime melodrama, Rinna married actor Harry Hamlin, best known for his run on the landmark series "L.A. Law" (NBC, 1986-1994). Post-"Melrose," Rinna took on host duties for shows like "SoapTalk" (SOAPnet, 2002-06) and tripped the light fantastic on "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, 2005- ), culminating with her own reality series "Harry Loves Lisa" (TV Land, 2010). While not boasting one of the more diverse résumés in Hollywood, Rinna secured herself a place in the pantheon of media "personalities," so ubiquitous in American 21st Century pop-culture.
Born Lisa Deanna Rinna on July 11, 1963 in Newport Beach, CA, Rinna later enjoyed a very traditional childhood - she was a Brownie and cheerleader - in Medford, OR with her parents Frank and Lois, who she affectionately described as "artistic types." After graduating from Medford Senior High in 1981, Rinna studied drama at the University of Oregon, but dropped out after her first year when she was denied entry to the advanced acting program. Devastated and disillusioned, Rinna relocated to San Francisco, CA and entered the brutally competitive modeling world, which she navigated until 1987. Unsatisfied with modeling and yearning to perform again she left for Los Angeles to find work as an actor. Appearances on television commercials were quickly followed by her feature debut in "Captive Rage" (1988), a low-budget exploitation title starring the late British thespian, Oliver Reed. Soon after, she landed the recurring role of Annie, girlfriend of Jason Bateman's David on the NBC sitcom, "Valerie"/ "The Hogan Family" (NBC, 1985-1991).
Appearances on "Baywatch" (syndicated, 1989-2001) and several TV movies preceded the role that garnered her national attention - that of damaged stripper/porn star/police detective/government agent Billie Reed on "Days of Our Lives" (NBC, 1965- ). Her role as Billie - the bane of Bo Brady's (Peter Reckell) existence - earned her back-to-back Soap Opera Digest awards in 1994 and 1995. Rinna stayed with the venerable series until 1995, appearing in just one outside project during her entire tenure - the low budget science fiction knockoff "Robot Wars" (1993). Following "Days," Rinna turned up in several TV movies and miniseries, including the Danielle Steel adaptation "Close to Danger" (1995), before moving to primetime with a two-year turn on "Melrose Place" (Fox, 1992-99). As Rob Estes' venomous sister and restaurateur, Taylor McBride, Rinna wreaked havoc on the life of Dr. Peter Burns (Jack Wagner), bringing even bitchier, back-stabbing exploits than usual to the famous address. During this period, Rinna met and fell in love with actor Harry Hamlin, a man still recovering from his abrupt and publicly acrimonious divorce from actress Nicolette Sheridan. The couple married in 1997 and gave birth to their first of two children a year later, coinciding with her departure from "Melrose Place" - but not before a six-months pregnant Rinna appeared nude in Playboy. She posed once more for the magazine as the issue's cover model in May 2009.
A potpourri of post-baby television roles followed - several of them opposite Hamlin, including a turn on his short-lived series "Movie Stars" (The WB, 1999-2000), the comedic TV movie "Oh, Baby" (2001), and the Lifetime movie "Sex, Lies and Obsession" (2001). Rinna's solo efforts included the 2000 Lifetime feature "Another Woman's Husband" (2000), which was one of the network's highest rated productions, followed by her sole feature film credit, "Good Advice" (2001) - a project best known for introducing Charlie Sheen to Denise Richards. In 2002, the highly animated Rinna was tapped to co-host the soap opera talk show "SoapTalk" (SOAPnet, 2002-06) alongside Ty Treadway. Her easy banter with her co-host helped her to earn several Daytime Emmy Award nominations. She was also the host of Lifetime's reality series "Merge" (2003-05), where makeover consultants helped newlyweds figure out what to keep and what to toss when it came to their spouse's belongings. In 2004, she and Hamlin played recurring roles on the UPN series "Veronica Mars" (2004-07) as the parents of Jason Dohring's character, Logan Echolls. Rinna's Lynn Echolls committed suicide by leaping from a bridge at the end of the series' first season. In 2007, Rinna landed a job perfectly suited to her glitzy, outgoing personality when she replaced awards show staple Joan Rivers as the TV Guide Channel's lead red carpet host.
In 2006, a tan and toned Rinna competed on ABC's astonishingly popular reality series, "Dancing with the Stars" (2005- ). She and her partner Louis van Amstel pleased the judges and Rinna's exhibitionist personality was on full display, but it was not enough to prevent the pair from being eliminated mid-season. Ever the supportive husband, Hamlin followed in his wife's footsteps, literally, competing on "Dancing with the Stars" the following season. His twirl on the ballroom floor, however, ended even sooner than Rinna's, though his wife was always spotted ringside. Regardless, their "Dancing" exposure ignited enough public interest in them for the celebrity coupled to land their own celeb-reality series, "Harry Loves Lisa," which premiered on the TV Land Network in 2010. In a bizarre turn of events that would likely provide fodder for the show, the couple's San Fernando Valley clothing boutique was broken into twice during the same week the first episode aired. Only weeks later, it was then reported that Rinna had jumped aboard another reality program, season four of the successful "The Celebrity Apprentice" (NBC, 2004- ) franchise, in which she would compete against singer Mark McGrath, actress Marlee Matlin and rapper Lil Jon, among others.
Cast (Feature Film)
Appeared in the John Parr "Naughty Naughty" music video
Made her film debut in "Captive Rage"
Played the recurring role of Jason Bateman's girlfriend on the NBC sitcom, "The Hogan Family"
Made her TV-movie debut in "Lies Before Kisses" (CBS)
Originated the role of Billie Reed on the NBC daytime drama, "Days of Our Lives"; briefly reprised the role in 2002
Played the lead in NBC's TV movie, "Danielle Steel's 'Vanished'"
Portrayed Taylor McBride on the Fox primetime soap "Melrose Place"
Had first major film role opposite Charlie Sheen in "Good Advice"
Starred opposite husband Harry Hamlin in the Lifetime movie, "Sex, Lies & Obsession"
Co-hosted "Soap Talk" for SOAPnet
Had a recurring role, opposite husband Harry Hamlin in the UPN drama, "Veronica Mars," as the movie-star parents of Veronica's high-school rival, Logan
Joined the second season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars"
Made her Broadway debut as Roxie Hart in "Chicago," opposite husband Harry Hamlin as Billy Flynn
Replaced Joan and Melissa Rivers as TV Guide Channel's leading red-carpet host
Appeared in an episode of HBO's "Entourage"
Appeared with husband Harry Hamlin in the reality show "Harry Loves Lisa" on TV Land
Joined the cast of the fourth season of "Celebrity Apprentice" (NBC)