Also Credited As:Shanna Lynn Moakler
|Shanna Lynn Moakler on March 28, 1975 in Providence, Rhode Island, USA|
Born on March 28, 1975 in Providence, RI, the teenager got her first taste of fame in 1992 when, at the tender age of 17, she represented her state in the Miss Teen USA pageant, placing in the semi-finals. After graduating from Barrington High School, the young beauty ended up winning the even bigger title of Miss USA in 1995 after the original winner, Chelsi Smith, abandoned her post to reign as Miss Universe. A year later, Moakler moved to Los Angeles and began auditioning for acting jobs. Starting off slowly but steadily, she landed bit parts in the film, "Poison Ivy: The New Seduction" (1997) and was "flight attendant #3" in the Adam Sandler hit comedy, "The Wedding Singer" (1998). That same year she won a regular spot on the cheesy but popular TV series, "Pacific Blue" (USA Network 1995-2000) - an impressive get for an acting newbie. Starring as Officer Monica Harper opposite future "Dancing with the Stars" contestant, Mario Lopez, the series featured sexy cops riding around Santa Monica Beach on bicycles looking to bust criminals - a kind of "Baywatch," but swapping swimsuits for spandex shorts. Though the "Pacific" role was short-lived, the ever ambitious Moakler continued to land small parts in films like "Love Stinks" (1999), starring Bill Bellamy and "Critical Mass" (2000), starring Treat Williams. Taking the route many frustrated beauties take, the shapely actress decided to bare it all, becoming Miss December for Playboy in 2001.
Despite having several years in Hollywood under her belt, Moakler had yet to achieve anything significant in her onscreen career. Her love life, however, was booming. Once engaged to boxing great Oscar de la Hoya, with whom she had a daughter Atiana Cecilia de la Hoya in March of 1999, she went on to date actor Dennis Quaid and '80s rocker Billy Idol. But in 2004, she met the man of her dreams - Travis Barker, former drummer for the band Blink-182. She married the heavily tattooed rocker in October of that same year. That same year, she and her unorthodox husband were approached to star in their own MTV reality series, a la "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica" (2003-05). Premiering in April of 2005, the series chronicled the daily lives of the multi-pierced rocker and his Playmate wife, living in their gothic Hollywood mansion with their three children (the couple's two children, Alabama and London, and Atiana). Most episodes featured the couple engaging in frequent baby talk - with each other, not the children - making out, showering each other with extravagant presents, or eating in sushi restaurants. The rest of the series consisted of Moakler napping while Barker was off busily working on one of his several business enterprises. With all the fun and napping, Moakler scarcely had time to land real acting gigs - though she did take on the role of Petra in the Martin Lawrence comedy, "Big Momma's House 2" (2006).
Much like Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, the stress of intrusive cameras in their home - coupled with the white hot light of newfound fame - helped derail this odd couple fairytale. In August of 2006, Barker filed for divorce and began blasting Moakler in the media - most dramatically on his MySpace.com page, in which he accused his wife of being a bad mom and a cheating wife. Moakler shot back, though in less graphic terms, denying his accusations of infidelity and insisting that her children were her first priority. In the midst of her marital crisis and the media firestorm it created, she landed a coveted spot on the hit series third season of "Dancing With The Stars." Unfortunately, she was not given much time to shine, as she was voted off the show the second week. Unemployed, Moakler acted as part-time correspondent for the entertainment news series, "Extra" (NBC, 1994- ), covering the remaining contestants on "Dancing With The Stars."
But it was Moakler's infamous October smack-down at the Hollywood nightclub, Hyde, in which she allegedly threw a punch at party girl/hotel heiress Paris Hilton, that put Moakler's name on the map. Many in the press and blogosphere who universally hated Hilton, celebrated Moakler's reported backhand - particularly since the heiress had been spotted publicly making out with Moakler's estranged husband in weeks prior. Hilton would file a police report, accusing Moakler of punching her, while Moakler denied the charges and filed counter charges against Hilton's friend/ex boyfriend, Stavros Niarchos, claiming that he pushed her down the club stairs. Only a month later, whatever goodwill Moakler had accumulated for throwing the punch that others only dreamed of throwing, vanished overnight when the actress threw herself a questionable media-sponsored "divorce party" in Las Vegas. As expected, many found this move tacky, in light of there being three children involved - most notable of these, her angry ex, Barker, who jumped back on MySpace to vent his frustrations.