Named one of "Television Week's" 10 Most Bankable Stars in Syndication, Emmy Award-winning entertainment journalist O'Dell has proven to be a force in all areas of her career as a host, author, producer and entrepreneur. One of the country's most respected and leading entertainment journalists, O'Dell is the co-host of the most watched entertainment news program in the world, Entertainment Tonight, having garnered exclusive interviews with President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah, Angelina Jolie, Second Lady Jill Biden, Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, as well as Johnny Depp, and Robert Pattinson.
In addition to her work with ET, O’Dell has contributed reports to ”CBS This Morning,” NBC’s “Today” show and “Dateline. She is executive producer and host of “Celebrities at Home”, which was recently picked up for a third season on HGTV. O’Dell was handpicked by Oprah and Mark Burnett to host "Your Own Show,” one of OWN network's premiere primetime shows. Having over 20 years experience, O’Dell is a go-to anchor for live TV specials including the 2011 national Emmy pre-show, “Countdown to the Emmys”, and FOX’s New Year’s Eve Special ringing in 2011. She was a special presenter on CBS’s 2013 and 2012 Academy of Country Music Awards, as well as a special host of Fox’s American Country Music Awards. Previously, O’Dell served as the co-anchor of “Access Hollywood” for 13 years.
Nancy is a published author with three best-selling books. “Here’s to Fabulous You!”, released in September 2012 in conjunction with Creative Memories, is the winner of the prestigious Addy Award. “FULL OF LOVE: Mom-to-Mom Advice for Enriching Families with Simple Photo Albums and Scrapbooking” was released in October 2010 with Creative Memories. It became the company’s #1 bestseller and Nancy announced her partnership with Creative Memories, a leader in its industry, launching her own photo album line, “The Nancy O’Dell Collection”. “Secret Ingredients: Step-by-Step ‘Recipes’ for Creating Meaningful Gifts”, released in 2011, was also the #1 bestseller. Her first book, “FULL OF LIFE: Mom-to-Mom Tips I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was Pregnant,” debuted in the top three of all motherhood books and as a top-selling gift book. “FULL OF LIFE” was released by Simon Spotlight in April 2009.
O’Dell is the creator of “Little Ashby: Star Reporter,” a fun, new educational series of children’s apps. In these apps, children follow the story of Little Ashby, a cub reporter who goes to various places on assignment with her FUNtastic crew. “Santa’s Big Premiere” was released in 2012 as the first in the “Little Ashby” app series and immediately shot to the Top 20 on the book charts in the iTunes App Store. Parents Magazine listed the app as a "Must-Have". O’Dell is also a Cynopsis: Kids Imagination Awards Honorable Mention, honoring the best in kids’ programming for the app.
Often known for her fashion and style, O’Dell currently serves as the face and spokesperson of RUSK and BaByliss Pro, Conair’s highly regarded lines of professional hair care.
A member of the Academy of Country Music Awards, O'Dell was the original host and consulting producer of the country music talent search series, “Nashville Star.” Some of O'Dell's additional broadcasting work includes hosting the 2012 Rose Parade for HGTV, the "Nashville Rising" concert along with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, ABC's 2010 Fall Preview special, 2010 Emmy Awards coverage for CBS, VH1's 2010 Critic's Choice Awards Live Red Carpet Special and the 2010 Super Bowl Fan Jam Concert Special. NBC Sports also tapped Nancy to host their live 2009 NFL Kickoff Show. In 2009, she hosted NBC's live coverage of the Kentucky Derby with Bob Costas, as well as the Bravo special “Ladies First: Bravo at the Kentucky Derby.” O'Dell was chosen by NBC to host two of their popular annual network broadcasts for 10 years in a row, “The Live Golden Globes Arrivals Special” and “The Tournament of Roses Parade” which received five Emmy nominations.
O'Dell often appears on the big screen as well. She was recently seen in “The Smurfs 2” movie. She had a role in the Golden Globe-nominated film “Thank You for Smoking” and Director Wes Craven tapped her for almost every installment of his huge blockbuster movie franchise: Scream,” “Scream 2,” “Scream 3” and “Scream 4.” O'Dell has done guest appearances on numerous television shows, including the Emmy award-winning “30 Rock,” “90210,” Disney Channel's “Hannah Montana,” “Sesame Street,” “The Simpsons,” Ally McBeal, and a recurring role as herself on FX's “Dirt” from 2006 to 2008. Other TV appearances include co-hosting ESPN's “ESPY Awards Red Carpet Show” in 2003 and 2004 and NBC's broadcast of “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” in 2004 with Al Roker. O'Dell hosted Miss USA from 2004 to 2007. She also hosted Miss Universe in 2005 and the annual “Prism Awards” on the FX channel from 2008 to 2011.
An award-winning journalist, O'Dell has been honored with three Associated Press Awards, two Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Awards, an Emmy Award and has been nominated for seven additional Emmys. In 2009, O'Dell was honored by the beauty industry for the inaugural Beautiful Humanitarian Award by the Professional Beauty Association, an award given to a public figure who exemplifies beauty both inside and out. In addition, she was nominated two years in a row (1999 and 2000) for the prestigious ICG Publicists Guild Press Award, recognizing excellence in entertainment reporting. Nancy was the featured TV Host in New York Moves Magazine’s Power Women Issue in 2012. And, in 2013, the Alliance for Women in Media honored O’Dell with a Genii Award for Excellence in Television. Also in 2013, O’Dell was asked to host the highly-respected “National Association of Broadcasters Luncheon.”
O'Dell began her broadcast career as a reporter and anchor at WPDE- TV in Myrtle Beach, S.C. She later worked as morning news anchor and crime reporter at WCBD-TV in Charleston, S.C. O'Dell went on to become evening co-anchor and investigative reporter in Miami for NBC's WTVJ-TV, before joining “Access Hollywood.”
O'Dell, a National Vice President of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the ALS National Ambassador, has been working with MDA since her mother was diagnosed with and passed away in 2008 from complications related to ALS. In August of 2009, MDA, O'Dell, and O'Dell's family formed a foundation in her mother's name called Betty's Battle: Fighting ALS. O'Dell was honored to co-host the MDA telethon in 2011 for the third year in a row. She was a presenter on MDA’s 2012 “Show of Strength”. Additionally, O'Dell was inducted into the American Red Cross's National Celebrity Cabinet in 2002 and remains in that position today and she also serves as a celebrity spokesperson for the March of Dimes (MOD). Further, she acts as an international board member for Best Buddies, a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. In June 2002, Best Buddies honored O'Dell with the organization's Spirit of Leadership Award. This honor has previously been bestowed upon Muhammad Ali, Maria Shriver and Olympian Carl Lewis.
A native of South Carolina, O'Dell is a summa cum laude graduate of Clemson University finishing with the highest obtainable honors in the top 2% of her class. In May of 2013, during spring commencement ceremonies, Clemson University awarded Nancy with an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two stepsons, and her daughter.