Samantha BrownFebruary 22. 2013 8:47PM
Samantha Brown is the host of the Travel Channel's "Great Hotels, Great Vacation Homes" and "Girl Meets Hawaii." You might be surprised to learn that Samantha grew up here in New Hampshire both in Derry and on the seacoast. Her bubbly, outgoing personality was evident even then; Samantha was the captain of the high school cheerleading team at Pinkerton Academy in Derry. Her father still lives in Portsmouth and owns a building supply company in Dover.
Samantha was born in Dallas, Texas in 1969. After attending Pinkerton, Brown went on to study at Syracuse University, earning a degree in musical theatre. She began performing in off-Broadway productions until she was discovered by the Travel Channel. She currently resides in Manhattan, where she is a member of the sketch-comedy group "Mouth." She was married to Kevin James O'Leary, a computer servers specialist, in October 2006.
Brown travels nine months out of the year, staying in some of the most popular and luxurious locales across the United States. Her show, Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown took her to several overseas destinations including Brussels, Dublin, Prague and Florence. In an interview she did with The Union Leader, Samantha said, "I'm just fascinated by people, their stories and what motivates them. And I really find that when people miss out on that, they are really missing out on the travel experience and why we travel. What's great is that I can do that in China or I can do it in New Hampshire and it's always a discovery."
In 2004, Ms. Brown co-hosted Beach Week on the Travel Channel with Michelle Beadle, Owen McKibbin and Shana Hiatt. Samantha filmed a new show, Passport to Latin America, which debuted on June 6, 2007. In the series, Brown visited Belize, central Costa Rica, Honduras, and the cities of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Montevideo, Uruguay, Santiago, Chile and São Paulo, Brazil.
In September 2007, Samantha was in China for a month-long trip that took her to places like Sichuan, Beijing, and Xian. On the show, Passport to China, Sam got to hold a panda on her lap and walk along the Great Wall of China. The show aired in July 2008.
A new show called Passport to Great Weekends also began airing in 2008 and took her to "weekend" destinations like Myrtle Beach, Paris, Sante Fe, Washington, D.C. and (our favorite) New Hampshire. Her trip back to her old haunts in New Hampshire originally aired on July 24, 2008 but is being re-run on the Travel Channel regularly.
In February 2010, Sam celebrated a decade of hosting for the Travel Channel with four new one-hour specials. Samantha Brown's Vancouver highlighted the city that hosted that year's Winter Olympics, Samantha Brown: Inside the Suitcase, Samantha Brown Fan-a-thon and Samantha Brown's World of Sports, which highlighted some of her best and worst sports-related moments on the Travel Channel.
In July 2010, a new series titled Samantha Brown's Asia was launched on the Travel Channel. She visited several countries including Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.
In January 2013, Samantha and her husband Kevin O'Leary, welcomed twins, a boy, Ellis James and a girl, Elizabeth Mae.
Whether she is traipsing through Europe by rail, golfing on the greens in Florida or taking a bubble bath in a luxury hotel in Hawaii, it's obvious that Samantha loves her job. And even as a new mom, she already has no plans to stop anytime soon. "I will be going back on the road as soon as we can, so baby passports here we come," she told People Magazine shortly after their birth.
Samantha's latest show, Trip of a Lifetime, began airing on January 27, 2013 on the Travel Channel.