Press release from ABC, Tuesday, March 8, 2016:
The celebrity cast of “Dancing with the Stars” are slipping into their ballroom shoes and getting ready for their first dance on MONDAY, MARCH 21 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. The 22nd season’s lineup of celebrity dancers includes a multi-platinum selling recording artist, a Peabody Award winner, a UFC fighter, and Super Bowl 50’s MVP, to name a few.
As announced this morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the celebrities with their professional partners heading to the ballroom this season (in alphabetical order) are:
* Mischa Barton with Artem Chigvintsev
* Antonio Brown with Sharna Burgess
* Nyle DiMarco with Peta Murgatroyd
* Kim Fields with Sasha Farber
* Doug Flutie with Karina Smirnoff
* Marla Maples with Tony Dovolani
* Von Miller with Witney Carson
* Wanya Morris with Lindsay Arnold
* Geraldo Rivera with Edyta Sliwinska
* Jodie Sweetin with Keo Motsepe
* Paige VanZant with Mark Ballas
* Ginger Zee with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
MISCHA BARTON – Mischa Barton began her successful film, television and stage career in the NY theater scene under the tutelage of esteemed director/writers James Lapine (“Twelve Dreams” at Lincoln Center with Donna Murphy), Tony Kushner (“Slavs!” at New York Theater Workshop with Marisa Tomei), and Naomi Wallace (“One Flea Spare” at the Public Theatre with Dianne Wiest.) She has since gone on to star alongside screen icons Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant in “Notting Hill,” Bruce Willis and Toni Collette in “The Sixth Sense” and Sam Rockwell in the Sundance critically acclaimed film “Lawn Dogs.” She is currently in production on the independent film “Father” and will compete on this season of ABC’s hit television series, “Dancing with the Stars.”
On television, for three seasons, Barton portrayed Marisa Cooper, on FOX’s wildly popular drama “The O.C.” The show earned several awards, including a Television Critics Association Award nomination for Outstanding New Program of the Year. Barton also starred in The CW drama series “The Beautiful Life.”
In 2012, Barton returned to her theater roots, starring in “Steel Magnolias” at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. She also tapped into her entrepreneurial side and launched Mischa Barton Boutique London in fashionable Spitalfields, East London. Here, she sells her own line of handbags, clothes and accessories. That same year, she also co-starred in “A Resurrection,” with Michael Clark Duncan and Devon Sawa, and starred in the feature “I Will Follow You Into The Dark.” Additional film credits include “Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain” (alongside Martin Sheen), “Homecoming,” “Walled In,” “Assassination of a High School President,” “Virgin Territory” and “Closing the Ring,” starring opposite Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer and directed by the late Richard Attenborough. Most recent film credits include “The Hoarder,” “Starcrossed,” “Operator” and “Deserted.”
ANTONIO BROWN – Antonio Brown is an NFL wide receiver and punt returner for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was drafted in 2010 after playing college football for three years at Central Michigan, where he was named a first-team All-American by The Sporting News in 2008 and 2009. The four-time Pro-Bowl selectee was named the Pittsburgh Steelers MVP in 2011, 2013 and 2015. Brown also received the honor of the AFC Offensive Player of the Year in 2014 and was named the Fantasy Player of the Year for the 2015-2016 season. Antonio grew up in Miami, Florida and resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
NYLE DIMARCO – Nyle DiMarco is an actor, model and spokesman. He is a native New Yorker and was born into a large multigenerational Deaf family. He is an alumni of Gallaudet University, the only liberal arts university in the world for the deaf.
He was the stand out star and winner of “America’s Next Top Model”’s Cycle 22! He has gained a lot of attention for being the first deaf contestant. Next, Nyle will appear on “Difficult People,” opposite Billy Eichner and John Early. Previously, he recurs on “Switched at Birth” as Garrett.
Nyle is a signer and creative collaborator on The ASL App (by Ink & Salt), an App created by native deaf signers to teach conversational American Sign Language (ASL). As an honorary spokesman for Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K), Nyle is passionate about literacy, anti-bullying campaigns and advocacy within the deaf community.
Nyle DiMarco is deaf and uses American Sign Language. American Sign Language requires the use of facial expressions and body movements; his deafness amplifies his natural talent. His deafness is an asset and not a limitation; he is amicable and able to communicate easily.
KIM FIELDS – A true Renaissance woman of the entertainment industry, Kim Fields is an accomplished actress, director, producer and writer. Her work spans decades, and transcends both genres and mediums to create quality entertainment.
As an actress, Fields is best known for her starring roles in two iconic shows: “Living Single” and “The Facts Of Life.” Fields has also appeared on many other film and television projects, including HBO’s “The Comeback;” TBS’s “Meet the Browns,” Lifetime’s “The Division” and “Strong Medicine,” and A&E’s “The Cleaner.” More recently, she joined the cast of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Additional recent roles include the television movie “A Cross to Bear,” the film “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and Hallmark Channel’s “For Better or for Worse.”
Fields starred in her third “Holiday Love” Christmas special, which she also produced, co-wrote and directed.
In addition to her onscreen work, Fields excels behind the camera. She has directed hundreds of episodes of television on programs, including TV One’s “The Rickey Smiley Show,” Nickelodeon’s “Kenan & Kel,” FOX’s “Living Single” and BET’s “Let’s Stay Together.” She also directed two of Tyler Perry’s TBS series: “Meet the Browns” and “House of Payne.”
Fields is an award-winning film director and was awarded the honor of “Director of the Year” for her work on the short film “Silent Bomb” by the Black American Cinema Society.
Fields is married to actor Christopher Morgan. The couple has two sons, Sebastian and Quincy.
This is a milestone year for Kim, celebrating her 40th year in the industry.
DOUG FLUTIE – Doug Flutie’s name has been synonymous with excellence in both college and professional football, as he has received many honors, including All American at Boston College, 1984 College Football Player of the Year, the 1984 Heisman Trophy Winner, 1991-1994/1996/1997 Grey Cup Most Valuable Player. Known for the famous “Hail Mary” pass against University of Miami to win the Orange Bowl in college, Doug went on to play in the USFL and then the Chicago Bears and New England Patriots through the late 80’s. He then played in the Canadian Football League for eight years, followed by the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills in 1998 where he was selected to the NFL Pro Bowl. At the age of 38, Doug signed a contract with the San Diego Chargers to become their starting quarterback. After four seasons, Doug was offered the opportunity to finish his career with his hometown team, the New England Patriots. Currently Doug Flutie serves as lead analyst for NBC Sports Group’s coverage of Notre Dame Football. He also serves as an analyst for NBC Sports Group’s NFL shoulder programming, which includes Pro Football Talk on NBCSN.
Doug has a charismatic personality whose approachable and personable style has translated his success on the football field into success off the field. Doug is the drummer of the Flutie Brothers Band. He has also written an autobiography, entitled “Flutie,” recounting his life both on and off the field. Married to his high school sweetheart, Laurie Flutie, and the father of two children, Doug and his wife established, the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism in 1998, in the name of their son Dougie, Jr., to help less-fortunate families who have children with autism. He also created a cereal, Flutie Flakes, with the benefits going towards this organization. The Flutie Foundation has raised over $12 million dollars for autism causes.
MARLA MAPLES – As a Broadway professional, having starred in “The Will Rogers Follies” and “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” Marla is no stranger to the stage. A veteran host of sensations such as “The Miss U.S.A.,” “The Miss Universe Pageant,” and co-host of “Fox After Breakfast” with Tom Bergeron, Marla is also a philanthropist on a mission, an actress and musical artist. Marla’s single “House of Love,” off her album “The Endless,” features Deepak Chopra and LogiQ Pryce, and won the Hollywood Music in Media Award (HMMA) for best song in the Ambient/New Age category. Marla has appeared in over 15 films and has guest starred in numerous television series. Most recently she starred in the racially thought provoking film “Switching Lanes.” Above all, Marla is a proud mom to daughter Tiffany Trump, who is graduating this spring from University of Pennsylvania and they each happily reside in New York City once again.
VON MILLER – Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller was named MVP of Super Bowl 50—the 10th defensive player to earn the honor—after posting 2.5 sacks (27 yds.), two forced fumbles, one pass defense and six tackles (5 solo). A fifth-year linebacker and four-time Pro Bowl selection, Von’s 60 career sacks through his first five seasons represent the sixth most in NFL (since 1982) history. In 2015, Von was selected to his fourth Pro Bowl, joining Hall of Fame running back Floyd Little and Ring of Fame safety Steve Atwater as the only players in team history to make at least four Pro Bowls in their first five years with the team.
As impressive as all these accolades may be, the record-breaking athletic performances are only part of what makes Von Von. His quirky interests, which range from vintage eyeglasses and fashion to raising chickens at his DeSoto, Texas ranch, allow Von to connect with people from all walks of life. His charming personality and easy-going nature make him one of the most approachable players in the game. Von has put this quality to good use, traveling to Afghanistan to show his support for the troops and frequently visiting children’s hospitals to deliver presents and play with the kids. In 2012, he started Von’s Vision, a foundation dedicated to providing eye care and glasses to underprivileged youth. His foundation now has Von’s Vision Days, where these youth can receive eye exams and glasses onsite in the same day.
WANYA MORRIS – Wanya Morris first rose to fame as an original member of the R&B group Boyz II Men, which would go on to become the bestselling R&B group of all time with an astounding 64 million albums sold, when he was just a high school student at the Philadelphia School of Creative and Performing Arts.
As the group’s second tenor, Wanya has helped them achieve international renown over the past two-and-a-half decades—creating some of the most iconic albums in music history, including, “II” (1994), “Evolution” (2007), “A Journey Through Hitsville USA” (2007), “Love” (2009), “Twenty” (2011), and “Collide” (2014) —which continues to produce hits that withstand the test of time.
Wanya along with his group members, Nathan Morris and Shawn Stockman, have won a whopping four Grammy Awards, nine American Music Awards, nine Soul Train Awards, three Billboard Awards, and a 2011 MOBO Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as well as a Casino Entertainment Award for their acclaimed residency at the Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, which has been extended through 2018.
Boyz II Men have won fans the world over with their soulful multi-octave sound and incredible vocals. Given the monumental success of their albums and the timeless quality of their vocals, it’s easy to see why Boyz II Men remains the most popular R&B group of all time as they continue to tour the globe. Ask any successful pop or R&B superstars which artists have inspired them, chances are Boyz II Men will be at the top. From Justin Timberlake and Usher to Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars and Beyoncé, the most successful stars in the industry look to Boyz II Men as their idols.
Most recently, Boyz II Men were featured on FOX’s “Grease Live” as the teen angels who sing “Beauty School Dropout,” which became the most tweeted moment of the show with 9,350 tweets. They also appeared on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” for the 50th Super Bowl aftershow to parody one of their well-known songs, “End of The Road.”
GERALDO RIVERA – One of media’s most enduring broadcasters, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist Geraldo Rivera is a Fox News senior correspondent and host of breaking news specials the “Geraldo Rivera Reports.” He is a rotating co-host on the FOX News Channel’s hit program “The Five” (weekdays 5-6 p.m. EST) and provides regular reports and commentary on FNC’s “Fox and Friends,” “Hannity” and “The O’Reilly Factor.” He joined the network in 2001 as a war correspondent following the 9/11 attacks.
Rivera began his 45-year career as a television reporter at WABC-TV in New York. Before becoming a member of the original cast of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Rivera presented the first television broadcast of the infamous Abraham Zapruder film of the assassination of President John Kennedy as host of ABC’s “Good Night America.” He then began an eight-year association with ABC’s “20/20” as an investigative reporter. In 1987, Geraldo began producing and hosting “The Geraldo Rivera Show” for 11 years. In 1998, he hosted a series of investigative specials on NBC.
The winner of the 2000 Robert F. Kennedy journalism award (his third) for his NBC News documentary on “Women In Prison,” and the Scripps Howard Foundation national journalism award for “Back to Bedlam,” Rivera has received more than 170 awards for journalism, including the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, three national and seven local Emmys, two Columbia-DuPont and two additional Scripps Howard Journalism Awards.
Prior to joining Fox News, Rivera served as host of CNBC’s number-one rated primetime show “Rivera Live,” where his critically acclaimed coverage of the O.J. Simpson civil trial verdict set an all-time CNBC ratings record.
An avid sailor who circumnavigated the globe, Rivera is a graduate of the University of Arizona and Brooklyn Law School and is the author of seven books, including two bestsellers, “Exposing Myself” and “His Panic: Why Americans Fear Hispanics in The U.S.” He is a philanthropist who donates and raises millions to aid various causes, including education and the care and treatment of the autistic. He is married to Erica Michelle Levy and has five children.
JODIE SWEETIN – Entrepreneur, actress and author, Jodie Sweetin garnered the love of millions in her role as Stephanie Tanner on ABC’s long-running, hugely popular sitcom “Full House,” which still airs in syndication. Currently, Jodie is working on the spinoff, “Fuller House,” which was recently picked up for season two on Netflix. With her innate sense of comedy and girl next-door charm, audiences will be re-introduced to the Stephanie they loved for over eight years, and will also see Stephanie in her new, grown up role on the show.
Originally from Orange County, Jodie always knew she wanted to be a “modeler.” Her mom saw that she loved performing and at three-and-a-half years old, she began doing a few print ads and commercials. She soon booked her breakout role in “Full House” and secured her spot in pop culture with her cute lisp and catchy tag line, “How rude!”
Jodie’s education was always very important to her. A true triple threat, she was in the musical theater program at the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA). She then graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts with an emphasis in elementary teaching.
In 2009, she published her memoir, “UnSweetined,” documenting her life growing up in the spotlight and the years after. Jodie wrote the book as a means to show that she was human, had faults, but most importantly, she had strength and courage. In sharing her story, she hopes she has been able to help others confront their issues head-on and move forward.
This beauty has graced the big and small screen numerous times in various roles. She thoroughly enjoyed hosting “Pants-Off Dance-Off” for the Fuse Network in 2007, and she and “Full House” co-star Dave Coulier finished a short webseries called “Can’t Get Arrested.” Most recently, Jodie played lead roles in the feature films “Defending Santa” and “Walt Before Mickey,” as well as playing a lead in the pilot “Singled Out.” She has also done guest appearances on many other shows such as “Yes, Dear” and “Party of Five.”
In addition to juggling the role of actress and mother, Jodie has teamed with famed jewelry designer Erica Anenberg to create and design the Jodie Sweetin for Erica Anenberg line, a simple and elegant line of necklaces, charms and bracelets with inspiring and positive messages that one can live by and is important to oneself.
In her rare spare time, Jodie loves to dive into a good book. Jodie lives in Los Angeles and usually keeps busy going on adventures with her daughters, Zoie and Beatrix.
PAIGE VANZANT – Paige “12 Gauge” VanZant is the youngest and one of the most popular fighters in the UFC. With a record of 6-2-0, she is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC, and is currently a top ranked contender in the women’s straw-weight division. Paige grew up dancing in Dayton, Oregon where her parents owned a dance studio. After some very difficult instances in which she was badly bullied in school, she came across MMA legend Ken Shamrock’s gym where she trained in both boxing and MMA. Paige turned pro on June 30th, 2012 and signed with UFC in December 2012 where she’s quickly become one of their rising stars. On 12/10/2015, Paige became the first female straw weight to headline a UFC event. Paige is also one of a select group of UFC stars to have an endorsement deal as a Reebok athlete alongside Rhonda Rousey, Holly Holm, Connor McGregor and Jon Jones.
GINGER ZEE – Emmy Award-winner, Ginger Zee is “Good Morning America”’s chief meteorologist, reporting on the nation’s weather throughout the morning broadcast. Previously she was weather anchor for the weekend edition of “Good Morning America.” Additionally, Zee reports across all ABC News broadcasts and digital platforms and also serves as chief meteorologist for ABC News.
Since joining ABC News, Zee has covered almost every major weather event and dozens of historic storms. She broadcasted from the devastated Jersey Shore during Hurricane Sandy, the Colorado floods and wildfires, and covered the wreckage from tornados in Moore and El Reno, Oklahoma. In 2013, she covered extreme weather conditions, ranging from the Boston blizzard to the record-breaking heat in Death Valley.
Zee’s love of adventure does not stop at studying the atmosphere in the center of the storm. She has gone para-hawking in Nepal, para-glided from the Himalayas to the Andes, dove with sharks in the Bahamas, rappelled 27 stories down the exterior façade of the Wit Hotel in Chicago, plus has gone ice boat racing and surfing.
Prior to joining ABC News, she was a meteorologist at NBC station WMAQ-Channel 5 in Chicago from 2006-2011, also filling in for several NBC and MSNBC News programs. Before that assignment, Zee worked at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she part of the Storm Team 8, also covering the environment, science and the impact of weather throughout West Michigan. From 2003-2005, Zee worked at WEYI NBC 25 in Flint, Michigan. She began her career at WLAV FM/ WXMI in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Hosted by two-time Emmy Award-winning host Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews (sports host and “Dancing with the Stars” Season 10 finalist), “Dancing with the Stars” is the hit series in which celebrities perform choreographed dance routines which are judged by a panel of renowned ballroom experts including head judge, Len Goodman, dancers/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba. The all-new season of “Dancing with the Stars” premieres Monday, March 21 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT).
“Dancing with the Stars” is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Rob Wade and Ashley Edens-Shaffer are executive producers. Alex Rudzinski directs. “Dancing with the Stars” is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound. This program carries a TV-PG, L parental guideline.