A Bright Shining Star Among the Stars
AS A NATIVE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, Nancy O’Dell brings a bit of Southern Charm to the West Coast on Access Hollywood each week. With her beautiful smile and friendly demeanor, she has become a favorite of fans across the country. But her beauty is equally matched by her intelligence, which is no surprise to her college classmates at Clemson University, where she graduated with summa cum laude honors. She was also the youngest member ever to be inducted into the South Carolina Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame in 1998 because of her journalistic rise in the ranks.
O’Dell began her career in her hometown of Myrtle Beach, S.C. before moving on to Charleston and then Miami before she made it into living rooms across the world on “Access Hollywood.” She has won the Associated Press Awards, been nominated for seven Emmy Awards, and has received two Society of Professional Journalists Awards. She has also been a contributing reporter to “The Today Show” and “Dateline” and has covered The Oscars., The Grammy’s, and The Golden Globe Awards. In addition, she is a member of the Academy of Country Music, was the original Nashville Star host and consulting producer, and co-hosted the Tournament of Roses Parade for eight years. O’Dell has appeared on CBS’s “The Late Late Show”, “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch”, “Larry King Live”, “Martha Stewart”, and ABC’s “The View”.
But there is more depth within Nancy O’Dell. With each life experience, she reaches deeper into her community to make a difference. She has embraced the March of Dimes campaign as a national spokesperson since 1998. March of Dimes aims to provide all babies with a chance to have healthy starts. She is also a celebrity ambassador for ChildHelp USA.”
She also is on the International Board for Best Buddies, which reaches out to people with mental disabilities. Her interest in this organization was sparked by her Aunt Ellen who had Down Syndrome and was personally touched by this group. In addition, O’Dell became a celebrity cabinet member for the American Red Cross after personally experience Hurricanes Hugo and Andrew while working in Charleston , South Carolina and Miami, Florida.
But when she’s not working, O’Dell focuses on the most important thing – her family, which includes her husband Keith Zubchevich; his two stepsons, Tyler and Carson; and their baby, Ashby, who was a gift to her family on her father’s birthday, June 11 of last year.
It can be said that some people just seem to make living look good, and O’Dell is a testament to that. This is a woman who takes life by the hand and creates a waltz at every turn. She even met her husband in a security line at Burbank Airport. As we say in the South, “Now that’s making lemonade out of lemons.”
O’Dell Talks Beauty
Southern Beauty: HOW HAS YOUR BEAUTY REGIMEN CHANGED SINCE THE BIRTH OF YOUR BABY, ASHBY?
Nancy O’Dell: A LOT! First of all, as a new mom, you just don’t have the extra time you used to have for beauty. I run out of the studio to get home to my baby girl, because a smile from her just makes my day and I miss every minute away from her. In the mornings before I go to work, I wanna hang at home a little longer to be with her, so the makeup and hair artists have to each become “Speedy Gonzalez” as I tell them. But yes, having the job I have, I have to do a certain amount of maintenance … it is just less now. And my beauty regimen has also changed due to breast feeding … there are certain lotions and potions I cannot use because I am nursing. I know how vitally important breastfeeding is, so I gladly give them up and will get back “fresher skin” when I finish nursing. I want to go for a year. Hopefully my skin has a natural glow from the happiness my baby girl has brought me.
SB: IS THERE A PARTICULAR BEAUTY PRODUCT(S) THAT YOU JUST CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT?
NO: Clinique tan gel and Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. I grew up in a beach community, Myrtle Beach, SC, so I am used to having a tan. I don’t want to go out in the sun, so this is the safest way, I just rub or spray on a tan!
SB: YOU’RE THE EPITOME OF A STRONG SOUTHERN WOMAN WITH GRACE, BEAUTY, INTELLIGENCE, AND CHARM. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER WOMEN WANTING TO SUCCEED IN TODAY’S WORKING ENVIRONMENT?
NO: Don’t ever compromise your values. Do the right thing, and it will always eventually come back around. No one is going to make you successful, you have to do the hard work … but always put your family first because the happier home life you have, the better employee you will be.
SB: HOW DOES LIVING ON THE WEST COAST DIFFER FROM LIVING IN THE SOUTH?
NO: It is sooo very different. I grew up with everyone speaking to you wherever you go in the South. Here, people tend to stick to themselves. I go to the grocery store and ash the checkout person how they are doing. They look at me like I am crazy. Also, I miss the true neighborhoods. No one gets to know their neighbors out here whereas growing up in the South, I knew every neighbor for blocks up on blocks and still do when I go back home. We had neighborhood kickball every weekend when I was a kid. I wish my baby girl and stepsons could experience that kind of neighborhood out here.
SB: AT SOUTHERN BEAUTY, WE FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT TRUE BEAUTY STARTS FROM WITHIN. YOU HAVE DESCRIBED WORKING WITH YOUR CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS AS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS IN YOUR LIFE. HOW DOES THIS CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR SENSE OF PERSONAL BEAUTY?
NO: I don’t think I would feel beautiful at all if I couldn’t do something to help others. I am lucky to have the national platform with Access Hollywood to be able to help in some way. Knowing that, when I first started with Access over ten years ago, I prayed and asked to be shown what I needed to do to help. Shortly after, the March of Dimes asked me to be a spokesperson. I knew I was supposed to and I am still a spokesperson for them today. They save so many babies’ lives every year and now, being a new mom myself, I am so glad I signed up! I am also honored to serve on the board of Best Buddies, and organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities via friendships. My aunt was a person with Down Syndrome. If you wanna feel beautiful, sign up to be a friend to a buddy as they are sometimes isolated and want friend just as we all do ,,, one of the most satisfying things you will ever experience! (And it’s a guarantee they will make you feel loved and thus, beautiful.)
SB: WHAT DOES THE PHRASE SOUTHERN BEAUTY MEAN TO YOU?
NO: Classic, natural and fresh beauty which comes from the inside .. treating others with compassion and kindness is a vital component of Southern beauty.
SB: WE ALWAYS END THE SOUL SECTION OF OUR MAGAZINE WITH PEARLS OF WISDOM, TIMELESS BEAUTY TIPS PASSED DOWN THROUGH THE AGES. WHAT IS ONE PEARL THAT’S BEEN PASSED DOWN TO YOU?
NO: Beauty is defined by how you treat others.