By Mark Gauert
City & Shore Magazine
It’s been quite a year for clothing designer, author and restaurateur Giuliana Rancic, who announced this summer she’s planning to return Sept. 4 to the role that made her famous as co-host of E! News.
Rancic, who celebrated her 44th birthday this month (Aug. 17), kicked off awards season in January on the red carpet of the Golden Club, then hosted the Academy Awards red-carpet show with Ryan Seacrest in March. She and her husband, Bill, will speak at the THRIVE Wellness Retreat, a three-day “escape from the everyday so that you can rejuvenate, refresh and re-energize tomorrow,” Oct. 5-7 at the W Fort Lauderdale, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/thrive-wellness-retreat-tickets-48571904875.
The couple met when Giuliana interviewed Bill, 47, after he won the first season of The Apprentice. In 2007 they were married in an Italian-English Roman Catholic wedding on Italy’s island of Capri. Together, they wrote the book I Do, Now What? Secrets, Stories, and Advice from a Madly-in-Love Couple (Ballantine, 2010), sharing their insights on merging two lives with characteristic humor.
The couple’s life together has held both joy and struggle since September 2011. That’s when a routine mammogram, performed while Giuliana was undergoing in-vitro fertilization, detected early-stage breast cancer. A lumpectomy failed to remove all the cancer, so Giuliana and Bill decided she should have a double mastectomy in December with immediate reconstruction.
Both Giuliana and Bill see their experiences as opportunities to reach out to others, sharing a seemingly unsinkable message of hope. She shared her and her husband’s story with readers of City & Shore in a cover story and appearance at the Sun Sentinel’s Party in Pink for breast cancer awareness in October 2012.
“Married 11 years next month and @billrancic still makes my heart skip a beat,” she wrote on Instagram this month. About her marriage, she told People, “When we are not together, we talk a lot. Communication is the biggest key. It eases your mind; you don’t worry as much if you are constantly communicating, so I always know he is safe. Just always staying in touch.”
Returning to co-host E! News is “every bit as thrilling to me today as it was 16 years ago when I joined the show and embarked on this wonderful career,” said Rancic, who first became a correspondent in 2002. “I can’t wait to reconnect with the E! News audience and go on this journey together once again.”
Here’s a timeline of Rancic’s career from E! News correspondent to Fashion Police co-host, clothing designer, author and restaurateur.
–Giuliana DePandi was born on Aug. 17, 1974, in Italy. Her family moved to the United States when she was a young girl, and she grew up in suburban Washington, D.C.
–She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in journalism from American University.
–DePandi joined “E! News” as a correspondent in 2002 and became solo anchor and managing editor of the show in 2005. Ryan Seacrest joined the show as managing editor and lead anchor in 2006.
–DePandi met Chicagoan Bill Rancic when she interviewed him after he won the first season of The Apprentice in April 2004. They announced their engagement in December 2006.
–DePandi and Rancic wed in September 2007 on the Italian island of Capri. They will go back and forth between Los Angeles and Chicago over the next few years.
–The couple’s reality show, Giuliana and Bill, premiered in August 2009 on the Style Network. Cameras followed as the newlyweds settled into married life and struggled to conceive.
–The Rancics released a marriage book – I Do, Now What?: Secrets, Stories, and Advice from a Madly-in-Love Couple” – in 2010. Giuliana Rancic had previously published Think Like a Guy: How to Get a Guy by Thinking Like One in 2006. She went on to release her memoir, Going Off Script, in 2015.
–During an October 2011 interview on the Today show, Rancic announced she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a double mastectomy two months later.
–The Rancics opened their first restaurant, RPM Italian in River North, Illinois, in February 2012. Lettuce Entertain You restaurateurs R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman and chef Doug Psaltis are also behind the venture.
–Appears on the October 2012 cover of City & Shore, and in person at the Party in Pink, the Sun Sentinel’s breast-cancer awareness event.
–Also in 2012, the Rancics welcomed their first child – son Edward Duke Rancic – via surrogate.
–Rancic branched beyond her TV duties to launch a clothing line, G by Giuliana Rancic, on HSN in 2012. The following year, she founded Fab-U-Wish, a program that helps brighten the days of women undergoing treatment for cancer.
–Giuliana and Bill ended its seven-season run in June 2014. Two months later, the Rancics opened RPM Steak in the Chicago neighborhood of River North.
–Rancic left her position at E! News in August 2015 so she and her husband could settle in Chicago full time. They purchased a Gold Coast mansion for $2.1 million. (The home went on the market earlier this year for $6.8 million).
–Though she left E! News, she continued to report from the red carpet for the network and co-hosted Fashion Police until its finale in November 2017.
–The Rancics opened an RPM Italian outpost in Washington, D.C., in June 2016. Giuliana Prosecco launched in September 2017.
–Rancic hosted the Academy Awards red-carpet show with Seacrest on March 4.
–E News! announces June 15, 2018, that Giuliani Rancic will return to co-host the show with Jason Kennedy on Sept. 4.
IF YOU GO
THRIVE Wellness Retreat, a three-day mind, body, soul and wellness event, featuring keynote speakers Giuliana and Bill Rancic, Oct. 5-7 at the W Fort Lauderdale. Tickets, information, available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/thrive-wellness-retreat-tickets-48571904875.
- Elizabeth Rahe, of City & Shore; and Tracy Swartz, of the Chicago Tribune, also contributed to this report. Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images