Carrie Ann Inaba is an American television personality, dancer, choreographer, actress and singer. She is best known for her work on ABC TV’s “Dancing with the Stars,” as Fook Yu in “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” and as a current co-host of the CBS Daytime talk show, “The Talk.” Take a look below for 25 more fun and fascinating facts about Carrie Ann Inaba.
1. She started her career as a singer in Japan, but became best known for her dancing, first introducing herself to American audiences as one of the original Fly Girls on the Fox sketch comedy series “In Living Color” from 1990 to 1992.
2. Inaba was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, graduating from Punahou School in 1986.
3. She is of Irish, Chinese, and Japanese descent.
4. Her first dance instruction was at three years old in a “creative movement” class, where children danced on their own with scarves.
5. As a child, she would dance in her backyard that overlooked the Pacific Ocean.
6. She attended Sophia University and University of California, Irvine before graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. degree in world arts and cultures.
7. In 1986, an 18-year-old Inaba won a talent show in Hawaii.
8. She was then groomed to be a pop star in Japan and given songs to read phonetically in Japanese from a lyric sheet.
9. Even though her first single made the Top 50, she “realized it has nothing to do with how artistic you are. Your face becomes a logo they sell.”
10. Inaba lived in Tokyo from 1986 to 1988 and was a popular singer.
11. She released three singles, “Party Girl” (backed with “China Blue”), “Be Your Girl” (backed with “6½ Capezio”), and “Yume no Senaka” (backed with “Searching”) and hosted weekly radio and television series.
12. She also performed with Canadian singer Norman Iceberg and dancers Viktor Manoel and Luca Tommassini at Prince’s notorious Glam Slam.
13. Inaba appeared as a featured solo dancer during Madonna’s 1993 Girlie Show World Tour, on the condition she shave her hair. After hesitating, she decided it was worth it.
14. Her favorite dance is rumba since, according to American Fitness, she feels it is “very strong and demanding.”
15. She choreographed the Miss America Pageant for five years.
16. She appeared in the first season of “So You Think You Can Dance” during the audition stages where she provided choreography for the “choreography round”.
17. Inaba served as an honorary judge at the 2009 USA Dance National DanceSport Championships.
18. Inaba is the founder and President of EnterMediArts, Inc., a video production company.
19. She was a producer for the Broadway show “Burn the Floor” at New York’s Longacre Theatre.
20. Inaba considers herself a cougar.
21. In 2006 she began dating Russian dancer Artem Chigvintsev, who is 14 years her junior. They met on the set of “So You Think You Can Dance.”
22. In December 2016, Inaba announced that she and actor Robb Derringer had become engaged after a few months of dating. Derringer proposed on a romantic, secluded beach on the California coastline, which was the site of their first date.
23. In September 2017, they called off the engagement.
24. Inaba has expressed a great love and respect for animals, supporting organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States and PETA, and launching the Carrie Ann Animal Foundation in 2012.
25. In a 2011 interview with Prevention, Inaba stated she was legally blind, having a vision of 20/750 which is corrected with eyeglasses and contact lenses. She won’t have LASIK eye surgery, however, as her vision impairment gives her, in her words, a “soft-focus morning” until she’s ready to “deal with the world.”