Masiela Lusha is an American actress, poet, author and humanitarian. She began her career as a young model, before getting a role in the popular TV series, ‘George Lopez’. Her role as Carmen Lopez won her many awards, including two Young Artist Awards. From being a fashion model, Lusha became an award-winning actress overnight, and it increased her popularity immensely. She went on to star in several hit movies in leading roles and established herself in Hollywood. At the same time, Lusha studied creative writing at UCLA. She published her first collection of poetry when she was 14. Subsequently, she published her novel even before she turned 25, gaining a stable literary following. Her role as Nina in the children’s series ‘Clifford's Puppy Days’ inspired her to write two children’s books ‘Boopity Boop! Writes Her First Poem’ and ‘Boopity Boop! Goes to Hawaii’. Apart from acting and writing, Lusha is an active humanitarian and is the founder of ‘Children of the World Foundation’, a not-for-profit organization. She has also been the spokesperson and ambassador of various charities and UN campaigns. She is currently busy filming for her next film, ‘Angel Investors’.
Childhood & Early Life
Masiela Lusha was born on October 23, 1985 in Tirana, Albania to Max and Daniela Lusha. Her mother worked as a magazine publisher. The family had to leave their hometown and country in 1990 as refugees. They moved to Budapest first and later shifted to Vienna.
When Lusha was seven, she and her mother moved to Michigan and reunited with their relative, Dr. Joseph H Alli. Alli worked at a prominent position in the United States Department of Veteran Affairs and sheltered Lusha and her mother during their tough times.
Lusha quickly adapted to America and learnt English. When she turned 12, she had already embarked on a modeling career and started acting in local plays. She was noticed by a talent agent, who asked her to audition for several roles. Lusha eventually moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting.
Owing to her filming commitments, Lusha was schooled privately during her beaks on the set. She graduated from Burbank High School. She attended Glendale College, California and later transferred to University of California, Los Angeles, to study creative writing.
After graduating with a major in creative writing, Lusha also pursued independent courses from Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Her education here helped her design and sew her own clothes.
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While in Los Angeles, Masiela Lusha started working as a model and shot for several projects. Her breakthrough came when she was selected as the principal model for a television campaign that was aired in the U.S.A and South America. She subsequently appeared in the ‘Hands Clean’ music video by Alanis Morrissette.
Her film debut took place in 2000 when she starred in ‘Father’s Love’ as Lisa. In 2001, she made her television debut in the hit children’s series ‘Lizzie McGuire’ as Olivia. She also made a guest appearance in the film, ‘Summoning’.
Her biggest role came when she was selected to play Carmen Lopez in the sitcom, ‘George Lopez.’ She appeared in the series for five seasons, and it was a huge hit, winning an Emmy.
Lusha turned a voice artist when she voiced Nina in the PBS series ‘Clifford's Puppy Days’ from 2003 to 2005. She was inspired by the world of storytelling during her voiceover stint and decided to write for children.
Despite focusing on her literary career, Lusha was seen in several films and TV series. She appeared in ‘Cherry Bomb’ (2004), ‘Muertas’ (2007), ‘My Father’s Eulogy’ (2007), ‘Time of the Comet’ (2008) and ‘Blood: The Last Vampire’ (2009). Television appearances included her guest role in ‘Law & Order’ as Mira in 2006.
In 2010, she starred in the film ‘Kill Katie Malone’ as Ginger, a college student. Her next big screen appearance was in the film ‘The Architect’ in 2012 as Iliriana, in which she starred alongside Stacy Keach. The movie was a sleeper hit and was praised by the critics.
Over the next few years, Lusha starred in the fantasy action film ‘Dragonfyre’ (2013), the thriller ‘Of Silence’ (2014) and the action film ‘Fatal Instinct’ (2014). She also made a guest appearance in the TV series ‘Anger Management’ as Molly in the episode, ‘Charlie and Sean Fight Over a Girl’.
In 2016, she was seen in the TV movies ‘Sharknado: The 4th Awakens’ and ‘Sharknado 5: Global Swarming’ as Gemini, a lead character. She also starred in another TV movie, ‘Forgotten Evil’ as Renee/Jane Doe/Veronica.
She returned as Carmen Lopez in the ‘George Lopez’ sequel ‘Lopez’ for the episode ‘George Dates His Daughter’ (2017). While speculations floated that she might return for another episode, the script introduced her only once in the sequel.
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In the 2017 western ‘Branded’, Lusha portrayed the role of Donna. The movie failed to impress the audience and critics alike and was panned across the world. Her last appearance on TV was in the movie ‘The Last Sharknado: It's About Time’, the final chapter in the Sharknado series.
Lusha is currently working on her next project ‘Angel Investors’, a comedy movie about two women who want to trade. Lusha is rumored to be playing the lead role in the movie, which is scheduled to be released in 2019.
Masiela Lusha became famous concurrently as a poet. She published her first book of poetry titled, ‘Inner Thoughts,’ in 1999. She was named among the Top Ten Talented Poets of North America and was later felicitated by Bill Clinton.
She released her next collection of poetry in 2005 titled, ‘Drinking the Moon’. This was positively received by her audience. She began working on her first novel around the same time and wrote diligently for almost 12 hours every day. Her debut novel ‘The Besa’ was released in 2008 amidst much fanfare.
Other works of poetry soon followed. In 2009, Lusha released another poetry collection ‘Amore Celeste’ and followed it up with ‘The Call’ in 2010. She also wrote children’s books, ‘Boopity Boop! Writes Her First Poem’ and ‘Boopity Boop! Goes to Hawaii,’ in the same year.
In 2016, she released her latest book of poetry, ‘The Living Air.’ Many critics and readers found her new collection inspiring.
Masiela Lusha is an active humanitarian and has devoted herself to working towards the refugee crisis. Her childhood memories inspired her to dedicate her life to making the world a better place. She is the founder of Children of the World Foundation.
She was appointed as the Ambassador for Sentebale, a charity by Prince Harry, in 2010. The organization helps children in various parts of Africa overcome life-threating problems at the grassroots level.
Lusha was the spokesperson for ‘Read for Life’, a campaign by Scholastic Books. She promoted the habit of reading by visiting various schools. She was also the spokesperson for the Great American Bake Sale and supported various drives.
In 2013, Lusha was appointed the Ambassador for Youth for Athgo International. Later, she was also appointed the ambassador for World Assembly of Youth’s Goodwill. As its ambassador, Lusha actively works towards increasing youth participation in politics and improving gender equality.
Awards & Achievements
Masiela Lusha won several awards for her role as Carmen in the series ‘George Lopez’, including two Young Artist Awards for Best Leading Actress in a Comedy and Drama. The series established her as a professional TV actor.
Family & Personal Life
Masiela Lusha started dating Ramzi Habibi, a senior President at Oaktree Capital, in 2012. They announced their engagement in July 2013 and got married on December 28, 2013, in Queenstown, New Zealand. They have a son together.
Masiela’s name was derived from the combination of her parents’ names.