Access' Nancy O'Dell Talks The Importance & Power Of A Good Smile

Access Hollywood'sNancy O'Dell is known for lighting up the red carpet with her smile as she gets the scoop on Hollywood's hottest stories – but what makes television personality light up herself?

"Coming home at the end of a hard day, and my little girl Ashby running into my arms with the biggest grin," Nancy told Dear Doctor - Dentistry & Oral Health magazine, when asked what makes always make her beam. "That's a definite smile moment."


Nancy explained that a simple smile can go a long way, especially when interviewing celebrities.

"I love to smile. And smiles are so important to set people at ease, like when you walk into a room of people you don't know. When you genuinely smile you're able to dissolve that natural wall that exists between strangers," she explained.

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Nancy said that her role as Miss South Carolina 1987 – where a good smile is key – helped her prepare for a life in front of the camera.

"That year went a long way towards helping me develop skills I still use today with Access Hollywood," she told the mag "One of the most important was learning to ad-lib when the program didn't quite match the script – which happened a lot."

Another area of Nancy's life which didn't come with a script is motherhood, but Nancy's new book "Full of Life: Mom to Mom Tips I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Pregnant," is meant to help out other new moms with questions.

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"I would encounter something during my pregnancy that would just about terrify me and I would call one of my friends about it. Inevitably they'd say 'Oh, that's normal, nothing to worry about.' And then I would think, well, why didn't you tell me about it before I panicked?" Nancy said. "It's like sitting down one-on-one with a new mom-to-be and putting her mind at ease about changes to her body and life before and after the baby is born."

And when she was pregnant, Nancy paid close attention to her dental health.

"While my dental health has always been relatively normal, pregnancy did cause me some concern about my teeth and gums. With my dentist's advice and treatment, the few problems I had were minimized," she recalled.

In addition to being a mother and host at Access, Nancy devotes a great deal of time to charity work, specifically the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the American Red Cross.

"After my mom was diagnosed with ALS [Lou Gehrig's Disease], MDA came in and helped out in incredible ways – from giving moral support and understanding to providing medical equipment. They stayed with us up until she passed away this past summer, and even afterward," Nancy told the mag, adding that her various careers lead to her involvement with the Red Cross. "I always seemed to be showing up for new jobs in places where disaster had just struck. South Carolina after Hurricane Hugo, Miami after Hurricane Andrew and on the West Coast after a major earthquake. In every case, I saw the Red Cross do an amazing job helping people."

For more with Nancy, visit

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