Kathy Ireland

Active - 1988 - 2001  |   Born - Mar 20, 1963 in Glendale, California, United States  |   Genres - Comedy, Sports & Recreation, Science Fiction, Fantasy

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Biography by Cammila Collar

Actress and swimsuit model Kathy Ireland began her modeling career when she was still in her teens, signing with Elite Model Management while she was still in high school. The bombshell had no trouble finding regular work, but her big break came in 1984, when the 21 year old was featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. It would be the first in 13 consecutive appearances in the annual pin-up edition of the magazine. She would also grace the Swimsuit Issue's cover three times, along with a host of other magazines.

Ireland parlayed her celebrity into a movie career, beginning in 1988 with the widely panned Alien from L.A. She would go on to appear in a number of other films, like Loaded Weapon 1, Necessary Roughness, and Mom and Dad Save the World, and lent her name to an extremely successful KMart clothing line.

Though acting was never her major career, she continued to pop up here and there in various projects including The Larry Sanders Show, Miami Hustle, and a pair of sweet-natured made-for-TV Christmas movies. In 2009 she was a contestant on the ninth season of the reality competition series Dancing With the Stars.

Movie Highlights

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  • Began her modeling career at age 17, when she was discovered by an agent for the Elite Model Management company.
  • Appeared in 13 consecutive issues of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, beginning in 1984, and graced its cover three times.
  • Started the Kathy Ireland Mentor Program for Single Teen Mothers in L.A. in 1990.
  • Became a certified fitness instructor in 1994, before the release of her first workout video (she went on to release several such videos).
  • Is the author of several books that focus on topics such as faith and motherhood, as well as children's books.
  • Is the founder, CEO  and chief designer of Kathy Ireland Worldwide, a billion-dollar design and marketing company.
  • Has been named a National Honorary Chairperson of the March of Dimes WalkAmerica for several years.
  • In 2009, suffered a surfing-related injury that was stitched up by her physician husband while on a brief break from rehearsals with Dancing with the Stars partner Tony Dovolani.