Naomi Campbell

Active - 1991 - 2021  |   Born - May 22, 1970 in London, England  |   Genres - Comedy, Culture & Society, Romance

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Biography by Sarah Sloboda

Naomi Campbell is a name synonymous with the supermodel phenomenon of the late '80s and 1990s. At the tender age of 15, Campbell was officially signed with a modeling agency, and would soon gain fame as the first black woman to appear on the covers of French and British Vogue, as well as Time magazines. She was blessed with the exotic visage of Jamaican-Chinese heritage. Her startlingly intense eyes and perfect model features earned her much success on the runway and in print, and she would go on to explore numerous realms of the entertainment world including film, television, and pop music throughout her career.

Campbell was born May 22, 1970, in Stratham, London, England. As a child, she gained a taste of acting, appearing in a film called Quest for Fire. Along with her early start in the modeling profession, she honed her limelight skills by attending the London Academy for Performing Arts. Her enduring career as a model and background in performance would lead her to the Hollywood scene, where she gained credits alongside numerous big names in film. Her film debut came in 1991, when she appeared as a singer in Cool As Ice. In 1995, Campbell played Kaia in Miami Rhapsody starring Antonio Banderas and Sarah Jessica Parker, and a year later appeared in Spike Lee's Girl 6. She also made several cameos as herself throughout the 1990s, both in films and on television. Making a case for herself as a performer in various television genres, she guest starred on numerous prime-time programs including The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, New York Undercover, and The Cosby Show.

Campbell would branch out into the music business with the release of her album Babywoman in 1995, and gained much attention in Japan over her hit single on the album. In 1996, she was featured in Tony Hickox's Invasion of Privacy, and in 1997, An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, starring Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jackie Chan. In addition, her media credits were rounded off by two books: the best-seller Swan, co-written by Campbell, and Naomi, a collection of photographs spanning the length of the model's career. Campbell continued to model throughout the late 1990s, and participated in several documentaries including Beautopia (1998) and Marc Jacobs & Louie Vuitton (2007). In 2008 she joined the star-studded cast of the documentary Everyday People, and has remained active within the fashion industry.

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  • Studied at London's Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts and the London Academy for Performing Arts.
  • Was discovered by a modeling agent at age 15 in a Covent Garden shopping arcade.
  • First appeared in a fashion shoot for British Elle.
  • Became the first black woman to appear on the covers of French and British Vogue.
  • Released an album titled babywoman in 1994.
  • Coauthored the novel Swan in 1996.  
  • Founded the charity Fashion for Relief, which benefits victims of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2011 Japanese earthquake.