Cindy Crawford

Active - 1995 - 2017  |   Born - Feb 20, 1966 in DeKalb, Illinois, United States  |   Genres - Health & Fitness, Culture & Society, Comedy

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

Considered one of the world's most beautiful women, supermodel Cindy Crawford has appeared just about everywhere that advertisements are allowed. Over her unprecedentedly long career, she has hawked everything from haute couture and perfume to soda pop and dairy products, and has made a fortune with her beauty and fitness videos and swimsuit calendars. Crawford also took on a piece of the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain. In 1995, Forbes magazine ranked her as the most highly paid model in the world. Crawford is the first supermodel to pose for Playboy and later risked her career by posing suggestively on the cover of Vanity Fair beside lesbian singer k.d. Lang.

In addition to appearing in television commercials, Crawford spent six years hosting the MTV cable network's House of Style. As an actress, Crawford has occasionally guest starred on television series like Third Rock From the Sun and Wizards of Waverly Place.

Crawford is a native of De Kalb, IL, and was discovered as a teenager when a local news photographer took a picture of her while she was detasselling corn. Already an impressive beauty, she left her country job to become a model for the summer. She continued modelling for the next two summers, through the Chicago division of the Elite modelling agency and then decided to go to college. Helped by an academic scholarship (she'd been a straight-A student in high school), Crawford studied chemical engineering at Northwestern University, but shrewdly decided that she'd make more money as a model. For a while, Crawford worked in Chicago, but didn't hit the big time until she moved to New York City in 1986.

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  • Was discovered at 16 by a photographer who suggested she model; a year later, she was a finalist in a modeling contest sponsored by Elite.
  • Was valedictorian of her high-school class.
  • Briefly studied chemical engineering at Northwestern University before deciding to pursue modeling full-time.
  • Was one of the original "supermodels," a group that includes Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer.
  • Parlayed her modeling success into a gig as the host of MTV’s House of Style (1989-95).
  • Has appeared in several music videos, including George Michael’s "Freedom" (as the naked woman in the tub).
  • Received People's "Sexiest Couple Alive" honors along with then-husband Richard Gere in 1993.
  • Has become a successful entrepreneur with projects that include her own home-furnishings collection, exercise videos, a book on makeup and a line of skin-care products. 
  • Is active in pediatric-cancer charities; her younger brother died of leukemia when she was a child.