Born in South Carolina and raised in rural Florida, Lauren Hutton embarked on a modelling career in roundabout fashion by becoming a Playboy bunny at age 20. It wasn't long thereafter that the statuesque Hutton became a top fashion model, cover girl and commercial spokesperson. Though advised early on to correct the slight gap in her teeth, Hutton wisely retained this "imperfection," which gave her on-camera persona a down-home sensibility that other, more ethereal models lacked. She began appearing in films in 1968, hitting her stride with such movies as Gator (1976), American Gigolo (1978), and Zorro, the Gay Blade (1981). Unlike other actresses-turned-models, Hutton achieved critical acceptance fairly rapidly, earning respectable reviews for such projects as the 1977 TV miniseries The Rheinman Exchange and the 1984 adventure film Lassiter (in which she played a literally bloodthirsty villainess). Following the lead of Farrah Fawcett, Hutton made her stage debut in the harrowing revenge-for-a-rape stage play Extremities in 1983. In recent years, Hutton has cut down on her acting appearances to return successfully to modeling; she has also become a staunch and powerful activist for several political causes.