Model, actress, television host, designer, businessperson. Born on June 1, 1973, in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany. Known for years as a leading model, Heidi Klum has become a popular television host and a successful businessperson. She started her modeling career at the age of 18 after winning a contest in her native Germany. Before this win, Klum had planned on becoming a designer.
After later moving to New York, Klum eventually landed work with the lingerie company Victoria's Secret, which helped raise her profile in the modeling world. Around this time, she married famous hairstylist Ric Pipino. (Their union ended in divorce in 2002.) Soon she appeared on the cover of the 1998 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, an honor coveted by many models. While her hourglass shape was not a fit for the runways, Klum became a fashion favorite, appearing in such magazines as Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, and Harper's Bazaar.
Exploring other opportunities, Klum branched out in acting. One of her early roles was a guest appearance on the political sitcom Spin City with Michael J. Fox. Making the jump to the big screen, Klum appeared in the hairdressing comedy Blow Dry (2001) with Alan Rickman, Josh Hartnett, Natasha Richardson, and Rachael Leigh Cook. A few more roles followed in such films as Ella Enchanted (2004) with Anne Hathaway and The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004) with Geoffrey Rush and Charlize Theron. For the Peter Sellers biopic, Klum portrayed another famous beauty, Ursula Andress.
In 2004, Klum's life and career moved in a new direction. She was pregnant with her first child by boyfriend Flavio Briatore, an Italian racecar team manager. But the couple split up shortly before the baby was born, and Klum became involved with British singer Seal. On May 4, she gave birth to her daughter Leni.
Shortly after the launch of Project Runway, Klum's life took another interesting turn. Her boyfriend Seal proposed to her on top of a glacier in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. They married the following May and welcomed son Henry Gunther Ademola Dashtu Samuel on September 12. Klum stunned many by returning to modeling in less than two months after her son's arrival, looking fabulous as part of the nationally televised Victoria's Secret fashion show. She and Seal expanded their family with one more son, Johan, on November 26, 2006.
In addition to Project Runway, Klum serves as the host of the reality show Germany's Next Topmodel in her native country. She has also achieved her early dreams of becoming a designer with her own jewelry line and a series of shoes she created for Birkenstock. Most recently, Klum helped with a clothing line for Jordache Jeans as well as being a spokesmodel for the company.