To celebrate the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show – widely regarded as the most significant artistic and cultural event of the year – we are taking a look back at 20 of the most memorable models who have transitioned from the runway to the big screen. Here are our 20 favorite models turned actresses.
This week sees the return of one of America’s greatest traditions:
Victoria’s Secret as an institution is primarily known (and celebrated) for their dedication to crafting top-of-the-line women’s wear.
What many don’t know is that they’ve also launched the career of some pretty badass actresses.
To celebrate, we’ve collected our 20 favorite models who have made the transition to Movie Star Status…even if we play a little fast-and-loose with that term.
Acting Career: After a few minor roles, Cara took the lead part in this year’s romantic drama Paper Towns (2015), but it looks like she’s going in a new direction next year with her villainous turn as Enchantress in Suicide Squad (2016).
Notable Modeling: A frequent walker in Victoria’s Secret Shows, Naomi Campbell made history by being the first black model to appear on the September Issue cover of Vogue in 1989.
Notable Modeling: One of the most well-known Angels working for Victoria’s Secret today, Rosie is also famous for being the face of Burberry’s 2011 “Body” fragrance.
Acting Career: When Megan Fox made the unwise career move of comparing director Michael Bay to Hitler, the Transformers franchise needed new eye-candy. Rosie was happy to jump in and take Fox’s place. She can also be seen in the recent hit Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).
Notable Modeling: The first black woman to appear on the covers of GQ and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Tyra Banks is a legend in the industry, and even hosts the reality show America’s Next Top Model.
Acting Career: Banks has appeared in many TV shows over the years, from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air to Gossip Girl and Glee. Banks landed her biggest film role in the 2000 hit Coyote Ugly, but younger audiences would argue that her best work can be found in her performance in the Disney Channel Original Movie: Life Size (2001).
Notable Modeling: The highest paid model in the world, Gisele was a Victoria’s Secret Angel from 2000 until 2007.
Notable Modeling: After appearing on the cover of basically every magazine there is (Elle, Vogue, Glamour, and Harper’s Bazaar to name a few) Klum followed up her stint as an Angel by becoming the host of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2009.
Acting Career: In addition to countless cameos as herself across film & TV, Heidi Klum is celebrated (in some circles) for her roles in Parks and Recreation and Ella Enchanted (2004).
Notable Modeling: Ratajowski exploded onto the modeling scene in a big way with her appearance in the scandalous music video for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” She has also appeared in Sports Illustrated sporting a bikini made of guitar picks. Classy.
Acting Career: Decker made her movie debut as every beautiful model should: by playing the love interest of Adam Sandler. Decker followed Just Go With It (2011) with roles in the romantic thriller Battleship (2012) and the pregnancy drama What To Expect When You’re Expecting (2012).
Notable Modeling: Upton has graced the covers of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue twice: in 2012 and 2013. She is also a passionate advocate for the Game of War mobile game, and even agreed to star in the app’s 2015 Superbowl commercial.
Acting Career: Kate Upton’s most acclaimed performance is her role of “Mistress Number 3” in 2014’s The Other Woman. Upton also turned heads in the role of “Mr. Hightower’s Mistress” in the 2011 film Tower Heist.
Acting Career: Though you may not recognize her, Romijn’s most famous film role was portraying the blue-skinned Mystique in the X-Men trilogy.
Acting Career: After a small part in Dazed and Confused (1993), Jovovich caught everyone’s attention with her role in the sci-fi cult classic The Fifth Element (1997). She now leads the zombie-apocalypse franchise Resident Evil.
Acting Career: Janssen’s provocative turn as Bond Girl Xenia Onatopp from GoldenEye (1995) will always be her most memorable role, but Janssen is also notable for her recurring parts in the X-Men and Taken franchises.
Acting Career: Bellucci made a memorable appearance in The Matrix: Reloaded and The Matrix: Revolutions (2003) as the seductive Persephone, but she is currently making headlines for her Bond Girl turn in the recent Spectre (2015).
Notable Modeling: Pinto spent four years modeling in India before landing her big break in Hollywood, appearing on many magazine covers.
Notable Modeling: The without-equal Monroe got her start modeling for the United States Air Force before moving on to lucrative pin-up modeling in men’s magazines.
Acting Career: Monroe broke into Hollywood with small roles in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve (1950). She continued to perfect her craft in Some Like It Hot (1959) and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).
Notable Modeling: Winner of the “Model of the Year” competition in 1968, Sheperd was a teen model who appeared on the cover of Glamour several times before moving to Hollywood.
Acting Career: Cybill Shepherd appeared opposite Jeff Bridges in the 1971 film The Last Picture Show after director Peter Bogdanovich’s wife saw Shepherd on the cover of Glamour and recommended to her husband that he cast her in his next film. After this breakthrough, Shepherd landed her most well-known for her role in the 1976 classic Taxi Driver.
Notable Modeling: Stone was a fashion model in New York for a time before moving on to Europe to check out the modeling scene there. It didn’t take long for her to quit and try her hand at acting instead.
Acting Career: If you ask the critics, they’d likely put Stone’s Oscar-nominated performance in Martin Scorsese’s Casino (1995) at the top of her resume. Audiences, however, would probably go with her eye-opening (and leg-opening) role in Basic Instinct (1992).
Notable Modeling: Brinkley is notorious for appearing on three consecutive Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers in 1979, 1980 and 1981. She has also appeared in Allure and Playboy, and was the face of CoverGirl for 25 years.
Acting Career: Brinkley’s acting isn’t exactly “celebrated,” but she did have a memorable role as “Girl in the Red Ferrari” in National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), so she makes the cut. She also gets bonus points for her cappuccino art.
Acting Career: Cameron Diaz first gained fame with her appearance in The Mask (1994). You can also see her in more recent films Charlie’s Angels (2000), The Counselor (2013) and The Other Woman (2014).