Model Beginnings: Tyra might host a show about top models now, but she was actually rejected by six agencies before landing at Elite Model Management at age 16. She put school on hold to model in Europe and walked a record 25 shows her first season. The rest of her career is now the stuff of Top Model mythology: she nailed down a deal with Victoria’s Secret and became a household name thanks to history-making covers of Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues and being a founding member of the VS Angels.
Big Acting Break: Banks made the jump from fashion to acting with a character arc as Jackie Ames on the fourth season of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She would follow up with many TV appearances and started appearing in movies with 1995′s Higher Learning, though we here at the Fashionista offices remember her best as Eve, the doll who came to life to help a young Lindsay Lohan in Life-Size.
The Verdict: Tyra’s roles are often fun (think of her recent cameo as actress Ursula Nyquist on Gossip Girl), and they all play into her greatest talent: Being Tyra.