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Role: Host/Judge on America's Next Top Model
Born: December 4, 1973
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Drunk person in street might yell to her: “Didn’t you play that girl Jackie on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?”
Five items within her reach right now: Magic lamp, unsharpened No. 2 pencil, bedazzled iPhone, eyelash curler, dog-eared copy of Chicken Soup for the Former Model/Current Mogul’s Soul.
Tyra Banks grew up in Inglewood, California. While a student at Immaculate Heart High School, Tyra was often made fun of because of her height and weight, a story shared by many incredibly tall, thin people. Sigh. Tyra began her modeling career in Europe and evolved into a world-renowned supermodel who has become a pioneer in the industry. She was the first African-American woman to grace the covers of GQ, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, and the Victoria's Secret catalog. You might be thinking, “Really, that’s it? No Felicity appearances?” Hang on. We’re getting there.
Tyra began her television career as an actress with recurring roles in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Felicity. Happy now? While most people would think, “I’ve peaked,” Tyra continued on to film. She starred in the Disney made-for-television movie, Life-Size, and had leading roles in John Singleton's Higher Learning and Jerry Bruckheimer's Coyote Ugly. While most people would think “I’ve peaked,” she also spearheaded two hit television shows, The Tyra Banks Show, and America's Next Top Model. Before retiring from modeling in 2005, she had the following restrictions: No frontal nudity, no birds, no cats, no fish, no cigarettes, and no alcohol. It’s a good thing she said something, because situations involving all of those things come up very frequently.
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