Tyra Banks was born on December 4th, 1973 in Los Angeles, California. Although her parents divorced when she was 6, they were extremely supportive and caring, she gained however, most of her values and interest from her mother. One example of this is her love of reading, as a young girl Tyra could spend hours in a bookstore.
Late in her high school life, Tyra decided to persue a career in modelling and took on a much fuller look. For most of her adolescent life she was mocked by both her older brother, Devin, and peers for her tall and skinny appearance. However, she started to mature by 17 and it definitely helped her less than stellar self-esteem.
After high school, Tyra decided to go to Paris for a year instead of going to Loyola Marymount University (she did graduate from there, though). In Paris she was able to model for many of the major names in the fashion industry, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, and others. Once she returned to the states, Tyra, although still active in her flourishing modelling career tried to reach out to other industries. She took a role as a supermodel in a British television movie called, Inferno. She also played a reoccuring character in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She made her first major movie appearance in John Singelton's Higher Learning, playing Omar Epps' track running girlfriend.
Tyra has made People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful" twice and has written an autobiography titled, Tyra's Beauty Inside & Out. She also has the distinction of being the first African-American woman featured on the cover of GQ and Sports Illustrated and is proud to be breaking down barriers.
Interestingly, Tyra openly admits she does not "watch her weight" and has announced that french fries were made for scooping ketchup. She also enjoys playing tennis, basketball, bowling, volleyball. Tyra also started a namesake college fund in 1994 and is currently the CEO of her own company, TYInc.
Filmography — incomplete
- 8 Crazy Nights (2002): Voice
- Halloween: Resurrection (2002): Nora Winston
- Larceny (2001)
- Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, The (2001) (TV): Herself (Model)
- Coyote Ugly (2000): Zoe
- Life-Size (2000) (TV): Eve
- Love & Basketball (2000): Kyra Kessler
- Apartment Complex, The (1999) (TV)
- Love Stinks (1999): Holly
- Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit '97 (1997) (V): Herself
- A Woman Like That (1997)
- Alien Encounter (1995) (uncredited): Alien XS Hostess
- Higher Learning (1995): Deja
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990) TV Series: Jackie Ames (1993-1994)
- Inferno (1992) (TV)
- Black or White (1991) (V)