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Supermodel, Actress
Date of Birth:
December 4, 1973
Place of Birth:
Los Angeles, Calif., USA
Marital Status:

Born December 4, 1973, Tyra Banks has gone from ugly duckling as a child to a supermodel on top of the world today. The Los Angeles born nymph has been a breakthru model for the African American community. Tyra was the first black female to appear solo on the cover of Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue. 
Tyra hadn't always had dreams of becoming a supermodel, as a child Tyra was made fun of by her schoolmates and as she says in a recent interview "They knew I was sensitive and they'd tease me all the time. I'd go home crying to my mom. But I got the last laugh. Now I say, 'Is that really me?' " The issue of being 'really me' also is being brought into question with Tyra. Several have said Banks has had a nose job and breast implants, and if true one could hardly argue with the results. Tyra recently discussed her childhood trauma's and current beauty problems in her book Tyra's Beauty Inside & Out, where she talks about her stretch marks, cellulite, mustache, and warts (errr... hardly a book we'd be interested in buying given the sounds of it!). Whatever the case, those flaws must not have been very noticeable when Elite modeling agency spotted the beautiful woman in Paris just after she had graduated. They signed her up, preventing her intended college plans at Loyola Marymount. She had become only the third African American woman to sign an exclusive contract with a cosmetics company. Then her curvy figure was featured prominently in several Victoria's Secret ads and magazines (to which they still are to this day).

Tyra has also branched out outside of modeling, having started her own TyInc. company and being involved in charities such as a line of greeting cards which are created by children with the money going to benefit literacy for kids living in troubled environments. Also, Tyra has appeared on screen several times, sporting rolls in Higher Learning and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She's also appeared in Sesame Street's Elmopalooza and was a host for the 1999 Soul Train Music Awards. Her most recent acting role was playing as Holly Garnett in Love Stinks in 1999.

Tyra Banks still is single. Her most serious relationships have been with director John Singleton and with the singer Seal. Some others lucky enough to get nude with Tyra are reported to be Rick Fox of the LA Lakers (whom Tyra incidentally introduced to what later would become his current wife, Venessa Williams), Michael Jordan, Mark Messier (yuk!?), and Tiger Woods. It should be no surprise the appeal of Tyra to these basketball stars, since Tyra is a lofty 5'11". In fact, Tyra is teaming up with Kobe Bryant in a show to be shown on NBC debuting his new album, time will tell if the pair will become a pair. The latest person to be dating Tyra though isn't actually famous at all, rather her old high school sweetheart Craig Taylor, who is a first year law student at Fordham University. Taylor also is a big man at 6'6", and one lucky man to have still won the affection of the rich and famous Banks. So this dispels the myth that only rock stars and athletes get all the supermodels. It finally should be noted that the lesbian themed Girlfriends magazine is dogging Tyra will rumors that she is bisexual. The evidence appears to center around WNBA star Teresa Weatherspoon, who is the point guard for the New York Liberty. The speculation heated up more when Teresa refused to discuss her sexual preference, and with the line by Tyra that  "I'm here to tell you that there is life without a man", one has to wonder if there is some truth to that allegation. Banks may add additional fuel to this fire when she stars in Disney's Honey Thunder Dunk, in which she plays the love interest of a cross-dressing basketball player.

December 31, 2007 - Janet Charlton reports staffers over at 'America's Next Top Model' are peeved that their boss, Tyra Banks, didn't give them any Christmas gifts this year even though they moved from Los Angeles to New York for Banks and the show. Read more.

December 31, 2007 - Adrianne Curry is going after Tyra Banks again and calling 'America's Next Top Model' a fraud. Check out what she has to say at her MySpace blog.

December 17, 2007 - 'Showbiz Tonight' host Brooke Anderson talked to 'CNN Heroes' tribute presenter Tyra Banks on Thursday (December 6), where the former supermodel turned talk show host said, "I think we live in a society right now especially with youth that are obsessed with fame. So, if you can see that if you help people, you know you can get highlight. You don`t have to like be some starlet in a movie. Actually, giving can give you some accolades too. I think it is a good message. I don't think that's what the message is for you guys, but I'm just thinking about young people in their heads. And I can see them being encouraged tonight because of that." Asked who her hero is, Banks responded, "I have to say my mother is my hero. Without that woman - I mean, she gave up so much of her life to support me when I was a model in the crazy fashion world. And she's kept me sane, and a pretty decent person. So she definitely is my hero. She is."

December 3, 2007 - 'Extra' asked Tyra Banks to confess: Has she ever purchased pornography? "To be honest, my friend and I used to go to that Hustler store on Sunset. No disguise or anything," she confessed. "We just walked around and laughed and pointed to stuff. Like, 'Oh my! Look how big that is!'" Read more and watch the interview here.

November 14, 2007 - Tyra Banks sent out a message to fans on November 2nd about her show on vaginas. "OK, ever since the first season of the Tyra show - I always pitched my producers the idea of doing an entire show on the VAGINA," she writes. "I had no problem talking about it and thought it would be a really important show for women's health. I was lucky my mama was always open about vaginal health and told me from an early age WHAT'S UP DOWN THERE! I can speak about it comfortably. But for some reason - my producers always said, "No Tyra. Not Now. It's too controversial." When I'm told "No" it makes me try harder....so FINALLY, in my third year on the air I finally pushed through the show I always wanted to do. Honestly, I don't know why women are so uncomfortable talking about their vagina. I have women on my show who have NEVER gone to the gynecologist. With std's, ovarian cancer and so many health issues involving your vagina, you've got to take control and put your health first." The show aired Monday (November 5).

October 6, 2007 - Contrary to reports that Tyra Banks and her boyfriend, New York investment banker John Utendahl, got engaged over the weekend, Banks' rep exclusively tells Usmagazine.com, "It's not true. Tyra is not engaged."

September 22, 2007 - Tyra Banks and Tracy Reese brought Fashion Week to Port Authority on September 10th in New York City. Check out pictures from FilmMagic, GettyImages, WireImage, and ExpoSay.

September 22, 2007 - Tyra Banks called in to Ryan Seacrest of KIIS FM in Los Angeles on Wednesday (September 19) to chat about the new season of America's Next Top Model'. Tyra talked about the move to New York and whether the girls on the show are snobby. Listen to the interview here.

September 9, 2007 - Tyra Banks shoot at The Tents in Bryant Park took place on Friday (September 7) in New York City. Check out pictures from FilmMagic.

September 9, 2007 - Tyra Banks spoke with 'Good Day LA' about the third season of her talk show on Friday (September 7). Watch the segment here.

September 9, 2007 - Tyra Banks isn't ready to endorse a political candiditate for president yet the way Oprah Winfrey is backing Barack Obama. "I can't say I'll publicly be endorsing a candidate, but it's something I'm thinking about," said Banks, who is set to tape an interview with Obama on September 27th. Read more.

Additional News Headlines and Links:
January February March-May June-Aug

2006 News Headlines and Links:
Jan-Feb March Apr-May Jun-Sept Oct-Dec

2005 News Headlines and Links:
Jan-Mar Apr-July Aug-Sept October November December

2004 News Headlines and Links:
January February March Apr-May June-July August
September October November December

2003 News Headlines and Links:
Jan-April May June-July Aug-Sept October Nov-Dec

2002 News Headlines and Links:
Jan-Feb Mar-May June-Jul Aug-Sept Oct-Dec

2001 News Headlines and Links:
Jan-Feb Mar-Apr May June Jul-Oct Nov-Dec

2000 News Headlines and LInks:
Sep99-Mar April/May June/July August September October
November December

Got a story we missed? Post it on the Tyra Banks message boards!

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