Heidi Klum (pronounced "Kloom") was born June 1st, 1973, in Bergische Gladbach, a small city in Germany. Practically destined to be a fashion model, Heidi's father, Gunther, worked for a cosmetics company, while her mother, Erna, was a hairdresser. 18 years old and still in high school, Heidi came across an ad for a model competition in her area while reading a magazine. While she was intrigued by the idea, she never even dreamed of the possibility of entering, much less of winning, but her friend had a different attitude and encouraged her to send in some photos.
The "Model '92" competition, organized by the Petra magazine and a New York Model agency, had a grueling selection process, where thirty to forty applicants arrived to Munich, hoping to be chosen as one of the three to appear on the Saturday Show of Gottschalk. While candidates were eliminated on a weekly basis, Heidi was one of the three finalists, and made the final cut to become "Model '92."
What began as a "just for fun" contest, turned into a life-altering event for the beautiful brunette. Heidi immediately signed a contract with the Metropolitan modeling agency, for a minimum of three years.
Heidi's first modeling gigs were for the Petrol catalogue. Before heading to the other side of the Atlantic, she modeled in fashion capitals such as Paris and Milan. When she finally did move overseas, Heidi found work in Miami before making the move to the highly competitive Big Apple.
With patience and effort, the work offers started to pour in for Heidi. She appeared in many print advertisements, including: Bonne Bell (which Denise Richards also modeled for), Finesse, Gerry Weber, Givenchy's Amarige, I-N-C, and she hit it big with the Victoria's Secret campaign.
As one of the Victoria's Secret Angels, Heidi made the transition from model to supermodel, joining the ranks of Yasmeen Ghauri, Tyra Banks, Helena Christensen, and Stephanie Seymour.
While Heidi appeared on the covers of such magazines as Bride's, Cosmopolitan, Self, Glamour, and Mademoiselle, none could live up to the recognition Heidi received as 1998's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover girl, an honor that models Vendela, Elle MacPherson and Tyra Banks had previously claimed.
Having made the move from supermodel to actress, Heidi has appeared as herself several times on the ABC comedy Spin City and hit the big screen with a minor appearance in the feature film 54, as a V.I.P. patron.
Presently signed with Elite Model Management, Heidi continues to model and pursue an acting career, which has blossomed in 2001. She made a cameo appearance in Sex and the City, sharing the runway with Sarah Jessica Parker. She also had a relatively large role in the 2001 comedy, Blow Dry (which she has a lot of experience with, thanks to her family, career and husband).
Known for her down-to-earth personality and her sense of humor (she even yodeled when she first appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman), Heidi married celebrity hairstylist Ric Pipino in 1997. The couple announced their separation in November 2002.