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Growing up her family didn’t have a television. Tricia had to go to her grandma’s house to watch hockey games and such. As to her looks, Tricia said, “I was tall and I thought I was skinny, but apparently I wasn’t skinny enough. I was a twig growing up and I always had this self-confidence issue because I was so skinny.” She also had no interest in becoming a model or actress, and was thinking of studying animal psychology. Tricia later added, “You know, when you’re a little farm girl, you don’t really think you look like the cover of a magazine. You forget that there’s airbrushing, hair and make-up and all that.”
That changed when she was 17 and was “discovered” while waiting in line at a movie theatre. Tricia Helfer took part in the 1992 Ford Supermodel of the World contest and she won. Her modeling career took off and she modeled for Chanel’s Cristalle perfume and Victoria’s Secret, among others, over a span of 10 years.
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Tricia Helfer’s acting debut came in the comedy short “Eventual Wife.” She said she took acting classes at first only to help with her commercial auditions, but “I fell in love with it from the first class. It terrified me, and I found it a huge challenge.” She said of her modeling experience, “Ten years was enough. I traveled the world and had some great experiences, but I needed more of a challenge and I needed more to do with my mind.”
In 2002, Tricia moved from New York to Los Angeles to pursue acting full time, and landed a non-speaking part on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” Luckily, the same casting directors from “CSI” were hired to staff a new show: “Battlestar Galactica.” Tricia has since appeared on “Dark Blue” and “The Firm,” among other projects.
In 2007, Tricia Helfer posed nude in Playboy. “Of course, I called my parents and all my sisters and asked for permission, even at 32 years old.”
She is a champion of animal rights and environmental causes. She is married to Jonathan Marshall, a Los Angeles entertainment lawyer. They enjoy motorcycling, and often take trips with her fellow “Battlestar Galactica” friend, Katee Sackoff.
Tricia Helfer lives in Southern California.