Get a weekly dose of MANDATORY by signing up for our newsletter.
She had a 13-year run as a Victoria's Secret Angel and was once known as "The Body." (Though Elle Macpherson claims she was given the title first.) Heidi got into modeling in Germany after a friend convinced her to enter a modeling contest. From 25,000 entrants, Klum was crowned the winner and given a contract worth $300,000. She signed with International Metropolitan Agency and traveled to Hamburg, Paris and Milan. A year later, she moved to the United States to advance her career. She told People, "My smile is my favorite thing."
From there, Heidi Klum rose to become a world famous model. Like her contemporary Tyra Banks, there is no sector of entertainment that she hasn't touched. She modeled, appearing on the cover of the vaunted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and hosted the Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows. In television, she had guest spots on "How I Met Your Mother," "Spin City, "Yes, Dear," "Ella Enchanted," and commercials for Volkswagen, among others.
In video games, Heidi Klum was featured in "Everything or Nothing" and "Guitar Hero World Tour." In music videos, she appeared in "Love Foolosophy" for Jamiroquai. In music, Heidi released a single "Wonderland," and contributed to her then-husband's song "Wedding Day."
Heidi has sold a jewelry line on QVC; she has two fragrances; she has designed makeup for Victoria's Secret; Heidi launched two lines of maternity wear; she even became Barbie's official ambassador for the doll's 50th anniversary in 2009. She told Forbes of her success: "I was more ambitious, more business-savvy. When everyone went out drinking, I went home." She added later, "I kind of look where I am in this industry and where I fit or don't fit in and then I try to maneuver through it" (redbookmag.com).
Heidi Klum may be more recognizable for producing and hosting the reality show "Project Runway." It has won a Peabody Award, and was nominated for an Emmy in 2008.
Heidi also paints, and many of her works have appeared in art magazines. Her image has even appeared on a series of stamps from the Caribbean island of Grenada.
Heidi Klum was once married to stylist Ric Pipino and the musician Seal. She gave birth to Helene in 2004 (from her relationship with Flavio Briatore); she later gave birth to three children from her relationship with Seal: Henry, Johan and Lou Sulola. Since her divorce from Seal, Heidi Klum confirmed she was dating her bodyguard.
Heidi Klum said she learned from being a mother "to be more simple. Sometimes random things you wouldn't think mean anything mean so much to them. With kids, you can say, 'Let's go pick some flowers,' or 'There's a snail. Let's investigate that.' It just brings you back to the simplicity of things" (redbookmag.com). Also check out: The hottest women from California and New York.
For more Mandatory: 30 Hottest Women from New York