Heidi Klum (pronounced [ˈhaɪ̯di ˈklʊm]; born June 1, 1973) is a German model, television host, businesswoman, fashion designer, television producer, and occasional actress. She appeared on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and in 1999 became the first German model to become a Victoria’s Secret Angel.
Following a successful modeling career, Klum became the host and a judge of Germany’s Next Topmodel and the reality show Project Runway which earned her an Emmy nomination in 2008 and a win in 2013 for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program (shared with co-host Tim Gunn). She has worked as a spokesmodel for Dannon and H&M, and has appeared in numerous commercials for McDonald’s, Volkswagen and others. In 2009, Klum became Barbie’s official ambassador on Barbie’s 50th anniversary. As an occasional actress, she had supporting roles in movies including Blow Dry (2001), Ella Enchanted (2004), and made cameo appearances in The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and Perfect Stranger (2007). She has also appeared on TV shows including Sex and the City, How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives and Parks and Recreation. Currently, Klum is a judge on the NBC reality show America’s Got Talent.
In May 2011, Forbes magazine estimated Klum’s total earnings for that year as US$20 million. She is ranked second on Forbes’ list of the “World’s Top-Earning Models”, behind Gisele Bündchen. Forbes noted that since ending her 13-year run as a Victoria’s Secret Angel, Klum has become more of a businesswoman than a model. In 2008, she became an American citizen while maintaining her native German citizenship.
Klum was born and raised in Bergisch Gladbach, a town outside Cologne, Germany. She is the daughter of Erna, a hairdresser, and Günther Klum, a cosmetics company executive. A friend convinced her to enroll in a national modeling contest called “Model 92”. Out of 25,000 contestants, Klum was voted the winner on April 29, 1992, and offered a modeling contract worth US$300,000 by Thomas Zeumer, CEO of Metropolitan Models New York. After winning, she appeared on the Gottschalk Late Night Show, a German television show with host Thomas Gottschalk. She accepted the contract a few months later after graduating from school and decided not to try for an apprentice position at a fashion design school.