Model Actors: 10 Supermodels Who Launched Successful Acting Careers (PHOTOS)

Laura Anastasia | Sep 16, 2015 Celebrities

Many models have big-screen ambitions, but a successful acting career takes more than just a pretty face. These 10 supermodels have proven they have the look -- and the talent -- to go the distance. From Kim Basinger's Oscar-winning performance in L.A. Confidential to Kate Upton's much-anticipated running-in-a-bikini scene in The Other Women, these catwalk pros have wowed audiences, earned a thumb's up from critics, and landed more plum roles. 

Just which supermodels had what it takes? Check out which of the world's most beautiful supermodels were able to strut their stuff all the way to Hollywood. Strike a pose!

 

Image © Sports Illustrated

  • Milla Jovovich, Model

    1

    The Ukrainian beauty landed her first magazine cover before her 12th birthday in the late 1980s. In the decades since, Jovovich has appeared in countless ad campaigns, runway shows, and magazine covers. Big paychecks are the reason she continues to pose, Jovovich has said.  

  • Milla Jovovich, Actress

    2

    Jovovich is now as well-known for her movie roles as she is for her modeling. She started the move to films in 1988, but her breakout role came in 1997's The Fifth Element. Jovovich is also the face of the Resident Evil franchise, among other films. 

  • Kate Upton, Model

    3

    The buxom beauty splashed into the modeling big leagues with back-to-back Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition covers in 2012 and 2013. Upton has also graced the covers of Cosmopolitan, GQ, and Esquire, among other magazines. 

  • Kate Upton, Actress

    4

    The foxy Florida native jumped at the chance to turn the buzz over her modeling into big-screen success. Since 2011, Upton has showed off her acting chops in Tower Heist, The Three Stooges, and The Other Woman with Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann. Her latest flick, The Layover, is due in 2016. 

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  • Rebecca Romijn, Model

    5

    The 5'11 knockout modeled in Europe for three years before taking her career stateside in the early 1990s. Romijn quickly became a regular for Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition, landing the cover in 1999. The California native has walked the runway for Giorgio Armani, among others. 

  • Rebecca Romijn, Actress

    6

    This blonde beauty fell in love with acting while guest starring on Friends in 1997 as Cheryl, Ross's hot girlfriend who lives in an insanely messy apartment. She's appeared in a long list of TV shows and movies since, including Ugly Betty and the X-Men franchise, as the blue-skinned shape shifter, Mystique. 

  • Kim Basinger, Model

    7

    Basinger wowed in beauty pageants before joining the ranks of the country's top models. The stunning blonde has graced the covers of everything from Playboy to Vogue. The ageless beauty returned to modeling at age 60, signing with IMG Models in 2013. 

  • Kim Basinger, Actress

    8

    Basinger won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1997 for L.A. Confidential. She has also starred in TV movies and sitcoms, plus more than three dozen major motion pictures, including 9 1/2 Weeks, Batman, 8 Mile, and The Sentinel. Busy, busy!

     
  • Brooklyn Decker, Model

    9

    Decker's road to model super-stardom started at a North Carolina mall, where a talent scout discovered her as a teen. She quickly moved from prom dress ads to the pages of major magazines, including Sports Illustrated. Decker appeared in the mag's swimsuit edition in 2006, 2007, and 2008, and landed the edition's coveted cover spot in 2010. 

  • Brooklyn Decker, Actress

    10

    The blonde bombshell started off small with a role in the 2007 TV movie Lipshitz Saves the World. After guesting in hit shows Chuck and Ugly Betty, Decker landed a lead role in Just Go With It, alongside Adam Sandler. Married to tennis ace Andy Roddick since 2009, the model actress has also starred in 2012's Battleship and 2014's Stretch, among others. 

  • Amber Valletta, Model

    11

    The stunning Valletta landed Vogue's cover at 17 and moved to Europe to model a year later. She became a fashion icon in the 1990s, fronting campaigns for DKNY, Chanel, and Prada, as well as nabbing the cover of British Vogue eight times. Her beautiful pictures hid an ugly secret. Valletta battled a drug and alcohol addiction until 1999, a year before her son was born. 

  • Amber Valletta, Actress

    12

    Valletta jumped into acting in 2000, appearing in three movies in one year, including What Lies Beneath. She has regularly scored movie and TV roles since, including Transporter 2 and Hitch. She ruled on the small screen as Lydia Davis on Revenge from 2011 to 2014.

     
  • Rene Russo, Model

    13

    A talent scout discovered Russo, then a 17-year-old high school dropout, at a Rolling Stones concert. Within months, the beauty signed a contract with Ford Modeling Agency and soon found herself on the cover of Vogue. By the mid-1970s, Russo was one of the country's most successful models. 

  • Rene Russo, Actress

    14

    Russo started acting in TV's Sable in 1987, but the series didn't last long. She had better luck with her first movie, 1989's hit Major League. Russo's acting career really took off a few years later with Lethal Weapon 3. The beauty has also starred in Thor, Ransom, and The Thomas Crown Affair, among others. The 61 year old's latest role is the movie The Intern, co-starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway.

  • Tyson Beckford, Model

    15

    Now one of the world's top male models, Beckford was discovered at 20 in 1991 by the editor of The Source, a hip hop magazine. The gorgeous gent became the face of Ralph Lauren's Polo Sport fragrance campaign within a few years. He's showed off his smoking hotness with countless catwalks, ad campaigns, and magazines. 

  • Tyson Beckford, Actor

    16

    Beckford made his big screen debut in 2000's Boricua's Bond. Though the movie wasn't a box-office hit, the model's acting chops have earned him multiple roles since, including in 2005's Into the Blue with Paul Walker, 2007's Drift: The Sideways Craze, and Supermodel, due in 2016. 

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  • Karolina Kurkova, Model

    17

    This Czech stunner started modeling as a teen in Europe. She made a name for herself in the United States in 2001 by landing the cover of Vogue at 17. Kurkova has been featured on dozens of magazine fronts and has walked runways for everyone from Dolce & Gabbana to Ralph Lauren. 

  • Karolina Kurkova, Actress

    18

    The supermodel made her movie debut in the appropriately titled My Sexiest Year in 2007. She starred in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in 2009 alongside Channing Tatum. The blockbuster pulled in $302 million worldwide. 

  • Lauren Hutton, Model

    19

    Hutton's trademark gap-toothed smile wasn't always a hot commodity. In fact early critics told her she needed to fix her teeth to be a star. The beauty started as a Playboy bunny at 20 before landing her first modeling gig in the early 1960s. She quickly became a top model and was the first to secure a $1 million modeling contract, with Revlon. Hutton has appeared on Vogue's cover a record 26 times.

  • Lauren Hutton, Actress

    20

    Hutton's modeling success helped her nab her first acting role, in 1968's Paper Lion. She has acted in dozens of major motion pictures, TV movies, and TV shows since, most famously alongside Richard Gere in 1980's American Gigolo. Hutton guest-starred on TV's Nip/Tuck with Julian McMahon in 2007. 

     
     
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