Heidi Klum (German pronunciation: [ˈklʊm]; born June 1, 1973) is a German model who is an actress, television host, business woman, fashion designer, television producer, artist, and occasional singer. She is married to singer Seal.
Klum is the hostess of Project Runway and Germany's Next Topmodel, and is a Victoria's Secret Angel.
Klum was raised by her parents, Günther, a cosmetics company executive, and Erna, a hairdresser, in Bergisch Gladbach, West Germany, a small city outside Cologne. Klum was persuaded by a friend 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. As the winner, she appeared on the Gottschalk Late Night Show, a top 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.
Klum has been on the cover of fashion magazines, including Vogue, ELLE and Marie Claire. She became known after appearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and for her work with Victoria's Secret as an "Angel." In addition to working with world class photographers on her Sports Illustrated shoots, she was the object and subject of Joanne Gair body painting works in several editions from 1999 to 2006. She wrote the foreword to Gair's most book of body paint work. She was a spokesmodel for McDonald's, Braun, H & M, and Liz Claiborne, among others. She is currently a celebrity spokesmodel for Jordache and Volkswagen. In addition to modeling, she has appeared in several TV shows, including Spin City, Sex and the City, Yes, Dear, and How I Met Your Mother. She had a role as an ill-tempered hair model in the movie Blow Dry, played a giantess in the movie Ella Enchanted and was cast as Ursula Andress in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. She had cameo appearances in The Devil Wears Prada and Perfect Stranger.
In July 2007, having earned $8 million in the previous 12 months, Klum was named by Forbes as third on the list of the World's 15 Top-Earning Supermodels. In 2008, Forbes estimated her income at $14 million, putting Klum in second place. For 2009, Forbes estimated her income at $16 million. Klum is signed to IMG Models in New York City.
In December 2004, she became the host, judge and executive producer of the reality show Project Runway on the U.S. cable television channel Bravo, in which fashion designers compete for the opportunity to show their line at New York Fashion Week and receive money to launch their own fashion line. She received an Emmy Award nomination for the show for each of the first four seasons. In 2008, Klum and Project Runway received a Peabody Award, the first time a reality show won the award. Klum was nominated for an Emmy in 2008 for "outstanding host of a reality or reality-competition show" for Project Runway, the first year that category was recognized by the Emmys.
Klum is an artist and had several of her paintings appear in various art magazines in the U.S. On September 27, 2002 she dedicated a sculpture she painted called "Dog with Butterflies" to commemorate the role of rescue dogs in the aftermath of September 11.
In 2004, Klum co-authored Heidi Klum's Body of Knowledge with Elle magazine editor Alexandra Postman. The book gives Klum's biography as well as her advice on becoming successful. Prior to that, Klum had been an occasional guest columnist for the German television network RTL's website. She wrote an essay for the German newspaper Die Zeit.
Klum's other projects have included music and video games. She is featured in the 2004 James Bond video game Everything or Nothing, where she plays the villain Dr. Katya Nadanova. She has appeared in several music videos, including Jamiroquai's video "Love Foolosophy" from their album A Funk Odyssey, and Kelis's "Young, Fresh n' New," off her second 2001 album Wanderland.
In early 2009, Klum ventured into web-based videos, starring in "SPIKED HEEL: Supermodels Battle the Forces of Evil". The web-series starred model Coco Rocha and was directed by fashion documentarian Doug Keeve (Unzipped, Seamless). In the story, Klum aka 'The Kluminator,' and her stylish sidekick Coco “The Sassy Superhero” Rocha battle the evil Dr. Faux Pas who is plotting to destroy Fashion Week. The heroines employ everything from blow-dryer guns to fist fights, in order to thwart Dr. Faux Pas' dastardly plans. The Kluminator and Girl Wonder avoid a chain of fashion disasters to neutralize a death ray that threatens to vaporize the community of fashionistas gathered in Bryant Park.
In November 2006, Klum released her debut single "Wonderland," written for a series of television advertisements for the German retailer "Douglas." Proceeds were given to a children's charity in her hometown of Bergisch Gladbach. She contributed to her husband Seal's 2007 album System, singing the duet "Wedding Day", a song that Seal wrote for their wedding.
In 2008, Klum was a featured guest on an American Volkswagen commercial, where she was interviewed by a black Beetle. When she commented that German engineering is so sexy, she caused the Beetle to blush and turn red. She has been a part of several commercials for Volkswagen and McDonald's on German television.
In November 2008, Klum appeared in two versions of a Guitar Hero World Tour commercial, where she did a take on a Tom Cruise scene in Risky Business. In both versions, she lip-synced to Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" while dancing around the living room with the wireless guitar controller; the director's cut, however, had her strip to her underwear halfway through the commercial and was broadcast only after prime time.
Klum is a "Real Celebrity" on the website Stardoll. On Stardoll Klum has a line of virtual jewelry, and a virtual clothing line called Jordache. Users can go to Klum's suite and interact with her by doing interviews, sending pending requests or dressing Klum's doll.
In what some pundits saw as a heavy-handed approach by Klum's lawyers, an unemployed Chemnitz butcher, who used Klum's picture in advertising for a local dance on a flyer and a web page, contested her subsequent takedown notice in court and lost, forcing him to pay court costs of 2300€. A German actress has pledged to pay on his behalf.
On April 1, 2009, Klum appeared on the CBS television special, I Get That a Lot, as a girl working at a pizza shop.