The third member of the modelling world's power trinity alongside Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington is a multi-faceted beauty, who combines stunning looks with business acumen and philanthropic interests.
Born on January 2, 1969, in California, to a Pan Am pilot and a Salvadorian flight attendant, Christy grew up in San Francisco and Miami. She was spotted by a model scout when she was 14, and just two years later signed with the Ford agency.
By 1985 she was doing editorial work for Vogue
magazine. It didn't net her megabucks, but she was getting noticed by all the right people and soon became a catwalk staple, most notably setting the runway on fire each season at Versace, dressed in barely-there creations. She was reportedly paid $25,000 by the designer to model only for him in Milan. "I'm really very conservative," she said, "and I feel silly going out on the runway, pretending I have attitude."
At 20, she signed an exclusive three-year deal with Calvin Klein that reportedly set a world record in modelling, bringing her a seven-figure income for three months' work a year. The draconian terms of the contract forbade her to leave New York without prior warning, however, or be photographed by anyone other than Bruce Weber in any other designers' clothes, and she cancelled it when she realised she missed the fun side of modelling the photo-shoots, the catwalk shows, and her friends Linda Evangelista
and Naomi Campbell
While still commanding huge fees for cosmetic advertising campaigns, Christy had become tired of the fashion world and announced she was going to semi-retire in order to go to university. She graduated from New York in 1999 after studying philosophy, literature and art history.
When her father died of lung cancer in 1997 Christy was galvanised into offering her services to the American Cancer Society. Her commitment to the cause was further strengthened when, in 2000, she was horrified to discover she had contracted smoking-related, early stage emphysema, an incurable condition.
A believer in Eastern philosophy, the aqua-eyed beauty reportedly married her first husband, screenwriter and actor Roger Wilson, in a Buddhist ceremony. And she has since launched her own Ayurvedic skincare range called Sundari, as well as a line of yoga wear called Nuala.
Following the demise of her marriage, Christy went on to date Christian Slater and former Julia Roberts
-flame Jason Patric. Then, in the summer of 2000, she met Saving Private Ryan
actor Ed Burns at a party. After a whirlwind five-month romance, the two announced their engagement. But the model's fantasy wedding in Italy never took place. Just months after buying a home together in New York, in March 2002 Christy and Ed split with friends explaining the star pair "weren't each other's perfect life partners".
In a surprise twist, seventh months later the supermodel and the director gave the relationship another chance. The result was a true Hollywood happy ending, with Christy and Ed tying the knot in June 2003. Their happiness was added to in October of that year when their first child, Grace, was born. The couple added to their family with the arrival in February 2006 of a son, Finn.