9 Models Who Sashayed Right Off the Runway and Into Blockbuster Stardom

December 4, 2023
9 Models Who Sashayed Right Off the Runway and Into Blockbuster Stardom

From catwalks to film sets, witness how nine iconic models elegantly pivoted their careers to become acclaimed stars of the silver screen.

From Catalogs to Screen

At just ten years old, Katherine Heigl was not just another face in the crowd. Earning $75 an hour with Wilhelmina Models, she graced the covers of major catalogs, including Sears and Lord & Taylor. But it was her transition from magazine covers to television screens that truly defined her career. By the age of sixteen, Katherine Heigl was already a familiar face, notably on the cover of Seventeen magazine. Her acting breakthrough came with the beloved character Izzie Stevens in “Grey’s Anatomy,” followed by her memorable roles in “27 Dresses” and “The Ugly Truth.” This journey from model to acclaimed actress epitomizes Katherine Heigl’s versatility and staying power in Hollywood.

Vogue to the Big Screen

At 15, Uma Thurman’s striking presence landed her a contract with Click Models and appearances in Glamour magazine, including two covers of British Vogue. Her cinematic debut in “Kiss Daddy Goodnight” at 17 marked the beginning of an illustrious career. With iconic roles in “Kill Bill,” “Pulp Fiction,” and “Batman & Robin,” Uma Thurman has established herself as a formidable force in Hollywood, transcending her early days in modeling.

Beauty Ads to Emmy Nods

The vibrant Sofia Vergara was discovered on a Colombian beach at 17, leading to her first appearances in a Latin American Pepsi ad and a shampoo commercial. Her portrayal of Gloria Delgado-Pritchett in “Modern Family” brought her four Emmy nominations, marking a significant leap from her early modeling days to a celebrated acting career.

From Modeling to Stardom

Sharon Stone began her journey to fame by winning the title of Miss Crawford County and signing with Ford Models in 1977. She transitioned from modeling to acting with roles in “Total Recall,” “Casino,” and her career-defining performance in “Basic Instinct.” Sharon Stone’s shift from modeling to becoming a global film icon is a testament to her diverse talents.

Early Start, Rising Star

Hayden Panettiere commenced her modeling career at five months old and debuted in commercials by 11 months. She gained fame for her role as Claire Bennett in “Heroes” and further cemented her status in Hollywood with her performance in “Nashville.” Hayden Panettiere’s journey from child model to a Golden Globe-nominated actress showcases her exceptional range and dedication.

Model Turned Oscar Winner

As a teenager, Jennifer Lawrence was discovered by a talent scout and embarked on a brief modeling career, including a shoot for Abercrombie & Fitch. Her transition to acting led to her acclaimed performances in “Silver Linings Playbook,” earning her an Oscar, and her role in “The Hunger Games” saga, marking her as one of Hollywood’s brightest stars.

Fashion to Oscar Fame

At 14, Angelina Jolie started modeling, but at 20, she chose to focus on acting. Her performance in “Girl, Interrupted” won her an Oscar, catapulting her into a league of her own as an award-winning actress and humanitarian.

Ad Campaigns to “Gossip Girl”

Leighton Meester started her career with Wilhelmina Models at ten, working for brands like Limited Too and Ralph Lauren. She transitioned to acting with roles in “Gossip Girl” and “Law & Order,” proving her range as an actress far beyond the modeling campaigns of her youth.

Youngest Vogue Model to Actress

Brooke Shields’s career began at 11 months old with a commercial for Ivory Soap, and at 14, she became the youngest model to cover Vogue. Her acting career includes the controversial “Pretty Baby,” the iconic “Blue Lagoon,” and her studies at Princeton University, showcasing her versatility and intellect.

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