Tyra Banks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks 2012 Shankbone.JPG
Banks at the 2012 Time 100 gala
BornTyra Lynne Banks
(1973-12-04) December 4, 1973 (age 41)
Inglewood, California, U.S.
  • Model
  • actress
  • author
  • television personality
  • television host
  • producer
Years active1991–present
Modeling information
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1][2]
Hair colorBrown[3]
Eye colorGreen[3]
Measurements34.5–24–36 (US/UK)
87.5–61–91.5 (EU)[3]
Dress size(US) 6, EU (36)[3]
Shoe size(US) 9, EU (41)[3]
Jump to: navigation, search
Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks 2012 Shankbone.JPG
Banks at the 2012 Time 100 gala
BornTyra Lynne Banks
(1973-12-04) December 4, 1973 (age 41)
Inglewood, California, U.S.
  • Model
  • actress
  • author
  • television personality
  • television host
  • producer
Years active1991–present
Modeling information
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1][2]
Hair colorBrown[3]
Eye colorGreen[3]
Measurements34.5–24–36 (US/UK)
87.5–61–91.5 (EU)[3]
Dress size(US) 6, EU (36)[3]
Shoe size(US) 9, EU (41)[3]

Tyra Lynne Banks[4] (born December 4, 1973)[5] is an American television personality, former talk show host, producer, author, actress, and former model.[6][7][8]

She first became famous as a model, appearing twice on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and working for Victoria's Secret as one of their original Angels. Banks was one of the world's top-earning models in the early 2000s.[9] Subsequently she moved into television and film, known for her roles as Eve in Disney channel's Life-Size and Zoe in the box office hit Coyote Ugly. Banks also had minor roles in the romantic film Love & Basketball, horror film Halloween: Resurrection and has appeared in numerous television shows, including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Gossip Girl and Glee.

In 2003, Banks created and became the host of the UPN/The CW long-running reality television show America's Next Top Model. Banks was also the co-creator of True Beauty, and was the host of her own talk show, The Tyra Banks Show, which aired on the The CW for five seasons and won two Daytime Emmy award for Outstanding Talk Show Informative. In 2010, she published a young adult novel titled Modelland, based on her life as a model which topped The New York Times Best Seller list in 2011.[10] Banks is one of four African Americans and seven women to have repeatedly ranked among the world's most influential people by Time magazine.[11][12]

Early life[edit]

Tyra Banks was born in Inglewood, California. She is the daughter of Caroline London (now London-Johnson), a NASA photographer,[5] and Donald Banks, a computer consultant.[6][13] She has a brother, Devin, who is five years older.[14] In 1979, when Banks was six years old, her parents divorced. Banks attended John Burroughs Middle School and graduated in 1991 from Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. While growing up, Banks states she was teased for her appearance and considered an "ugly duckling";[15][16] when Banks was 11 years old she grew three inches and lost 30 pounds in three months.[17]

Modeling career[edit]

External images
Banks's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover from January 26, 1996
Banks's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover from February 21, 1997

When Banks was 15 years old, she started modeling while attending school in Los Angeles. She was rejected by four modeling agencies before she was signed by L.A. Models and then switched to Elite Model Management at age 16. When she got the opportunity to model in Europe, she moved to Milan. In her first runway season, she was booked in 25 shows at the 1991 Paris Fashion Week. She would later appear on the covers of magazines such as Elle, Teen Vogue and Vogue. She walked the runways for Chanel, Valentino, Fendi and many others. She has featured in advertising campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren and Nike.[18] In the mid-1990s, Banks returned to America to do more commercial modeling.

Banks was the first African American woman on the covers of GQ and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.[19] In 1997, she received the VH1 award for, "Supermodel of the Year."[12] That same year, she became the first-ever African American chosen for the cover of the Victoria's Secret catalog.[20] She was a Victoria's Secret Angel from 1997 to 2005.[21] In 2010, Banks re-signed with her former modeling agency IMG Models.[22] Banks is now a contributor of the Vogue Italia website.[23] She has since started focusing on her film career and hosting her own TV show.

Television and film career[edit]

Banks at Cannes Film Festival in 2000

Banks's television career began on the fourth season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, in which she played lead character Will Smith's old friend Jackie Ames.[24] She made seven appearances in the series.[12][25] Other TV credits include Felicity,[26] All That, MADtv, Nick Cannon's Wild 'n Out (in which she was featured as a special guest host and team captain)[27] and The Price Is Right (guest-starring as a "Barker's Beauty").[28][29] She also appeared as a guest in the animated talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast in an episode entitled "Chinatown."[30]

Banks started her production company, "Ty Ty Baby Productions" — soon afterward changed to Bankable Productions — which produced The Tyra Banks Show, America's Next Top Model and the 2008 movie The Clique.[31] Banks is the hostess, judge and executive producer of The CW's America's Next Top Model. In addition, she hosted The Tyra Banks Show, a daytime talk show aimed at younger women, which premiered on September 12, 2005, and ran until May 28, 2010.[32] In 2008, Banks won the Daytime Emmy Award for her work and production on The Tyra Banks Show,[33] and won for the second time in a row for outstanding, informative talkshow in 2009.[34] In 2010, Oprah Winfrey congratulated Tyra Banks for a good job done on her talk-show for inspiring and mentoring young women.[35] On May 30, 2014, Disney–ABC Domestic Television announced their plans to develop a lifestyle syndicated talk show, with Banks serving as executive producer and host, to debut sometime in 2015.[36][37]

Banks's first big screen role came in 1994, when she co-starred in the drama Higher Learning.[38] She then co-starred with Lindsay Lohan in the Disney film Life-Size, playing a doll named Eve who comes to life and has to learn how to live in the real world. Other notable roles include Love Stinks (1999), Love & Basketball (2000), Coyote Ugly (2000) and Halloween: Resurrection (2002)."[12] She and Miley Cyrus poke fun at the excesses of the Hollywood lifestyle with a battle over a pair of shoes in Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009).[39] Banks appeared in the fourth episode of the third season of Gossip Girl playing Ursula Nyquist, a larger-than-life actress.[40] She also appeared on the Disney Channel show Shake It Up as a shy school librarian.[41]

In 2012, Deadline.com reported that Banks will co-create and produce an ABC comedy series based on her teenage years titled Fivehead.[42]

Other projects[edit]


Banks in Santa Monica on September 14, 2011

Banks has appeared in several music videos, including Michael Jackson's "Black or White", Mobb Deep's "Trife Life", Tina Turner's "Love Thing", George Michael's "Too Funky" (with supermodels Linda Evangelista, Estelle Lefébure, Emma Sjoberg and Nadja Auermann ) and Lionel Richie's "Don't Wanna Lose You". In 2004, she recorded her first single, "Shake Ya Body", which had a music video featuring the final six contestants of cycle 2 of America's Next Top Model. The video world-premiered on UPN.[43] Banks released a single with NBA player Kobe Bryant, entitled "K.O.B.E.," which was performed on NBA TV."[12] She also has a single on the soundtrack to Disney Channel's Original Movie Life-Size called "Be a Star".[12]


Banks announced in May 2010 that she would be writing a novel, titled Modelland,[44] loosely based on her own modelling experience.[45] Published September 2011,[dated info] it is the first of a planned three-part series.[46] On an interview with Good Morning America, Banks stated that Modelland is the story of four girls who are accepted into an "exclusive" modelling school in the world of Modelland.[47] Her first novel, Modelland, topped The New York Times Best Seller list in October 2011. In 1998, Banks co-authored a book entitled Tyra's Beauty, Inside and Out.[48]


In March 2011, Banks launched her fashion and beauty website called "typeF.com", which she co-created with Demand Media.[49]

Personal life[edit]


Banks was romantically linked to musician Seal, film director John Singleton[50] and actor Will Smith in the 1990s.[51] She dated basketball player Chris Webber from 2001 to 2004.[50][52]

She is known for being outspoken on abusive relationships, having been a victim herself. In 2005, when asked about her relationship history, she stated, 'I won't be using a lot of names [on the show], but a specific relationship had not just cheating but emotional abuse. It was really bad, but that made me strong.'[53] In 2009, she opened up about her past abusive relationship when she made a guest appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, hosting alongside Oprah Winfrey. The episode was dedicated to dating violence in response to the assault of Rihanna by Chris Brown.[54][55][56]


Banks in an interview in 2011 on Harvard Business School

In 2011, Banks enrolled in the nine-week [57] Owner/President Management Program (OPM) at Harvard Business School. Admission to the program, as described on HBS's website, "is a selective process based on professional achievement and organizational responsibility. We look for professionals who have demonstrated business talent and leadership potential." [57] Banks graduated from the Executive Education Training Program in February 2012, earning a certificate.[58][59] Tyra has come under intense criticism for implying she was a Harvard "graduate."[60] A biting article in Jezebel referred to her statements on Harvard as "disingenuous," and called upon her to "stop lying" about Harvard.[61][62] Harvard's own newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, was critical of Tyra's public statements about "attending" Harvard.[63]

Despite the harsh criticism, and the conclusion of her time as a HBS student, "Banks will be remembered within the HBS curriculum. Professor Rohit Deshpande is preparing a case study on Bankable Productions, Banks’ independent film and television production company, to be incorporated into future coursework for the Executive Education Owner/President Management Program." as cited on a different, and much more positive, article on The Harvard Crimson.[57] According to HBS Harbus, Harvard Business School's newspaper, on February 14, 2013, Tyra spoke with Harvard Business School Professor and Senior Associate Dean Youngme E. Moon in front of select audience at HBS. More than 100 students and faculty were invited to attend the event and hear Banks speak about her business and the reasons behind her decision to attend the program.[57]


Banks established the TZONE program, which aimed at leadership and life skills development.[64][65] Banks acts as the patron for TZONE. She has also established the Tyra Banks Scholarship, a fund aimed at providing African-American girls the opportunity to attend her alma mater, Immaculate Heart High School. In 2005, TZONE transformed from a camp into a public charity, the Tyra Banks TZONE.



1995Higher LearningDeja
1999Love StinksHolly Garnett
1999Apartment Complex, TheThe Apartment ComplexHerselfTelevision film
2000Love & BasketballKyra Kessler
2000Life-SizeEveTelevision film
2000Coyote UglyZoe
2002Halloween: ResurrectionNora Winston
2002Eight Crazy NightsVictoria's Secret gownVoice
2007Mr. WoodcockHerselfCameo appearance
2008Tropic ThunderHerselfCameo appearance
2009Hannah Montana: The MovieHerselfUncredited cameo appearance


1993Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, TheThe Fresh Prince of Bel-AirJackie Ames8 episodes
1996All ThatCustomerEpisode: "Tyra Banks/Blackstreet"
1997New York UndercoverNatasha Claybourne3 episodes
1999Just Shoot Me!Herself2 episodes
1999Hughleys, TheThe HughleysNicoleEpisode: "Sap and the Star"
2000MADtvKatisha Latisha Parisha Farisha Johnson2 episodes
2000FelicityJane Scott3 episodes
2001Soul FoodNina JosephEpisode: "Ordinary Pain"
2003–presentAmerica's Next Top ModelHerselfHost and judge
2004All of UsRoniEpisode: "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
2004American DreamsCarolyn GillEpisode: "Chasing the Past"
2005–10Tyra Banks Show, TheThe Tyra Banks ShowHerselfHost
2009Gossip GirlUrsula NyquistEpisode: "Dan de Fleurette"
2011Mexico's Next Top ModelHerselfGuest judge; cycle 2 finale
2012Vietnam's Next Top ModelHerselfGuest judge; cycle 2 finale
2012–13Shake It UpMrs. Burke2 episodes
2012Top Model po-russkiHerselfGuest judge; cycle 3 finale
2013Asia's Next Top ModelHerselfGuest judge; cycle 1 finale
2013GleeBichetteEpisode: "Movin' Out"
2014Korea's Next Top ModelHerselfGuest judge; cycle 5 Casting Episode
2014Australia's Next Top ModelHerselfGuest judge; cycle 9 finale
Fall 2015F.A.B., TheThe F.A.B.HerselfHost

Music videos[edit]

YearMusic videoArtist
1991"Black or White"Michael Jackson
1991"Love Thing"Tina Turner
1992"Too Funky"George Michael
1995"Trife Life"Mobb Deep
1996"Don't Wanna Lose You"Lionel Richie



  1. ^ "Tyra Banks Height – how tall". 
  2. ^ America's Next Top Model Cycle 13, episode 4.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Tyra Banks". FMD.com. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Tyra Banks Biography". TV Guide Network. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Tyra Banks Biography". The Biography Channel. Retrieved 17 July 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Jason Clark (2008). "Tyra Banks:Biography on MSN". MSN. Retrieved 2008-07-18. 
  7. ^ "ABC News: Tyra Banks Experiences Obesity Through Fat Suit". 
  8. ^ "Tyra Banks On It – Forbes.com". March 7, 2006. 
  9. ^ "The World's Top-Earning Models". Forbes. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Tyra Banks Is A New York Times Bestselling Author". Huffingtonpost. October 10, 2011. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Time 100 Gala 2012: Black stars shine at party honoring world's top influencers". thegrio.com. April 25, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f "About Tyra Banks". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  13. ^ "Tyra Banks Biography". FilmReference.com. 
  14. ^ "Tyra Banks". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2014-06-03. 
  15. ^ Wendy Shanker. "About Tyra Banks". supermodels.nl. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  16. ^ "The Fat Girl's Guide to Life". Google books. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Tyra Banks Opens Up About Body and Weight Battles". lifeandstylemag.com. May 5, 2014. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Bank Profile". The FMD - FashionModelDirectory.com. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  19. ^ "Tyra Banks Profile". FMD-database. Retrieved 2008-06-11. 
  20. ^ Norment, Lynn (1997). "Tyra Banks: on top of the world – African American fashion model". Ebony. 
  21. ^ CBS Specials: Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2005 source:CBS.com. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  22. ^ "Bio". Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  23. ^ "Tyra Banks". www.vogue.it. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Tyra Banks: Biography". www.tvguide.com. 
  25. ^ "TYRA BANKS SHOW FULL EPISODES". Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Tyra Banks Joins Cast of Felicity". abcnews. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Nick Cannon Presents Wild 'N Out Tyra Banks". tv.com. 
  28. ^ Mahan, Colin (Feb 14, 2006). "Price Is Right for Tyra Banks". tv.com. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Tyra Banks on The Price is Right". YouTube. 
  30. ^ "Space Ghost Coast to Coast Chinatown". tv.com. 
  31. ^ "Bankable Productions Inks Deal with Warner Bros". findarticles.com. Oct 30, 2007. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  32. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (December 29, 2009). "Tyra Banks Announces Plans to End Talk Show". www.nytimes.com. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  33. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (June 21, 2008). "Ellen DeGeneres, Tyra Banks Win Daytime.Tyra won 500 grammy awards in the Falls easons Emmys". people.com. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  34. ^ ""Rachel Ray," "Tyra Banks" win talk show Emmys". reuters.com. Aug 31, 2009. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Oprah says fairwell [sic] to Tyra Banks Show". YouTube. 
  36. ^ Lewis, Errol (May 30, 2014). "Disney-ABC Developing New Syndicated Talker With Tyra Banks As Host Read more: Disney-ABC Developing New Syndicated Talker With Tyra Banks As Host". Soap Opera Network. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  37. ^ Hibberd, James (May 30, 2014). "Tyra Banks returning to daytime with new talk show". Entertainment Weekly. Time Warner. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Tyra Banks' Bikini Body". 
  39. ^ Anna Dimond (June 5, 2008). "The Office's Melora Hardin on Jan and the show's finale - TV Previews". TV Guide. Retrieved July 20, 2008. 
  40. ^ "Tyra Banks Joining Gossip Girl". Us Weekly. July 31, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2011. 
  41. ^ "Tyra Banks Cameos on Disney Channel’s Shake It Up". NY Mag. March 23, 2012. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  42. ^ "Tyra Banks To Co-Create And Produce ABC Comedy Series About Her Teen Years". Deadline. October 12, 2012. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  43. ^ "Biography of Tyra Banks:". Biography Archive. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  44. ^ Nudd, Tim. Tyra Banks to Publish Her First Novel. People. May 11, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  45. ^ "Fire chief Tyra Banks is smoking hot as she dons skin-tight catsuit and knee-high boots". Mail Online. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  46. ^ Krupnick, Ellie. Tyra Banks Talks 'Modelland', Harvard Business School (VIDEO). The Huffington Post. July 21, 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  47. ^ Martin, Lara. 'America's Next Top Model' all-stars is crazy, says Tyra Banks. Digital Spy. July 21, 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
  48. ^ "Tyra Banks, Supermodel, Talk Show Host, and Actress". New York Times Bestsellerlist. 
  49. ^ "About Us". eHow. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  50. ^ a b "About Tyra Banks". Supermodels.nl. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  51. ^ "Tyra Banks and Will Smith". www.glamourmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  52. ^ Mooney, Paula Neal. "Tyra Banks Cries Over Basketball Star Ex-Boyfriend". Yahoo voices. Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  53. ^ Cruz, Clarissa (August 26, 2005). "Looker Who's Talking". www.ew.com. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  54. ^ "Breaking the Dating Violence Cycle". Oprah.com. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  55. ^ Morrissey, Tracie Egan (March 12, 2009). "Oprah: Tyra Banks Opens Up About Abusive Ex-Boyfriend". jezebel.com. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  56. ^ "Tyra Banks tells Oprah of her own abuse". cnn. March 19, 2009. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  57. ^ a b c d Harvard Business School, [1], Retrieved 2013-07-30.
  58. ^ Hughes, Sarah Ann. Washington Post. "Tyra Banks graduates from Harvard's executive education program." 24 Feb. 2012, Washington Post
  59. ^ Sauers, Jenna, "Model Behaviors". Retrieved 25 August 2011. , Jezebel
  60. ^ Manuel-Logan, Ruth. "Tyra Banks A Harvard Business School Graduate? Not!". News One. 
  61. ^ Sauers, Jenna. "Tyra Banks Needs to Stop Lying About Going to Harvard Business School". Jezebel. 
  62. ^ Bennett-Smith, Meredith (August 27, 2012). "Tyra Banks A Harvard Business School Graduate? Well, Not Exactly". The Huffington Post. 
  63. ^ WEISS-MEYER, AMY L. "Tyra Banks: Dropping H-Bombs Like Nobody's Business". 
  64. ^ "TZONE Story". tzonefoundation. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  65. ^ "Tyra Bank's Faces of Philanthropy page". Retrieved 27 September 2014. 

External links[edit]