The Top 5 Models Turned (Decent) Actress

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Let’s be honest, when you’re born beautiful, more doors stand open for you. And there is one profession in particular for which beauty is a powerful asset: modeling. Any woman with a stunning face, a statuesque body and the willpower to keep her physique at the painfully exacting proportions demanded by the fashion industry has a chance to be a successful model. What these beauties go on to do after their modeling careers, though, is a mixed bag. Many models ride their catwalk careers to fame in film and television. And oddly, a few models-turned-actresses actually turn out to be highly talented.

5 Rene Russo

Today Rene Russo is one of the most glamorous older women in Hollywood, respected for her talents as an actress and admired for her lasting beauty. She came to acting at the relatively late age of 30, which makes her success in Hollywood all the more impressive. More impressive is the fact that she made it to anything more than a dead-end career as a cashier or retail sales rep, because this high school dropout seemed destined for little more than that. In her late teens, though, a scout realized that Russo was really hot, set her up with an agency, and she was off and running in a new career.

4 Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall was just 20 years old when she starred in her first major motion picture, 1944’s To Have and Have Not. The young siren appeared opposite Humphrey Bogart in a pairing that would light up the silver screen in numerous subsequent pictures. Bacall’s decades of success as a film and stage star followed a brief stint as a model, a career that came naturally to a woman with the measurements 36”, 26”, 34”, not to mention a face that would capture the hearts of countless young men throughout the mid-20th century.

3 Kim Basinger

Kim Basinger grew up the daughter of moderately successful entertainment industry types, her mother being a model and actress, her father a musician. But it was Basinger’s stunning face, luscious golden hair and her dancer’s body that landed the teenager modeling gigs. She won several beauty pageants in her native Georgia, and then pursued modeling professionally in New York. Basinger moved to LA at the age of 24 and began working as an actress. She was soon an A-list star, in no small part thanks to her role as “Bond Girl” Domino Petachi in the 007 film Never Say Never Again and parts in other blockbusters like The Natural and Batman.

2 Milla Jovovich

Milla Jovovich’s modeling career started off at such a young age we feel creepy even discussing it, but here goes: she was nine. By the time Jovovich was a teenager (meaning 13, not even 17 or 18 or anything), she had already been on the cover of various magazines and had been featured in myriad ad campaigns, she had a contract with a top agency, and she was becoming famous for her striking, angular looks. She also began acting around that age (yes, we mean 13), and by the time she reached the legal drinking age, she was an established Hollywood star.

1 Uma Thurman

Before writer/director Quentin Tarantino started casting Uma Thurman in his unique brand of action/dark comedy/pulp movies, she was at risk of ending up a minor celebrity with a long catalog of minor films. Tarantino saw something in the young lady, though, and his instincts turned out to be sound. Thurman is a damn good actress, one who has been nominated for an Academy Award and has won a Golden Globe. And also she’s pretty damn fine, which is why she had a successful modeling career gracing the covers of plural magazines before moving on to the life of a thespian.

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