Paulina Porizkova (born Pavlína Pořízková IPA: [ˈpavli:na ˈpor̝i:skova:], April 9, 1965) is a Czech-born super model and actress. She is a judge since Cycle 10.
Born in Prostějov, Czechoslovakia, she was still a toddler when her father and mother left Czechoslovakia, fleeing the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and moved to Lund in southern Sweden. They left Paulina under the care of her grandmother, believing that their daughter could be brought out later.
However, the Czechoslovak authorities would not allow this, and the ensuing battle for Paulina was widely publicized in the Swedish press, making her a cause célèbre. After a failed rescue attempt, in which her mother was detained by the national police, international political pressure led by Olof Palme caused the communist government to allow the Pořizková family to be reunited after seven years. The reunion was soon ended when the husband left, and the couple filed for divorce. Father and daughter have been estranged since.
This left Paulina's mother to fund her own medical education and Paulina and her brother Jachym (who was born in Czechoslovakia during her mother's house arrest) to look after themselves, including having to steal bread to have something to eat. Paulina hated her time in Sweden, as she was harassed by her peers for her poverty-stricken political refugee status.
A photographer friend took pictures of Porizkova and sent them to the Elite modeling agency in 1980. At 5 feet 10 1/2 inches (180 cm), she was the perfect height for a fashion model. Elite head John Casablancas noticed Porizkova's attractiveness and potential, and offered her a ticket to Paris. It was an extremely tempting offer for a teenager who was eager to get out of Sweden and to support herself.
She quickly rose to become a top model in Paris during the early 1980s, and her fame spread to the United States when she posed in swimwear for Sports Illustrated magazine. She appeared on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 1984 and again in 1985. (Her first appearance as a model in the magazine was in 1983.) A third consecutive run as the S.I. covergirl supposedly was dashed when she appeared on the cover of Life magazine in a swimsuit.
Porizkova appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine in August 1987 to preview her new (non-nude) swimsuit calendar. A few years earlier she had appeared in a nude spread in GQ magazine, which had left her feeling dissatisfied. Both of her calendars in 1988 and 1989 by photographer Marco Glaviano sold hundreds of thousands of copies, setting a standard that paved the way for other models like Cindy Crawford and Frederique for their own pictorial calendars.
Porizkova was chosen twice by People magazine as one of the Fifty Most Beautiful People in the world, in 1990 and 1992. Harper's Bazaar magazine named her one of its ten most beautiful women in 1992. American Photo magazine in its first issue declared her to be the model of the 1980s. She appeared on the covers of numerous magazines around the world during the 1980s and 1990s, including appearances on Vogue, ELLE, Harper's Bazaar, Self, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour. She also featured in advertising for Diet Sprite. Porizkova was the cover model for the 20th Anniversary issue of Cosmopolitan magazine in November 1985.
In 1988, Porizkova won what was then the highest-paying modeling contract: a six million dollar contract with Estee Lauder cosmetics, replacing the model Willow Bay. Estee Lauder's strategy in the late 1980s was to move away from an older generation of women and target younger urbanite professional women. The black-and-white television and print advertising campaign won praise from critics. The Estee Lauder makeover transformed Porizkova's public image from a swimsuit model to that of European sophisticate and she remained the company's face until 1995.
Porizkova has appeared in the books Models and Sirens, by Marco Glaviano, and in Fashion Photography by Patrick Demarchelier. The latter includes some of the noted LIFE magazine swimsuit pictures from several years ago). She was also in Women by Herb Ritts.
During her early modeling career, Porizkova had noticeable gaps between her front teeth. For this reason, she usually appeared with a closed mouth rather than a smile during the period. One writer noted that her teeth were an eccentricity in an otherwise perfect face. The rarity of her smile became a trademark for her during that period of her career. Her gapped teeth were corrected (and filmed) during her movie debut Anna. Her other trademark was her "dreamy look", which she claims came from her squinting at the camera because of her extreme nearsightedness.
After having her first baby in 1993, Porizkova devoted less time to modeling, and she moved into acting in independent films. She soon got a new contract as the lead model for Escada. In early 2001, she was the hostess for a television show on the E! network's Style Channel. In 2005, she made her first appearance in the noted Victoria's Secret catalogue.
Although she had an extraordinary career as a model, Porizkova was known to make disparaging remarks about the fashion and beauty industry, which was displeasing to some in the field. She is now part of the panel of judges on America's Next Top Model, starting on Cycle 10 replacing the fashion icon, Twiggy. She continues to conduct regular weekly evaluations of Top Model participants on the show.
Porizkova was a participant on the Spring 2007 series Dancing with the Stars reality show. , but she was voted off on the first results show which aired March 27, 2007.
Porizkova's film debut was in the 1983 modelling pseudo-documentary Portfolio. Still only seventeen, she managed to look more mature and intelligent than the other more-established models, and she became the "covergirl" for the film.
Porizkova appeared in the 1987 film Anna (which starred Sally Kirkland), receiving good reviews from her patrons at Vogue magazine. It was in 1989 that she had her largest, and best-known role to date, co-starring with Tom Selleck in the film Her Alibi. However, she was nominated for a Golden Raspberry for worst actress for her appearance in that film.
She was rumored in a 1989 issue of the Italian magazine "Moda" to be starring along with Robert De Niro in a planned film by Sergio Leone about the siege of Leningrad during World War II, halted by the director's death. Later She appeared in the bizarre cult film, Arizona Dream, with Johnny Depp and Jerry Lewis, in a minor role as Lewis's young Polish fiancee. She also appeared in the film Thursday.
Paulina wrote and directed the 2001 film, Roommates. In 2004, she starred in the romantic comedy, Knots, but turned down an opportunity to be a Bond Girl in the 1995 film GoldenEye because of better earnings available to her in modelling then, as well as not wishing to take time away from her family.
She has also appeared on various television shows, including an April 18, 2007 appearance on The Colbert Report after remarks that she found Colbert "extremely attractive."
In September 1992, her children's book The Adventures of Ralphie the Roach (ISBN 0385424027) (ISBN 978-0385424028) was published, along with co-authors Joanne Russell and illustrator stepson Adam Ocasek.
On August 23, 1989, Paulina married Ric Ocasek, lead singer for the pop-rock band The Cars. They had first met in 1984 during the filming of The Cars' music video, "Drive", which was directed by Timothy Hutton. Paulina was only 19 and Ocasek was already married at that time. The couple have two children, Jonathan Raven Ocasek, born on November 4, 1993, and Oliver Orion Ocasek, born in May 23, 1998.
Later, Paulina was the subject of the song "Friends of P" by The Rentals on their 1995 album Return of the Rentals, written by lead singer Matt Sharp, also a former member of the Ocasek-produced Weezer and the song "Paulina" on No Doubt's first album.
"It's about Paulina Porizkova, who is Rick Ocasek's wife, who used to come down to Electric Ladyland studios when we were recording the Blue album. And she would read our palms, and she was pregnant and she would just hang out. And we were like, "Wow, a pregnant supermodel is reading our palms." And then she would complain about how only bands like Warrant and all these '80s heavy metal bands are the only people who would write songs about her. And so she was really bummed out that nobody cool was writing songs about her now, so I wrote that song for her while we were at Electric Lady as an attempt to get her out of the '80s hair metal rut she was stuck in."
Paulina became a naturalized U.S. citizen under the name Paulina Porizkova-Ocasek.