The Premium The Premium The Premium

10 Models Who Saw Fame After Gracing The Sports Illustrated Cover

10 Models Who Saw Fame After Gracing The Sports Illustrated Cover


Sports Illustrated is a world famous sporting magazine that was first published in 1951. It features the greatest athletes and celebrities from all over the world. Each year, they release the very successful Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition of the magazine. The SI Swimsuit issue was first published in 1964 and featured model Babette March on the cover. Initially, it was done to fill up the pages during the slow months of the sports year. Eventually, the issue became one of the best sellers and has spawned its own line of videos and calendars. Several models have graced the cover of the Swimsuit edition and it led to even greater success for the model. Here is a look at some of the most famous and beautiful models that graced the cover of Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and went on to have successful careers.

10) Marisa Miller – February 12, 2008

Marisa Miller’s appearance on the cover of SI swimsuit issue in 2008 helped her become one of the most famous supermodels in the world. Since then, she has gone on to work with Victoria’s Secret and appeared on the covers of Maxim, FHM and GQ. She is widely considered as a sex symbol and was number 1 on Maxim Hot 100 list in 2008. She is a spokesperson for both Harley Davidson and the NFL. She appeared on TV shows Entourage and How I met your mother. Recently, she made her film debut in R.I.P.D with Ryan Reynolds.

9) Rebecca Romijn – February 12, 1999 and February 17, 2006

Rebecca Romijn has been modelling since 1991 and had a major breakthrough with her appearance on the cover of the SI swimsuit issue in 1999. She made her film debut as the mutant Mystique in the X-Men film in 2000 and would appear in both X2: X-Men United and X-Men The Last Stand. For the most part, she appeared in the films nude with blue make up and carefully placed prosthetics. She also appeared in Brian De Palma’s Femme Fatale, in 2002 and had a recurring role on ABC’s Ugly Betty. She is considered to be one of the most beautiful women by magazines such as FHM.

8) Cheryl Tiegs – January 12, 1970, January 27, 1975 and February 14, 1983

Cheryl Tiegs started her career as a model at the age of 17, with an appearance in Seventeen magazine. Eventually she would be on the cover of Elle and Vogue, but would have her big breakthrough with her 1970 cover of SI. She was on the cover three times and is widely considered to be the first American Supermodel. She launched her own clothing line and accessories with Sears, The Cheryl Tiegs Collection, that was a huge success in the late 80’s. She’s also appeared on Family Guy, voicing herself and appeared in Celebrity Apprentice. She also made several appearances on The Oprah Winfrey show.

7) Brooklyn Decker – February 12, 2010

Brooklyn Decker started her career as a model for magazines such as Glamour and FHM. She graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue in 2010 with the announcement of her being on the cover made on the Late Show With David Letterman. She appeared on TV shows like Ugly BettyChuck and Royal Pains. She has also branched out into a film career appearing in Just Go For It, Battleship and What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Men’s Health Named Her one of “100 Hottest Women of All Time”.

6) Kathy Ireland – February 7, 1989, March 9, 1992 and February 14, 1994

In 2006, Forbes magazine described Kathy Ireland as a “prototype of model turned mogul”. She started her career at the age of 16 and appeared on the covers of Cosmopolitan and Vogue. She appeared in the SI Swimsuit issue 13 straight times, starting in 1984 and appeared on the cover three times. Her first cover was the 25th anniversary and to date, is the best selling issue ever. In 2014, her cover was voted the “Greatest Swimsuit Cover of all time” for the 50th anniversary. In the early 90’s she founded Kathy Ireland Worldwide and released fitness videos, a line of clothing and fitness equipment. She also wrote six books, including a series of children books such as What Do Mommies Do? She has also appeared in a number of films such as, Necessary Roughness, Mr. Destiny and Loaded Weapon 1.

5) Christie Brinkley – February 5, 1979, February 4, 1980 and February 9, 1981

Christie Brinkley became one of the most famous supermodels in the late 70’s. She is the first model to appear on the cover of SI Swimsuit issue, three straight times, first appearing in 1979. She was also the only model in the first SI swimsuit calendar and was inducted into the SI Swimsuit 40th anniversary Hall of Fame. She appeared in ads for Mastercard and in the, Got Milk? ad campaign. In 1983, she appeared in National Lampoon’s Vacation with Chevy Chase and the sequel, Vegas Vacation. In 2012, she appeared on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. She is widely considered by the media as one of the most attractive people of all time.

4) Heidi Klum – February 20, 1998

The German born Heidi Klum started her career appearing on the cover of magazines such as Marie Claire, Elle and Vogue. She became a household name after her 1998 appearance on the cover of SI swimsuit issue. From there, she worked with Victoria’s Secret and has appeared in commercials for Volkswagen and McDonalds. She appeared on TV in shows like, Sex and the City and How I met Your Mother, as well as films, Zoolander and Ella Enchanted. She is the host, judge and executive producer for Project Runway and won ‘Outstanding Host for a Reality Program’ at the 2013 Primetime Emmy awards, which she shares with Tim Gunn. Forbes magazine ranked her second on their “World’s Top Earning Models”. She is currently a judge on the reality series, America’s Got Talent.

3) Elle Macpherson – February 10, 1986, February 9, 1987, February 15, 1988, February 14, 1994 and February 17, 2006

Elle Macpherson holds the record for most appearances on the Cover of SI Swimsuit edition with five appearances. Originally from Australia, she had plans on being a lawyer and as a way to earn some cash, she traveled to America to do modelling for a year in the early 80’s. Her modelling career took off and she was featured on the covers of GQ, Cosmopolitan and Vogue. Her big break came when she appeared on the cover of SI for the first time in 1986. She would parlay all of  this into a successful business career forming her own company, Elle Macpherson Inc, and she launched a very successful lingerie line, Elle Macpherson Intimates. For her success in business, she was awarded the ‘Everywoman Ambassador Award’ in 2007 and World career award from Women’s World Awards in 2009. She also appeared in films: Sirens, Batman and Robin and she played Joey’s love interest on the hit NBC series, Friends. Recently, she become the host of Britain and Irelands Next Top Model and is the host and executive producer from NBC’s, Fashion Star.

2) Kate Upton – February 14, 2012 and February 15, 2013

Kate Upton started her career modeling for Dooney and Bourke, Garage and was the face for Guess in 2010. In 2011, she appeared in Sports Illustrated for the first time and was named Rookie of the Year. She had her big breakthrough when she appeared on the cover of SI Swimsuit for the first time in 2012 and again the following year. In 2014, for the 50th anniversary, SI used a flip cover for the first time and she appeared on the inside cover. Since then, she has appeared on the cover of GQ, Esquire and Cosmopolitan. Branching into a film career, she has appeared in Tower Heist with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, The Three Stooges and The Other Woman with Cameron Diaz.

1) Tyra Banks – January 29, 1996 and February 21, 1997

Tyra Banks holds the distinction of being the first African American model to be on the cover of the SI swimsuit edition. She started her career appearing on the covers of Elle and Vogue, as well as in ad campaigns for Ralph Lauren and Nike. She appeared on the cover of SI Swimsuit edition in 1996 with Valeria Mazza and again the following year alone. She began to focus on a film career appearing in Higher Learning, Love & Basketball and Coyote Ugly. She also had a recurring role on the Fresh Prince of Bel- Air as one of Will Smith’s love interest. She is the creator, executive producer, host and judge of the reality series America’s Next Top Model. She also had her own talk show, The Tyra Banks Show, which ran from September 12, 2005 to May 28, 2010 and won two Daytime Emmy Awards in 2008 and 2009. She ventured into music with the single “Shake Ya Body” and she wrote the novel Modelland which was a New York Times Best Seller in 2011.

  • Ad Free Browsing
  • Over 10,000 Videos!
  • All in 1 Access
  • Join For Free!
Go Premium!