Tyra Lynne Banks (born December 4, 1973) is an African American model, media personality, actress, occasional singer, and businesswoman. She first became famous as a model in Paris, Milan, London, Tokyo, and New York, but television appearances were her commercial breakthrough. Banks is the creator and host of the UPN/The CW reality television show America's Next Top Model, co-creator of True Beauty, and host of her own talk show, The Tyra Banks Show.
Tyra Banks Gone Wild
Pt1 Porn Star Sasha Grey on Tyra. Anti-Porn.org comment
Objectum-Sexuality: Tyra Banks After Dark Pt I
Tyra Banks was born in Inglewood, California, the daughter of Carolyn (née London), a medical photographer, and Donald Banks, a computer consultant. The couple divorced in 1980, when Banks was 6 years old. However, the relationship between her parents, and between her and her brother Devin Banks (born 1968), stayed friendly. Later, Carolyn married Clifford Johnson; she now goes by Carolyn London-Johnson. Banks attended John Burroughs Middle School and graduated in 1991 from Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. She was accepted by USC and UCLA but declined to attend, instead pursuing a career in modeling.
Banks began modeling in the 11th grade. She later went to Paris, France to do some runway modeling. Within Banks' first week in Paris, she was booked for twenty-five shows. She has done extensive print and/or runway work for fashion/advertising giants, such as Anna Sui, CoverGirl, Bill Blass, Chanel, Victoria's Secret, and Yves Saint Laurent. She has appeared on the covers of high-fashion magazines such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, and Elle.
Banks was the first African American woman on the covers of GQ and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In 1997, she received the VH1 award for Supermodel of the Year. That same year, she became the first-ever African American chosen for the cover of the Victoria's Secret catalog.
In 1998, Banks authored a book entitled Tyra's Beauty, Inside and Out. The book was advertised as a resource for helping women to make the most out of their natural beauty.
Banks retired from modeling in May 2005 to concentrate on her television career. She walked the runway for the final time at the 2005 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
In 2010, Banks re-signed with her former modeling agency IMG Models.
Move into television and film
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. She made seven appearances in the series. Other TV credits include Felicity, MADtv, Nick Cannon's Wild 'n Out (in which she was featured as a special guest host and team captain) and The Price Is Right (guest-starring as a "Barker's Beauty"). She also appeared as a guest in the animated talk show Space Ghost Coast to Coast in an episode entitled "Chinatown."
Tyra Banks started her own production company Bankable Productions, which produced The Tyra Banks Show, America's Next Top Model, and the 2008 movie The Clique.
Currently[when?], Banks can be seen on television as the hostess, judge and executive producer of The CW Television Network show 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.
In 2008, Banks won the Daytime Emmy Award for her work and production on The Tyra Banks Show. In late-January 2008, Banks got the go-ahead from The CW Television Network to start work on a new reality television series based on fashion magazines called Stylista. The show premiered on October 22, 2008.
In 2009, she was honored by Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) with the Excellence in Media Award.
Banks's first big screen role came in 1994, when she co-starred in the drama Higher Learning. She went on to co-star 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). 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).
Banks appeared in the fourth episode of the third season of Gossip Girl playing Ursula Nyquist, a larger-than-life actress who works with Serena.
Banks has appeared in several music videos, including Michael Jackson's "Black or White", Tina Turner's "Love Thing", Mobb Deep's "Trife Life", George Michael's "Too Funky" (with fellow supermodel Linda Evangelista) 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 on America's Next Top Model, Cycle 2. The video was world-premiered on UPN, but the single turned out to be a failure. On America's Next Top Model, Cycle 2 Banks said, "Singing has been a passion of mine for a long, long time...six years on the down low - been ducking in and out of studios cutting tracks." Later, on her talk show, she said, "I can't believe I wasted six years of doing something that I didn't finish...I was almost able to release my album T.Y.R.A., but since my music career hit rock bottom, I quit."
Banks released a single with NBA player Kobe Bryant, entitled "K.O.B.E.," which was performed on NBA TV. She also has a single on the soundtrack to Disney Channel's Original Movie Life-Size called "Be A Star."
Banks wrote a 3-book series titled Modelland.
Year Film Role Notes
1995 Higher Learning Deja
1999 Love Stinks Holly Garnett
2000 Love & Basketball Kyra Kessler
Life-Size Eve Doll TV movie
Coyote Ugly Zoë
2002 Halloween: Resurrection Nora Winston
Eight Crazy Nights Victoria's Secret Gown Voice
2007 Mr. Woodcock Herself Cameo
2008 Tropic Thunder Herself Cameo
2009 Hannah Montana: The Movie Herself in Women's Shoe Department Cameo
Year Title Role Notes
1993 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Jackie Ames TV series (credited as "Tyra")
Where There's a Will, There's a Way: Part 1
All Guts, No Glory
Father of the Year
Blood Is Thicker Than Mud
Fresh Prince After Dark
Take My Cousin... Please
You've Got to Be a Football Hero
1999 Felicity Jane Scott TV series
A Good Egg
Kissing Mr. Covington
One Ball, Two Strikes
Just Shoot Me! Herself TV series
Nina Sees Red: Part 1
Nina Sees Red: Part 2
2000 MADtv Katisha Latisha Parisha Farisha Johnson TV series
2003–present America's Next Top Model Host Reality TV series created, judged and hosted by Banks
2004 American Dreams Carolyn Gill TV series
Chasing the Past
All of Us Roni TV series
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
2005–2010 The Tyra Banks Show Host Talk show
2009 Gossip Girl Ursula Nyquist TV series,season 3
Dan de Fleurette
In 2011, Banks enrolled in the Owner/President Management Program (OPM) at the Harvard Business School.
In 1999, Tyra Banks established the TZONE program, which aimed at leadership and life skills development. The program was created for the primarily disadvantaged teen girls in the greater Los Angeles area, and involves sending teens to a week-long overnight camp outside of LA, where Tyra personally lived among and bonded with the campers.
In 2005, TZONE transformed from a camp into a public charity, the Tyra Banks TZONE Foundation, with a mission which honors TZONE's camp origins, and seeks to create a larger “sisterhood” among girls and young women. It makes grants to grassroot organizations, and supports organizations that serve women and girls ages 13–35.
References from Wikipedia.com