Heidi Klum (born June 1, 1973) is a German-born American model, television host, businesswoman, fashion designer, television producer, and occasional actress. In 2008, she became an American citizen while maintaining her native German citizenship.
Klum became internationally known for her appearances on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In 1997 she became the first German model to become a Victoria's Secret Angel. Following a successful modeling career, Klum garnered acclaim as the host and judge of the reality show Project Runway which earned her an Emmy nomination in 2008. She has worked as a spokesmodel for Dannon and H & M, and has appeared in numerous commercials for McDonald's, Volkswagen and others. In 2009, Klum became Barbie's official ambassador on Barbie's 50th anniversary. As an occasional actress, she had supporting roles in movies including Blow Dry (2001), Ella Enchanted (2004), and made cameo appearances on The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and Perfect Stranger (2007). She has also appeared on TV shows including Sex and the City and How I Met Your Mother. Currently, Klum is a judge on the NBC reality show America's Got Talent.
In May 2011, Forbes magazine estimated Klum's total earnings for that year as $20 million. She is ranked second on Forbes' list of the "World's Top-Earning Models", behind Gisele Bündchen. Forbes noted that since ending her 13-year run as a Victoria's Secret Angel, Klum has become more of a businesswoman than a model. She was married to English singer Seal from 2005 until 2012.
Klum was born and raised in Bergisch Gladbach, a town outside Cologne. She is the daughter of Erna, a hairdresser, and Günther Klum, a cosmetics-company executive. A friend convinced her to enroll in a national modeling contest called "Model 92". Out of 25,000 contestants, Klum was voted the winner on April 29, 1992 and offered a modeling contract worth US$300,000 by Thomas Zeumer, CEO of Metropolitan Models New York. After winning, she appeared on the Gottschalk Late Night Show, a top German television show with host Thomas Gottschalk. She accepted the contract a few months later after graduating from school and decided not to try for an apprentice position at a fashion design school.