Biography

"A smart model is a good model," Tyra Banks was once quoted as saying, and she seems destined to prove it in every way. Now widely known as one of the world's foremost supermodels, Banks began her modeling career at the age of 17 with the Elite agency after flirting with attending college at Loyola Marymount. The 5'11" beauty was quickly discovered in Los Angeles, her birth city, and offered a healthy contract with cosmetics company Cover Girl -- becoming only the third African-American woman in the world to secure such an opportunity.

Her striking looks and business savvy extended to several offers, including assignments with Ralph Lauren and various magazine covers (over 20 to be exact), including Sports Illustrated and most notably GQ, where Banks became the first black woman ever to grace the cover. In addition to various ads and runway gigs, Banks decided to branch out into feature films, scoring a few  high-profile gigs, starring as Omar Epps' love interest in John Singleton's racially charged drama Higher Learning (1995) and snagging a stint opposite Will Smith on TV's The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. These breakout roles led to more film work, including a British sexploitation film called Inferno and a comic turn in 1999's Love Stinks with actors French Stewart and Bill Bellamy. In 2000, Banks landed a high-profile gig in the critically dismissed but lively Jerry Bruckheimer production Coyote Ugly.

Banks would find a useful avenue for her skills as a producer, host, and co-creator of the competetive reality show America's Next Top Model, an immensely successful franchise that would run from 2003 to 2012. Though her self-absorbed personna would often find her the subject of mockery, Banks would also launch an unsuccessful music career, as well as a talk show, and a handful of other reality shows, like True Beauty, and Stylista. ~ Jason Clark, Rovi

Read More

"A smart model is a good model," Tyra Banks was once quoted as saying, and she seems destined to prove it in every way. Now widely known as one of the world's foremost supermodels, Banks began her modeling career at the age of 17 with the Elite agency after flirting with attending college at Loyola Marymount. The 5'11" beauty was quickly discovered in Los Angeles, her birth city, and offered a healthy contract with cosmetics company Cover Girl -- becoming only the third African-American woman in the world to secure such an opportunity.

Her striking looks and business savvy extended to several offers, including assignments with Ralph Lauren and various magazine covers (over 20 to be exact), including Sports Illustrated and most notably GQ, where Banks became the first black woman ever to grace the cover. In addition to various ads and runway gigs, Banks decided to branch out into feature films, scoring a few  high-profile gigs, starring as Omar Epps' love interest in John Singleton's racially charged drama Higher Learning (1995) and snagging a stint opposite Will Smith on TV's The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. These breakout roles led to more film work, including a British sexploitation film called Inferno and a comic turn in 1999's Love Stinks with actors French Stewart and Bill Bellamy. In 2000, Banks landed a high-profile gig in the critically dismissed but lively Jerry Bruckheimer production Coyote Ugly.

Banks would find a useful avenue for her skills as a producer, host, and co-creator of the competetive reality show America's Next Top Model, an immensely successful franchise that would run from 2003 to 2012. Though her self-absorbed personna would often find her the subject of mockery, Banks would also launch an unsuccessful music career, as well as a talk show, and a handful of other reality shows, like True Beauty, and Stylista. ~ Jason Clark, Rovi

Personal Info

Gender Female

Known Credits 124

Birthday 1973-12-04

Place of Birth Inglewood, California, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Tayra Benks
  • Tyra Lynne Banks

Creator TV ShowsMovies

2012 Asia's Next Top ModelCreator
2011 Top Model po-russkiCreator
2011 Srpski Top ModelCreator
2011 Next Top ModelCreator
2010 Albania's Next Top ModelCreator
2010 Vietnam's Next Top ModelCreator
2010 Slovenski Top ModelCreator
2010 Korea's Next Top ModelCreator
2010 Poland's Next Top ModelCreator
2009 Next Top ModelCreator
2009 Mexico's Next Top ModelCreator
2009 Benelux' Next Top ModelCreator
2009 New Zealand's Next Top ModelCreator
2009 Austria's Next TopmodelCreator
2008 Searching for Finland's Top ModelCreator
2008 Hrvatski Top ModelCreator
2008 China's Next Top ModelCreator
2007 Italia's Next Top ModelCreator
2007 Brazil's Next Top ModelCreator
2007 TopmodelCreator
2007 Nigeria's Next Top ModelCreator
2007 Philippines' Next Top ModelCreator
2007 Slovakia's Next Top ModelCreator
2006 Holland's Next Top ModelCreator
2006 Top Model GhanaCreator
2006 Spain's Next Top ModelCreator
2005 Thailand's Next Top ModelCreator
2005 Britain & Ireland's Next Top ModelCreator
2005 The Tyra Banks ShowCreator
2005 France's Next Top ModelCreator
2005 Denmark's Next Top ModelCreator
2005 Australia's Next Top ModelCreator
2003 America's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 Eesti tippmodellCreator
1900 TOP Girl, Cycle 1Creator
1900 Afghanistan's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 Mexico's Next Top Model, Cycle 4Creator
1900 Benelux' Next Top ModelCreator
1900 Hrvatski Top ModelCreator
1900 Benelux' Next Top ModelCreator
1900 Caribbean Model SearchCreator
1900 West Africa's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 Aruba Model SearchCreator
1900 Honduras Next Top ModelCreator
1900 Africa's Next SupermodelCreator
1900 Kazakhstan's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 Supermodelo 2008Creator
1900 Supermodelo 2007Creator
1900 Scandinavia's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 Top model: PhilippinesCreator
1900 Scandinavia's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 West Africa's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 Mega ModelCreator
1900 ModelvilleCreator
1900 TopmodelCreator
1900 Israel's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 Canada's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 France's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 China's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 Holland's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 SupermodeloCreator
1900 Holland's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 Sweden's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 Hungary's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 Super Model CentroaméricaCreator
1900 Supermodelo 2006Creator
1900 Norway's Next Top ModelCreator
1900 SupermodelCreator
1900 Russia's Next Top ModelCreator

Acting

2010 The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2010 as Herself
2010 Shake It Up(2 episodes)
2009 Glee(1 episode) as Bichette
2008 Tropic Thunder as Herself - The Tyra Banks Show
2007 Gossip Girl(1 episode) as Ursula Nyquist
2006 Web Junk 20(1 episode)
2005 Deal or No Deal(1 episode)
2005 The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2005 as Tyra Banks
2005 The Tyra Banks Show(505 episodes)
2005 Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List(1 episode)
2005 Wild 'n Out(1 episode)
2004 The Tony Danza Show(1 episode)
2004 On Air with Ryan Seacrest(2 episodes)
2003 The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2003 as Tyra Banks
2003 All of Us(1 episode)
2003 The Ellen DeGeneres Show(4 episodes)
2003 E!'s 101(1 episode)
2003 America's Next Top Model(294 episodes) as Herself - Host / Judge
2003 Punk'd(1 episode) as Herself
2003 Jimmy Kimmel Live!(1 episode)
2002 Cleavage as Herself
2002 Eight Crazy Nights as Victoria's Secret Gown (voice)
2002 The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2002 as Tyra Banks
2002 American Dreams(1 episode)
2002 Halloween: Resurrection as Nora
2002 E! Live From the Red Carpet(1 episode) as Herself
2001 The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2001 as Herself - Model
2001 Good Day Live(2 episodes)
2000 Coyote Ugly as Zoe
2000 Soul Food(1 episode)
2000 Love & Basketball as Kyra Kessler
2000 Life-Size as Eve
1999 The Early Show(1 episode)
1999 Love Stinks as Holly Garnett
1998 Felicity(3 episodes)
1998 The Hughleys(1 episode)
1997 The View(6 episodes)
1997 Just Shoot Me!(2 episodes)
1996 The Daily Show with Trevor Noah(1 episode)
1995 The Harald Schmidt Show(2 episodes)
1995 MADtv(2 episodes)
1995 Higher Learning as Deja
1994 New York Undercover(3 episodes)
1994 Space Ghost Coast to Coast(1 episode)
1993 Late Night with Conan O'Brien(5 episodes)
1992 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno(1 episode)
1990 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air(8 episodes) as Jackie Ames
1981 Wanna bet, that..?(1 episode)
1972 The Price Is Right(1,731 episodes) as Barker´s Beauty
1969 Sesame Street(1 episode)
1952 Today(1 episode)

Production

2009 True Beauty(16 episodes)Producer
2009 True Beauty(8 episodes)Producer
2008 The CliqueExecutive Producer
2008 Stylista(9 episodes)Producer
2006 Holland's Next Top Model(45 episodes)Producer
2005 Britain & Ireland's Next Top Model(111 episodes)Producer
2005 The Tyra Banks Show(505 episodes)Executive Producer
2003 America's Next Top Model(0 episodes)Executive Producer
1900 True Beauty (season 2)(0 episodes)Producer
1900 Operation Fabulous(0 episodes)Producer
1900 Modelville(0 episodes)Producer
1900 Holland's Next Top Model(0 episodes)Producer
1900 Holland's Next Top Model(0 episodes)Producer

Writing

2012 Asia's Next Top Model(13 episodes)Writer
2003 America's Next Top Model(0 episodes)Writer

By signing up for an account on TMDb, you can post directly to Twitter and Facebook.

You need to be logged in to continue. Click here to login or here to sign up.