Cara Delevingne has been modeling since the age of 10, landing gigs for Burberry, Chanel, H&M and Victoria’s Secret, and scored her first film role in 2012’s “Anna Karenina.” She landed the much coveted role of Margo in the adaptation of John Green’s “Paper Towns” through an audition. She also plays Enchantress in WB/DC’s “Suicide Squad,” coming to theaters in 2016.
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Kate Upton was a relative unknown until a YouTube video of her doing “the Dougie” at a basketball game went viral three years ago. She’s since graced the coveted cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for two consecutive years in 2012 and 2013. After dipping a toe in acting waters with small roles in “Tower Heist” and “The Three Stooges,” Upton went toe-to-toe with fellow model-tuned actresses Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann in “The Other Woman.”
Kate Upton’s “The Other Woman” co-star might have given her some tips on transitioning to acting. Diaz signed with Elite Model Management at age 16 and covered an issue of Seventeen magazine the very next year. After gigs for Calvin Klein and Levis, she landed her first role in the 1994 action comedy “The Mask.” She made Jim Carrey’s eyes pop out of his sockets and tongue roll out of his mouth. The four-time Golden Globe nominee has proven that she’s more than a romcom queen with roles in movies that range from “Charlie’s Angels” to “Being John Malkovich.”
The Victoria’s Secret model landed her first major magazine cover (British Vogue) in 2008 and officially became a VS Angel the next year. Director Michael Bay tapped her to replace Megan Fox in the third “Transformers” movie, “Dark of the Moon,” after working with her on a Christmas commercial for the lingerie giant. The English rose will next appear opposite Tom Hardy in George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road.”
Djimon Hounsou worked as a model in Paris in the late ‘90s before moving to the U.S. to pursue an acting career. He made his film debut in Sandra Bernhard’s “Without You I’m Nothing” and put himself on the map with Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad” (pictured). Hounsou earned Oscar noms for his performances in “In America” and “Blood Diamond.”
The Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret model’s first big movie role came in one of the biggest superhero franchises of all time, “X-Men.” Romijn played the blue mutant Mystique in the original movie and several sequels before her character was assumed by Jennifer Lawrence. Romijn carried her own movie with 2002’s mystery thriller “Femme Fatale” and also starred in TNT’s “King & Maxwell.”
Milla Jovovich began her modeling career at the tender age of nine and appeared alongside established models Alexa Singer and Sandra Zatezalo in Revlon’s “Most Unforgettable Women in the World” campaign as a young teen. Jovovich went on to grace the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan and appear in print ads for Banana Republic, Donna Karan and Versace. Despite landing acting gigs in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, she didn’t break through until 1997’s sci-fi actioner “The Fifth Element.” She’ll star in her sixth “Resident Evil” (original is pictured) pic in the long-running franchise next year.
Before both were hotshot actors, Josh Duhamel beat out Ashton Kutcher as Male Model of the Year in the International Modeling and Talent Association’s 1997 competition. After starring in the NBC casino drama “Las Vegas” opposite Molly Sims, Duhamel made his bigscreen debut in 2004’s “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!” (pictured) with Kate Bosworth. His biggest role to date has been William Lennox in the first three films of the “Transformers” series.
The rapper-turned-model-turned-actor appeared in now-iconic Calvin Klein underwear ads alongside Kate Moss back when he went by Marky Mark. His bigscreen debut in “Renaissance Man” was followed by the career-changing “Basketball Diaries” opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in 1995 and “Boogie Nights” in 1997 (pictured). He’s earned an Oscar acting nom for his supporting role in “The Departed.”
Olga Kurylenko was discovered by a scout as a 13-year-old and moved from Ukraine to Paris to pursue modeling three years later. Kurylenko started acting in 2005 and her breakout role came as a Bond girl in the James Bond pic “Quantum of Solace” (pictured). She most recently starred in Terrence Malick’s “To the Wonder” opposite Ben Affleck and in “Oblivion” alongside Tom Cruise.
After signing with the Ford Modeling Agency, Kim Basinger appeared in hundreds of ads throughout the early ‘70s, most notably as a Breck Shampoo girl. Despite the fast success, she quit in 1976 after five years as a cover girl and moved to Hollywood to act. As Bond girl Domino Petachi in 1983’s “Never Say Never Again,” she made the role an acting launchpad for former models. She earned an Oscar nom for her performance in the 1997 neo-noir “L.A. Confidential” (pictured).
As a child model, she appeared in TV and magazine ads and covered Seventeen magazine five times. Jennifer Connelly made her silver screen debut in the 1984 crime drama “Once Upon a Time in America” and 1986’s “Labyrinth” (pictured). She’s best known for her Oscar-winning role in Ron Howard’s “A Beautiful Mind.” Connelly reunited with her “Beautiful Mind” costar Russell Crowe in her most recent movie, “Noah.”
Elizabeth Hurley signed a contract with Estee Lauder with no prior modeling experience in 1995. Although she’s no longer the face of the company, she continues to work as a spokesperson for the cosmetics brand. Hurley made her first film appearance in “Aria” and has had notable roles in “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” (pictured) and “Bedazzled.”
The German actress’s modeling career took off when she represented her native country in the Elite Model Look in 1992. She went on to work for the biggest names in fashion, including Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani and Christian Dior. She also walked runway shows for Marc Jacobs and D&G before changing career paths. Her onscreen debut came in 2002 opposite Dennis Hopper in “The Piano Player,” and was cast famously as Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships in 2004’s “Troy” (pictured). She currently stars on FX’s “The Bridge” which has been renewed for a second season.
He may have lost to Josh Duhamel in an International Modeling and Talent Association competition, but Ashton Kutcher was a successful model nonetheless. He appeared in ads for Calvin Klein and walked the runways of Paris and Milan before getting his start as an actor on the smallscreen in “That ’70s Show” (pictured). He made a name for himself as a movie star in 2000’s “Dude, Where’s My Car.” He most recently played Steve Jobs in last year’s biopic “Jobs” and is back on TV in “Two and a Half Men.”
Although she was a child actor, her modeling career preceded her contentious role as a child prostitute in 1978’s “Pretty Baby” (pictured). Shields began modeling for Ivory Soap when she was only 11 months old. In 1980, the 14-year-old became the youngest model ever to cover Vogue magazine. Later that same year, Shields appeared in racy ads for Calvin Klein jeans. Controversy followed her in the film “The Blue Lagoon.”
Cindy Crawford put the word super in supermodel at the peak of her career in the late ’80s and early ’90s. She appeared on hundreds of magazines, including Vogue, W, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle and landed fashion campaigns for Gianni Versace, Escada and Revlon. She also starred in a string of Pepsi commercials. Crawford made her acting debut in a starring role in 1995’s “Fair Game” (pictured) and appeared in 2001’s “The Simian Line.”
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker has also modeled for The Gap and Victoria’s Secret, and has appeared in Cosmopolitan and Glamour. Decker made her film debut in Adam Sandler’s 2011 comedy “Just Go With It” (pictured). She followed up with “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and “Battleship.”
The Sports Illustrated model also appeared in Cover Girl and Old Navy commercials. She wore a now-infamous $30 million diamond bikini in one of her five SI issues. Molly Sims made her movie debut in “Starsky and Hutch,” but is best known for her role as Delinda Deline on five seasons of the TV show “Las Vegas” (pictured with James Caan and Cheryl Ladd).
Jamie Dornan modeled for Calvin Klein, Dior and Armani before making his first film appearance in Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette.” He received acclaim for his role as a serial killer in the BBC series “The Fall,” but shot to worldwide fame when he landed the part of Christian Grey in E.L. James’ “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The sequel, “Fifty Shades Darker” is set for release on Valentine’s Day 2017.
The three-time Golden Globe winner is arguably the most successful model-turned-actress on the list. She won a “Model of the Year” contest at age 18 and blossomed into the “it model” of the 1960s. She continued to cover major magazines like Vogue and Glamour up until the ’70s. Her acting career began with 1971’s “The Last Picture Show” (pictured). She earned a Globe nom for her very first role and went on to star in now-classics “The Heartbreak Kid” and “Taxi Driver.” Her successful movies led to an equally illustrious TV career with shows such as “Moonlighting” and “Cybill.”