TYRA BANKS Biography - Craftmen, artisans and people from other Occupations


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Name: Tyra Banks                                                                       
Born: 4 December 1973 Inglewood, California, United States                             
Tyra Lynne Banks (born December 4, 1973) is a former American supermodel ,             
television personality, talk show host, actress, and singer. She first                 
emerged to prominence on the catwalks of Paris, Milan, London, Tokyo, and New         
York, but her work in the commercial world was her breakthrough. She is best           
known as hostess/judge of the reality television show America's Next Top Model         
since its 2003 debut, and is currently hosting her own Daytime Emmy Award-nominated   
talk show, The Tyra Banks Show. Banks is one of only four African Americans and       
seven women to have repeatedly ranked among the world's most influential people       
by Time magazine.                                                                     
Banks was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Carolyn, an African         
American, a business manager and medical photographer, and Donald                     
Banks, a computer consultant. The couple divorced in 1980, when Tyra was six,         
although the relationship of her parents and especially her brother Devin Banks       
(born 1968) stayed friendly. Later, Carolyn married Clifford Johnson; she now         
goes by Carolyn London-Johnson.                                                       
Banks attended Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, California, a             
Catholic girls' school, where she insists that her classmates made fun of her         
because of her height and weight. Prior to graduating in 1991, she wanted to           
pursue modeling. She was accepted to Loyola Marymount University. However,             
instead of attending the university, she moved to Paris to pursue her modeling         
career. She started modeling when she was 15 years old.                               
In 1993, Banks met Boyz N the Hood director John Singleton through mutual             
friends. They began dating and in 1995 Banks had her screen debut in the               
Singleton directed film, Higher Learning. She was criticized for her acting, but       
Singleton assured she got the part based on her talent and not favoritism. In         
the spring of 1996 she and Singleton broke it off; shortly thereafter Banks was       
linked briefly to pop singer Seal, who would incidentally later go on to marry         
fellow supermodel Heidi Klum.                                                         
In 2002, Tyra was spotted consistently at Sacramento Kings basketball games, and       
was later confirmed to be dating their forward Chris Webber. Though their             
representatives denied it, the two were thought to be engaged. However, after a       
two-year romance, they broke up in 2004. Banks still harbors some emotions over       
this relationship, as on the November 8, 2006 episode of The Tyra Banks Show,         
she broke into tears while speaking about it with Jackie Christie, wife of NBA         
star Doug Christie.                                                                   
Banks has yet to publicly discuss any current relationships but she has been           
rumored to be involved with investment banker John Utendahl.