Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kathy Ireland biography

Kathleen Marie "Kathy" Ireland (born March 20, 1963) is an American former model, actress, and entrepreneur. She is the CEO and designer of her eponymous brand product marketing company, Kathy Ireland Worldwide.

Life and career

Ireland was born in 1963 in Glendale, California, the daughter of John, a labor union organizer, and Barbara Ireland, who worked in charity.[1] At age 17, Ireland was "discovered" by an agent for the Elite Model Management company, and by the time she graduated from San Marcos High School (Santa Barbara, California) in 1981, she was working steadily as a model.[2]
[edit] Sports Illustrated

Starting in 1984, Ireland was featured in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for 13 consecutive years, with her final appearance in 1996.[3] In addition to her long tenure within the pages, Ireland appeared on the cover of the annual issue three times, a feat tied by Christie Brinkley and Cheryl Tiegs and surpassed only by Elle Macpherson (with five appearances). Ireland was the cover model for the first time on the 25th Anniversary Swimsuit Edition, which became SI's best selling swimsuit issue to date.[4][5] She returned to the cover in 1992 and in 1994. In her third appearance, she was accompanied by Rachel Hunter and Elle Macpherson; notably, both Hunter and Ireland were pregnant at the time.[5]
[edit] Acting

Ireland has appeared in a number of television and movie roles. Her first movie, 1988's Alien from L.A., was later skewered during the fifth season of Mystery Science Theater 3000.[6] Ireland's other appearances include Melrose Place, Boy Meets World, The Larry Sanders Show, Muppets Tonight, Side Out, Mr. Destiny, Necessary Roughness, Mom and Dad Save the World, National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 (alongside William Shatner), Once Upon A Christmas, and its sequel Twice Upon A Christmas (her final film to date). She also appeared in the ninth season of Dancing with the Stars, however, hers was the third couple eliminated in the second week of competition.
[edit] Entrepreneur

In 1993, Ireland put her name on a line of socks. After they proved a best-seller for Kmart, the retailer gave Ireland her own clothing line.[7] She then founded "Kathy Ireland Worldwide," a brand product marketing company in which she holds a majority stake.[8] By 2004, Ireland was marketing products from 16 manufacturers, including those of Standard Furniture.[7][9] Ireland's long-term exclusive contract with K-mart Corporation lasted until 2003, after which the company contracted with thousands of independent mid-tier retail stores for distribution.[10] By 2005, KIWW products were sold at over 50,000 locations in 15 countries, generating an estimated $1.4 billion in retail sales.[9] Ireland's annual take is thought to be around $10 million, which has prompted Forbes to name her the "prototype for model-turned-mogul," in an article about the trend of modelpreneurs.[11]

Since 1994, Ireland has published several fitness videos.
[edit] Books

Ireland has written six books, including three for children.

Her debut effort (with Laura Morton), Powerful Inspirations: Eight Lessons that Will Change Your Life, was first published by Doubleday in June 2002. It is laced with discussions of her faith in God and the reasons for her strong pro-life stance.[12]

Her children's books, Mona's Favorite Words, What Do Mommies Do? and An Angel Called Hope, were released by Publications International Ltd. in November 2005 as part of their Story Reader series

Ireland's Real Solutions for Busy Moms: Your Guide to Success and Sanity was published by Howard Books in April 2009. It was released in both English and Spanish. According to the jacket, in her book Ireland shares "stories from her own life and wisdom she has gained through her years from teenager with a paper route to successful supermodel to mom to entrepreneur."

Her sixth book, Real Solutions: 52 God Inspired Messages from My Heart was also published by Howard Books and released on November 24, 2009. This book says it "shares inspirational messages from one busy mom to another."
[edit] Personal life

Kathy Ireland became an evangelical Christian at the age of 18, when she read the Bible out of curiosity.[15] She has said that she switched her previously pro-choice stance on abortion to pro-life after researching her husband Dr. Greg Olsen's medical books.

Ireland gave a speech at the fourth Youth Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters on August 13, 2007. The purpose was to encourage activities among young people towards ending poverty. Ireland spoke on a subject of social entrepreneurship and partnerships.

In May 2009, Ireland and her family were evacuated from two homes endangered by the Jesusita Fire near Santa Barbara, California: one belonging to Ireland's parents, and the other being the home where Ireland, her husband and their three children reside.

Ireland appeared on Larry King Live in 2009 to discuss her weight gain and women's health. She had gained a pound a year for 25 years and the cumulative effect had become obvious to her in a candid photograph her son had taken. Ireland said in the interview, "Weight is a symptom of something that needs to change in your life."[18]

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