New Zealand-born supermodel, actress and host of Imagination Television’s Rachel’s Tour of Beauty.
Rachel Hunter was born in Glenfield, a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand. She wanted to be a ballet dancer from a young age but was diagnosed with a rare blood disease as a teenager, curtailing her dancing ambitions.
Rachel began her career at age 17, modeling in Australia and New Zealand, appearing in Australian Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and in various campaigns throughout New Zealand and Australia. She was quickly snapped up by Ford Models and immediately embarked on a successful career, landing the Cover Girl cosmetics contract and becoming the spokesperson for the company.
She rose to global prominence after posing as a Sports Illustrated model in 1989, subsequently appearing on magazine covers, including Cosmopolitan and the 1994 “Dream Team” cover of Sports Illustrated‘s annual swimsuit issue. Hunter also graced the cover of Vogue Italia, Australian Vogue, American and international editions of Elle and Dutch Harper’s Bazaar.
At the age of 21, Hunter met rock star Rod Stewart, 24 years her senior, and they were married on 15 December 1990. Together they have two children, Renee and Liam, but separated in January 1999.
Rachel first appeared on television in the 1980s in an advertisement for Tip Top’s “Trumpet” ice-cream, going on to star in several independent films, including 1999’s A Walk in the Park and 2000’s Two Shades of Blue, an erotic thriller with Marlee Matlin. She stars as a lesbian cook doling out relationship advice in the award-winning indie film La Cucina and had a brief appearance as a sexy soccer mom in Dennis Dugan’s The Benchwarmers (in 2006. She also played a sultry, bikini-clad mother in the music video for Fountains of Wayne’s 2003 song “Stacy’s Mom.”
She appeared as herself in the 2004 Christmas Special of The Vicar of Dibley, and she starred in Confessions of a Go-Go Girl (2008), The Perfect Assistant (2008), the science fiction TV movies Piranhaconda (2011) and Swamp Volcano (2012).
Rachel Hunter appeared on a 2005 celebrity episode of Lingo, where she and her partner Trista Rehn split $US30,000 for charity. She is an ambassador to The Born Free Foundation and established the Rachel Hunter Lowland Gorilla Fund.
She appeared as a judge on New Zealand’s Got Talent from 2012 to 2013. In 2015, Hunter fronted her own television series titled “Rachel Hunter’s Tour of Beauty” for TV One where she traveled the world to discover what beauty meant in countries around the world.