"I wish the word supermodel would just fall off the face of the Earth. Anyone can be a supermodel now." Amber Valletta
American supermodel and actress Amber Valletta was once better known for being Leonardo DiCaprio's girlfriend. Since the 1990s, she has decorated fashion magazine covers, prestigious advertising campaigns and establish herself as an actress. Her photogenic face was also familiar around the world when she became a spokesperson for Elizabeth Arden.
Off screen, 5' 9" tall Valletta is a humanitarian. She has taken advantage of her position as a celebrity to support various charity events. In her hometown, Valletta organized 1995's Supermodels Stepping Out Against Hunger, a fashion show to benefit the Tulsa Community Food Bank. As for her private life, Valletta was previously linked to superstar Leonardo DiCaprio. Her relationship with him helped catapult her name before she was recognized as a supermodel.
She was once married to Hervé Le Bihan, but they divorced in 1996.
Valletta is now the wife of renowned Olympic volleyball player Christian McCaw. The couple has one son, Christian McCaw II (born October 2000).
Childhood and Family:
Amber Valetta was born on February 9, 1974, in Tucson, Arizona, but grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She attended Catholic school as a child and continued her education at Booker T. Washington High School. She also studied at Modeling School.
As a young girl, Amber had dreams of being a sociologist or working in the social field. In her teenage years however, she got her start as a model when her mother signed her up for modeling school. She would also add acting to her endeavors.
While on a Calvin Klein photo shoot, Amber, who is a vegetarian, met and fell in love with Hervé Le Bihan, whom she subsequently wed in 1994. The couple divorced after a two-year marriage. In October 2000, she gave birth to son Christian McCaw II from her relationship with famous Olympic volleyball player Christian McCaw. They eventually married in September 2003.
"My first year in Hollywood was a virtual 'comedy of errors.' I was told I was too tall, and too beautiful. I found myself being cast to play dead bodies and scantily clad bimbos. My savings dwindling, I still refuse to capitalize on my Supermodel Status and downplayed it to anyone who recognized me." Amber Valetta
Fifteen-year-old Amber Valletta entered the fashion world when her mother enrolled her in a modeling school. Shortly thereafter, her beauty caught the eye of a local agent who subsequently sent her to the fashion city Milan. Amber did her first modeling gigs for Italian Vogue. Valletta's big break arrived when she was photographed by Hans Feurer for the French Elle magazine.
Valletta was in demand and became a modeling sensation. She was on the top lists of such big names as Irvin Penn, Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber, Patrick Demarchelier, Mario Sorrenti, Herb Ritts, Richard Avedon, Nick Knight, Paolo Roversi and Peter Lindbergh. In addition to gracing the covers of numerous magazines, Valletta also modeled in a number of well-known advertising campaigns like Calvin Klein's Escape, Giorgio Armani, Alberta Ferretti, Jil Sander, Gucci, DKNY, Valentino, Prada, Channel and Versace. In 1996, Valletta became the spokesmodel for Elizabeth Arden for their exclusive worldwide campaign. From 1995-1996, she also cohosted MTV's House of Style with best friend and fellow model Shalom Harlow.
Amber Valletta tried her hand in acting in 2000 when she landed a costarring role in the independent movie Drop Back Ten (2000, played Mindy Deal). She went on to take on more roles, including portraying ghost Madison Elizabeth Frank in What Lies Beneath (2000, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford) and joined Nicolas Cage, Tea Leoni and Don Cheandle in director Brett Ratner's The Family Man (2000).
In 2001, Valletta kept busy with her work as an actress. She had a small role in Michael Rymer's drama Perfume (2001), made a television movie debut performance in the drama Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story (2001, written by Christopher Ames and Carolyn Shelby) and appeared as Ms. Dingman in the Max Keeble's Big Move (2001), director Tim Hill.
After a year away from the spotlight, Valletta returned with a guest spot in an episode of "Lucky" (2003). She also found herself acting with Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore in the comedy Duplex (2003).
Amber then teamed up with director Garry Marshall in Raising Helen (2004) and appeared as a guest star in "Rock Me Baby" (2004).
Recently, Valletta portrayed Allegra Cole, opposite Will Smith, Eva Mendez and Kevin James, in the romantic comedy Hitch (2005) and was cast as Victoria Billings in the action thriller The Transporter (2005). Fans will also catch her in the upcoming comedy Man About Town (2005, helmed by Mike Binder) and she will soon star with Christian Cox, Ryan Kwanten, Donnie Wahlberg and Leigh Whannell in the horror thriller Silence (2005, plays Ella).