Eva the Diva
Winner of the third cycle of “America's Next Top Model,” Eva Pigford, dubbed “Eva the Diva,” has landed a string of lucrative modeling deals, including one for CoverGirl cosmetics and Nelly's "Apple Bottoms" clothing line. The 5' 7" hazel/green-eyed, brown-haired African-American beauty, who sports 32-23-32 measurements, also branched out into acting and has appeared in the films Premium (2006; with Dorian Missick and Zoe Saldana), Crossover (2006; starring Anthony Mackie) and I Think I Love My Wife (2007; opposite Chris Rock). Additionally, she hosted BET's reality/game show "My Model Looks Better Than Your Model" (2006). She is reportedly engaged to “NYPD Blue” star Henry Simmons (born July 1, 1970).
Childhood and Family:
Eva Pigford was born on October 30, 1985, in Los Angeles, California. She attended Washington Preparatory High School in South Los Angeles, California (class of 2002), and then relocated to the East Coast to study at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 2006, when she dropped her managers Benny Medina and Tyra Banks, Eva officially dropped “Pigford” from her name and has since been using “Marcille,” a modification of her middle name.
My Model Looks Better Than Your Model
Initially working at Dillinger's department store in Atlanta selling men's suits, Eva Pigford joined the casting call for the third cycle of “America's Next Top Model,” a competitive model search hosted by former Victoria's Secret model Tyra Banks. Although she was considered the shortest of all the contestants, the 5'7" tall wannabe model managed to stay on the show until the final moment, in which she beat out finalist rival Camara "Yaya" Da Costa Johnson.
As the new “America's Next Top Model,” Eva received a modeling deal with Ford Models, a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl cosmetics and a fashion spread in Elle magazine. Since her victory, Eva has graced the cover of Brides Noir, Women's Health and Fitness (May 2005), King magazine (June 2005), IONA (November 2005) and Essence magazine. She also added to her modeling resume by working for DKNY, Samsung, Red by Marc Ecko, Jewel magazine, In Touch Weekly magazine (June 2005), UNleashed magazine, Star Magazine, ELLEgirl, Nelly's Apple Bottoms line of clothing, and Lerner Catalog.
Additionally, Eva has strutted down the runways for such shows as the Marc Bouwer Fall 2005, ELLEgirl presents Dare To Be You: Wal-Mart Meets America's Next Top Models 2005, Gharani Strok Fall 2005, Deborah Lindquist Spring 2006, Naqada Spring 2006, and 8th Annual “Models of Perfection” Show 2006. TV viewers could catch her guest starring in a couple of episodes of UPN’s law drama series starring Taye Diggs, “Kevin Hill,” and in an episode of MTV’s comedy show "Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out" (both in 2005).
Also in 2005, Eva, who has hosted BET's Rip the Runway, landed her first movie role in the straight-to-video released family drama The Walk. She followed it up with Crossover, a basketball film by writer-director Preston A. Whitmore II that stars Anthony Mackie, Wesley Jonathan, Wayne Brady, and Philip Champion. That same year, she could be seen in the music video of Jamie Foxx’s single “DJ Play A Love Song” (featuring Twista) and hosted BET’s new reality/game show "My Model Looks Better Than Your Model." Additionally, she appeared in the pilot episode of Fox’s midseason replacement series “The Wedding Album,” playing Gretchen, the roommate of Tara Summers' Milla.
As for her modeling work, Eva dropped her managers Benny Medina and Tyra Banks in November 2006 and posed with long time friend Frenchie Davis for a promotional flyer for Atlanta's Black Gay Pride festivities held that same year.
February 2007 saw the limited release of Eva’s film, Premium, a romantic comedy by writer-director Pete Chatmon. In the film that stars Dorian Missick and Zoe Saldana, Eva plays the fetching, fair-haired Farrah, Missick’s love interest. More recently, on March 16, 2007, Eva’s latest big screen project, I Think I Love My Wife, hit theaters. The romantic comedy directed by and starring Chris Rock, is a remake of the 1972 French film Love in the Afternoon, by Éric Rohmer.