Kathy Ireland
Birth Date:
Birth Place:
Santa Barbara, California, USA
5' 11
Famous for:
Her role as Brittany Maddocks in Melrose Place (1992)
actress, model
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Sports Illustrated Girl


Supermodel, actress, author, and businesswoman Kathy Ireland, who began modeling at age 17, enjoyed international acclaim as one of the world's sought-after models after becoming the cover girl of the famous 25th Annual Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated in 1989. She was also on the 1992 and 1994 covers. This 5' 11" emerald-eyed beauty with 34B-24-34 measurements has since appeared in the magazine a record-setting 13 times, including the magazine's 25th Anniversary Special. She has also graced the covers of such magazines as Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Mademoiselle, Shape, Seventeen, and Harper's Bazaar.

“Whether I'm a sex symbol or not isn't the kind of thing I think about too much. I just go in, do my job, get the money and go home. Whatever people think about me is up to them.” Kathy Ireland

As an actress, Ireland has appeared in the films “Side Out” (1990), “Mr. Destiny” (1990), “Necessary Roughness” (1991), “Loaded Weapon I” (1993), and "Backfire," (1995), as well as TV's “Melrose Place” (as Brittany Maddocks; 1994), “Suddenly Susan,” and "Touched By An Angel." She also lent her voice to the animated series "Fantastic Four," "Duckman," and "The Incredible Hulk."

Ireland has written the children's books "What Do Mommies Do?" and "An Angel Called Hope,” and a self-help book titled "Powerful Inspirations - 8 Lessons That Will Change Your Life." A perennial calendar favorite and a certified fitness instructor, Ireland released her own workout videos, which became best-sellers. She also served as a consultant on the ESPN-2 series "Body Shaping."

"When I was modeling, I would always look at the client and think, 'That's what I want to do. I wanted to be the client. I wanted to have a brand.'" Kathy Ireland

An astute businesswoman, Ireland is the founder, CEO and chief stylist of Kathy Ireland Worldwide Product Empire. She also owns a clothing line at K-Mart.

With a brand name that has achieved industry-leading success in over one dozen product areas, Ireland is the highest grossing (over $l billion in annual retail sales according to Forbes magazine in 2004) Lifestyle Designer in the world. She was also dubbed “Super-Model-Turned-Super-Mogul” by Forbes Magazine and syndicated columnist Liz Smith.

Ireland lives in Southern California with her husband, Dr. Greg Olsen, whom she married in 1988. They have one son and two daughters.

Katherine Marie

Childhood and Family:

Daughter of John Ireland, a labor union organizer, and Barbara Ireland, Katherine Marie Ireland was born on March 8, 1963, in Santa Barbara, California, where she grew up with her parents, two sisters (Mary and Cynthia), a dog, some cats, chickens, frogs, and ducks.

Kathy, who was a tomboy when she was little, attended San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, California, where Anthony Edwards, Cady Huffman and Eric Stoltz were also students.

In August 1988, Kathy married Dr. Greg Olsen, an emergency room physician. They have one son, Erik (born in May 1994), and two daughters, Chloe (born in March 2003) and Lily (born on October 27, 1998). The family now lives in Southern California.

During her spare time, Kathy enjoys being a full time mom and a Sunday school teacher. She is a friend of Cindy Williams and Brooke Shields.

As a humanitarian, Kathy has been Chair or Honorary Chair of the March of Dimes, the PTA, Feed the Children, and City of Hope campaigns and the Campaign Chair for Dream Foundation, the Barbara Ireland Walk for the Cure, Project Inform, and Athletes and Entertainers for Kids. She is also the Ambassador for Children for the Entertainment Industry Foundation and for the Department of Agriculture’s wild land fire prevention organization, Firewise. She recently established the National Family Reading Night campaign.

Kathy Ireland Worldwide


“Being a model first opened some doors and closed some others. For the most part, it has been a positive transition. I'm being given a chance to prove myself because they know who I am. But coming from a modeling background, you also bring along the mindless bimbo baggage that all models have attached to them and because of that you have to work that much harder. I also have to be a bit more careful about the choices I make. A complete unknown could come along, do a string of B movies and work her way up without calling any attention to herself. I can't do that.” Kathy Ireland

Getting her first job at age 11 delivering newspapers in Santa Barbara, Kathy Ireland later work as a waitress, a hostess, and a department store saleswoman. At 17, she was discovered by an agent for Elite Model Management and began working in New York. By the time she graduated high school, she was working steadily as a model.

“Because modeling is lucrative, I'm able to save up and be more particular about the acting roles I take.” Kathy Ireland

In 1989, Ireland made her film acting debut in "Journey to the Center of the Earth," a science fiction film that was a sequel to the movie “Alien from L.A.,” both of which are very loosely based on the 1864 novel by Jules Verne. That same year, she also appeared as a cover model in the famous Sports Illustrated 25th Annual Swimsuit Issue.

“Many of the parts I'm offered, even at this point in my career, are stupid bimbo roles that require nudity. I've been dealing with the nudity thing throughout my modeling career. They take one look at me and they expect me to take my clothes off. Some people don't have a problem with nudity. I do, so I've turned down quite a few scripts.” Kathy Ireland

In the early 1990s, Ireland was featured in the comedy starring Scott Bakula and Sinbad, "Necessary Roughness" (1991), and on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Annual Swimsuit Edition (1992). She also appeared on Budweiser’s TV Ad for St. Patrick's Day (1992) and in "National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1" (1993), a comedy directed by Gene Quintano and starring Emilio Estevez, Samuel L. Jackson, and William Shatner. Additionally, she started her own annual calendar in fall 1993 (1994 calendar).

1994 saw Ireland play a mysterious woman in a recurring role on the Fox's primetime serial "Melrose Place" and appear for a third time as Sports Illustrated’s cover girl for the Annual Swimsuit Edition. She has since appeared in the magazine a record-setting thirteen times, including the magazine's 25th Anniversary Special. She has also graced the covers of such magazines as Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Mademoiselle, Shape, Seventeen, and Harper's Bazaar.

Meanwhile, Ireland became a certified fitness instructor in 1994 and has since released her best-selling fitness videos, including “Kathy Ireland's Total Fitness,” “Kathy Ireland's Body Specifics,” and “Great Buns in 12 Minutes.” She is also a contributing editor to Fitness Magazine.

Ireland could next be seen in a TV commercial for Cheerios breakfast cereal (1994), had a featured role in the indie spoof "Backfire!" (1995; with Robert Mitchum, Telly Savalas, Shelley Winters, and Mary McCormack), and appeared in print ads for Bulova watches (1995).

In 1996, Ireland began to headline the print ads for her own line of sportswear, swimwear, and casual wear for K-Mart, the "Kathy Ireland Brand." Her line has expanded into a maternity line, home collections, and even watches, shoes, and handbags. During this time, she also appeared in TV commercials for Baked Lays Potato Crisps (1996) and print ads for K-Mart Maternity Wear (1998).

Hitting the new millennium, Ireland starred in print ads for Butterick Patterns licensed Kathy Ireland Home Sewing patterns. Two years later, she released a book, "Powerful Inspirations - 8 Lessons That Will Change Your Life" (2002). She has also authored several best selling children's books, including “What Do Mommies Do?” and “An Angel Called Hope.” She then released the book “Powerful Inspirations.”

During this time, Ireland also appeared in a TV commercial for Office Depot and Art Van furniture store (both in 2002). She also starred in a TV commercial for Lamps Plus (2004) and Rent-A-Center (2007).

Ireland recently teamed up with Academy Award winning actor Ben Affleck and two-time Emmy Award winning actress Patricia Heaton to join Operation Gratitude Volunteers to assemble the final round of Holiday Care Packages in December 2008 at the National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, CA.

Dubbed “Super-Model-Turned-Super-Mogul” by Forbes Magazine and syndicated columnist Liz Smith, Ireland is the highest grossing (over $l billion in annual retail sales according to Forbes magazine in 2004) Lifestyle Designer in the world, with a brand name that has achieved industry-leading success in over one dozen product areas. She is the only woman in INC. Magazine's list of the “Top Five Celebrity Entrepreneurs,” which included Paul Newman, Magic Johnson and Francis Ford Coppola.

Founder, CEO and Chief Stylist for the Kathy Ireland Worldwide product empire, Ireland also won the endorsement and title of “Best Friend To Working Mothers” from both the Associated Press and the London Times for her Kathy Ireland Worldwide products that help to find solutions for families, especially busy moms.

“Don't just work for the money; that will bring only limited satisfaction.” Kathy Ireland


  • VSDA's Health and Fitness Video of the Year Award, KATHY IRELAND BODY SPECIFICS: 12 Minute Abs, 12 Minute Buns, 12 Minute Thighs.

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