Sophie Dahl began her successful career as a full figure model in 1996, after being discovered by a then Vogue stylist, Isabella Blow. She quickly worked with noted photographers and appeared in major campaigns and publications, but she is probably best remembered for her naked advertisement for Yves Saint Laurent Opium perfume in 2000, which was banned by the British Advertising Standards Agency. Since then, she has made a triumphant transformation to a career as writer. The granddaughter of author Roald Dahl has released three books: “The Man With the Dancing Eyes” (2003), “Playing with the Grown-Ups” (2008) and a cook book, “Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights” (2009). She also has contributed to “The Saturday Times Magazine,” “The Daily Telegraph” and “American edition of Vogue,” among other publications. Dahl has also collected several credits as an actress, including “Best” (2000), “The King of Bollywood” (2004) and “Little Fugitive” (2006).
Dahl has one daughter with husband Jamie Cullum, whom she married in January 2010. She is a supporter of the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, and is active in the charities The Place2be, First Story, GOSH, NSPCC, RSPCA & Break Through Breast Cancer.
Dahl was once ranked No.10 in the Channel 5 “World's greatest supermodel” list. Between 2000 and 2001, she dated actor/director Griffin Dunne.
Childhood and Family:
Sophie Dahl was born Sophia Holloway on September 15, 1977 in London, England. She is the daughter of actor Julian Holloway and author Tessa Dahl. Her paternal grandparents were actor Stanley Holloway and former chorus girl Violet Lane, while her maternal grandparents were children's author Roald Dahl and Academy Award winning actress Patricia Neal. Sophie has an older half sister named Luke Kelly. She attended Bedales School.
In 2009, Sophie was engaged to jazz pianist virtuoso and singer Jamie Cullum (born August 20, 1979). They married on January 9, 2010 in a private ceremony at Westminster Abbey in England. The couple's their first child, daughter Lyra, was born on March 2, 2011 at Portland Hospital in London.
The Delicious Miss Dahl
Sophie Dahl was first spotted by Isabella Blow, a Vogue stylist/fashion expert, in 1996. Astonished by her beauty, Blow then referred Dahl to Sarah Doukas of Storm, one of the hottest model agencies in London, and within a within weeks, Dahl was signed to the agency. Dahl, with her weight at that time, would soon become famous as a plus size model. She recalled, “I don't think I could be a wallflower with a body like this.”
Dahl appeared in major campaigns for The Gap, Versace, Alexander McQueen, Patrick Cox, Pringle, Godiva, and Banana Republic, amongst others. She also appeared in many popular publications, such as “Elle,” “Marie Claire,” “Harper's Bazaar” and the British, Italian and American versions of “Vogue.” She became favorite among noted photographers like Peter Lindbergh, Richard Avedon, David Bailey and Steven Meisel, to name a few.
In 2000, Dahl gained a degree of notoriety when she posed nude for Yves Saint Laurent's Opium perfume advert campaign. This ad was banned by the British Advertising Standards Agency.
Dahl branched out to acting in 1999 when she appeared as prisoner on the British comedy film “Mad Cows,” starring Anna Friel, Joanna Lumley and Anna Massey. The following year, she landed the supporting role of Eva Haraldsted in the biographical film “Best,” starring John Lynch as Manchester United football legend George Best. Dahl resurfaced in 2002 with roles in the crime/drama film “People I Know,” starring Al Pacino, Téa Leoni and Ryan O'Neal, and Alex Cox's drama, “Revengers Tragedy,” starring Christopher Eccleston, Kevin Knapman and Michael Ryan. In 2003, she starred in a 18 minute short called “New York Stories,” which was directed by Steven Sebring.
It was also in 2003 that Dahl released her first book, “The Man with the Dancing Eyes,” an illustrated novella and Times bestseller. Following this, she started writing regularly for publications such as American “Vogue,” “The Guardian,” “The Telegraph,” “The Observer” and the “Saturday Times.”
2004 saw Dahl co-star with William Ash and Nicholas Audsley in the short film “Standing Room Only,” by Deborra-Lee Furness, and play Crystal Chaurasia in the Indian film “The King of Bollywood,”opposite Om Puri and Kavita Kapoor. She played Veronica in “Stories of Lost Souls” (2005) and was cast as Mermaid in the 2006 drama film “Little Fugitive,” starring Nicolas Martí Salgado, David Castro and Justina Machado.
Dahl served as a contributing editor and regular columnist at “Men's Vogue” from 2005 to its closure in 2008. She now becomes a regular columnist for “British Vogue,” from which she won a a Jasmine Award for her column, and “Waitrose Kitchen.”
Dahl's second book, “Playing with the Grown-Ups,: A Novel” was published in 2008. It was followed by a cook book titled “ Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights,” which was released in 2009. She provides introductions to the Puffin Classic new edition of “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Virago Press re-release of Stella Gibbons' 1938 novel “Nightingale Wood,” which was released in April 2009.
Dahl's six part cookery series called “The Delicious Miss Dahl,” which she wrote and presented, was broadcast on BBC 2 between March and April 2010.