Whoever could've imagined when Milla Jovovich made her modeling debut at age 9 that she'd go on to headline an immensely popular action-horror franchise?! The Ukranian model, who grew up in Los Angeles after emigrating from the Soviet Union when she was just 5 years old, has starred as zombie-fighting heroine Alice since "Resident Evil" debuted in 2002. On Jan. 27, 2017, "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" — the sixth and final installment in the series — opens in theaters. To mark the occasion, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at the lives of several of our favorite models who became actresses, starting with Milla, who scored her big break at age 12 when photographer Herb Ritts shot her for the cover of Italy's Lei magazine. She went on to grace the covers of Vogue and Cosmopolitan, plus countless other magazines, and was featured in Revlon's Most Unforgettable Women in the World ad campaign. Now keep reading for more!
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Milla Jovovich was just 13 when she transitioned to acting in TV movie "The Night Train to Kathmandu," but it wasn't until 1991 that she made her first major breakthrough in "Return to the Blue Lagoon." Since then, Milla has become a sci-fi queen thanks to her roles in "The Fifth Element" and the "Resident Evil" franchise. When she was 16, Milla wed "Dazed and Confused" co-star Shawn Andrews, but they annulled the marriage after just two months. She and Luc Besson — her "The Fifth Element" and "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc" director — were married from 1997 to 1999. She wed her third husband, "Resident Evil" director Paul W. S. Anderson, in 2009. They share two daughters: Ever and Dashiel, who was born in April 2015.
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Laetitia Casta was scouted while vacationing in Corsica at age 15 and scored her first big break in 1993 when she became a Guess Girl. During the '90s, the French beauty modeled for practically every major fashion house in the business — from Yves Saint Laurent and Jean-Paul Gaultier to Chanel and Ralph Lauren, served as a Victoria's Secret Angel and appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for three consecutive years. In 1998, she posed nude on the cover of Rolling Stone, which proclaimed her the "hottest woman in the world."
Laetitia Casta transitioned to film in 1999, appearing opposite Gérard Depardieu in "Asterix and Obelix vs. Caesar." She's since starred in several French films and in the 2012 drama "Arbitrage" alongside Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon. The French beauty even portrayed Rihanna's lover in the 2010 music video for her song "Te Amo." In 2001, Laetitia welcomed her first daughter, Sahteene, with photographer Stéphane Sednaoui. She was also engaged to Italian actor Stefano Accorsi, with whom she has a son, Orlando, and a daughter, Athena. (They've since parted ways.) Laetitia became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in late 2016.
Before she was discovered, Estella Warren trained with Canada's national synchronized swimming team, but she gave up her Olympic ambitions at age 16 when she scored her first major gig with Italian Vogue. The Ontario native went on to model for Sports Illustrated, Victoria's Secret, Vanity Fair and more. She even appeared in two commercials for Chanel No. 5.
In 2001, Estella Warren made her acting debut in "Planet of the Apes" opposite Mark Wahlberg and in "Driven" opposite Kip Pardue, with whom she reportedly got cozy off set. In May 2011, Estella — who once romanced Lionsgate exec Michael Burns, INXS's frontman J.D. Fortune and director Peter Berg — was arrested for DUI, hit-and-run, battery of a police officer and resisting a police officer after she hit three parked cars, fled the scene of the accident, kicked an officer while being handcuffed and then attempted to escape again after somehow slipping out of her handcuffs. Yikes! The rumor mill also maintains that Estella hooked up with "Kangaroo Jack" co-star Jerry O'Connell, with Bruce Willis while he was still married to Demi Moore and with director Paul Thomas Anderson while he was dating Maya Rudolph. Double yikes!
Brooke Shields, the daughter of a cosmetics exec and an aspiring actress, started modeling when she was just a baby: The native New Yorker posed for Ivory Snow laundry detergent when she was 11 months old! In 1980, the 14-year-old became the youngest model to appear on the cover of Vogue, and later that year, she helped make Calvin Klein a household name after she famously cooed, "You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing," in an advertisement for the denim brand.
At age 12, Brooke Shields scored her first major acting gig as a child prostitute in "Pretty Baby." By the time she starred in "Blue Lagoon" in 1980, she was practically a household name. Over the course of her illustrious career, the Princeton grad has romanced "Blue Lagoon" co-star Christopher Atkins, Dean Cain, Woody Harrelson, George Michael, Liam Neeson, Michael Bolton and Andre Agassi, to whom she was married from 1997 to 1999. The "Suddenly Susan" star wed television writer Chris Henchy in 2001. They have two daughters: Rowan Francis and Grier Hammond.
Vanessa Williams attended Syracuse University, where she enrolled in beauty pageants to win scholarship money. In 1983, after claiming the Miss Greater Syracuse and Miss New York titles, the native New Yorker became the first black woman to be crowned Miss America. But her reign proved to be controversial: Vanessa was forced to give up her crown after Penthouse acquired naked photos of her posing with another woman. If there was a silver lining to the fiasco, it was Ramon Hervey, the publicist who handled damage control for Vanessa: They tied the knot in 1987 and had three children together: Melanie, Jillian and Devin.
With the help of her first husband, Vanessa Williams pulled off a successful career comeback. In 1985, she made her Off-Broadway debut and started acting in television. A few years later, Vanessa released her debut album, "The Right Stuff," for which she earned three Grammy nominations. In 1996 and 1997, the former beauty queen scored major hits with "Eraser" and "Soul Food." Vanessa married NBA star Rick Fox in 1998. They welcomed daughter Sasha Gabriella in 2000 but split in 2005. She married third husband Jim Skrip in 2015.
Rebecca Romijn briefly studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz, before dropping out after her freshman year to pursue modeling. She scored a contract to model in Paris, appeared on the cover of ELLE magazine, posed for the Victoria's Secret catalog and then landed the cover of the 1999 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Rebecca Romijn scored her first big break as an actress when she was cast as Mystique in 2000's "X-Men." She went on to star on "Pepper Dennis," "Ugly Betty" and "Eastwick" and can currently be seen on TNT's "The Librarians." Rebecca was married to John Stamos from 1998 to 2005. She's been married to second husband Jerry O'Connell since 2007. In December 2008, the coupled welcomed twin daughters Dolly Rebecca Rose and Charlie Tamara Tulip.
Angie Harmon started modeling as a child and even won a Seventeen magazine modeling contest. The native Texan went on to walk the runway for the likes of Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani and Donna Karan and appeared on the covers of ELLE, Cosmopolitan and Esquire.
Angie Harmon made her acting debut in 1995 on "Baywatch Nights." She went on to star on "Law & Order" and "Rizzoli & Isles," which concluded in September 2016 after seven season on the air. In 2001, Andie wed NFL alum Jason Sehorn, with whom she shares three daughters: Finley Faith, Avery Grace and Emery Hope. But it wasn't meant to be. In September 2016, the duo announced plans to end their marriage of 13 years.
Brooklyn Decker got her start modeling for Mauri Simone prom dresses. The Ohio native, who was discovered in a shopping mall, went on to pose for The Gap, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Glamour. When she was 18, the pretty blonde appeared in the 2006 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Four years later, she landed the cover.
Brooklyn Decker popped up on "Chuck," "Royal Pains" and "Ugly Betty" before making her feature-film debut in 2011's "Just Go With It." She went on to appear in "Battleship" and "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and currently stars on Netflix's "Grace and Frankie." In April 2009, she wed tennis pro Andy Roddick. They welcomed son Hank in September 2015.
Jaime King, whose mother is a former beauty queen, started modeling at age 14. The Nebraska native went on to appear in ad campaigns for Abercrombie & Fitch and Revlon, pose for fashion magazines like Vogue, Glamour and Harper's Bazaar, and walk the runway for the likes of Dior and Chanel. But it hasn't always been easy for the pretty blonde: She reportedly became addicted to heroin early in her career. Jaime's addiction came to a head in 1997 when her boyfriend, fashion photographer Davide Sorrenti, died at age 20 from kidney failure brought on by drug use. Jaime went to rehab at age 19 and got clean.
Jaime King started acting in 2001, appearing back-to-back in "Happy Campers," "Blow" and "Pearl Harbor." She went on to star in "Slackers," "Sin City" and "White Chicks" and on The CW's "Hart of Dixie." In November 2007, she wed Kyle Newman, who directed her in "Fanboys." They welcomed sons James Knight in October 2013 and Leo Thames in July 2015.
Elite Model Management signed Kate Upton, who was born in Michigan but grew up in Florida, after she attended a casting call in 2008. She quickly moved to IMG Models and went on to pose for Garage, Dooney & Bourke and Guess. She appeared in the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and was named Rookie of the Year. The following year, she landed the cover. Kate also appeared on the cover in 2013 and on the back cover in 2014.
In 2011, Kate Upton made her acting debut in "Tower Heist." She went on to star in "The Three Stooges" and "The Other Woman." The beautiful blonde is also set to appear in three upcoming films: "Wild May," "The Layover" and "The Masterpiece." Since finding fame, Kate has reportedly romanced Mark Sanchez, Blake Griffin and "Dancing With the Stars" alum Maksim Chmerkovskiy. She got engaged to Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander in early 2016.
Molly Sims briefly attended Vanderbilt University before dropping out to pursue a modeling career. The Kentucky native posed for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue several times throughout the early aughts and appeared in a series of ads for Old Navy in which she famously delivered the catchphrase "You gotta get this look!" Molly also served as a CoverGirl spokesmodel.
From 2003 to 2008, Molly Sims starred opposite Josh Duhamel on "Las Vegas." She also appeared in "Starsky & Hutch," "The Benchwarmers" and "Yes Man." In September 2011, she wed producer Scott Stuber, with whom she shares daughter Scarlett and sons Brooks and Grey, who was born in January 2017.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley booked her first modeling gig for Levi's jeans at age 16. She posed for Teen Vogue and Abercrombie & Fitch before making her Victoria's Secret Fashion Show debut in 2006. The British beauty became the face of Burberry in 2008 and a Victoria's Secret Angel in 2010.
In 2011, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley made her feature-film debut in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," replacing Megan Fox as Shia LaBeouf's requisite impossibly good-looking arm candy. Four years later, she appeared in "Mad Max: Fury Road." Rosie briefly wooed Halle Berry's ex-hubby, Olivier Martinez, and Rolling Stones offspring Tyrone Wood, but she's been in a relationship Jason Statham, to whom she's currently engaged, since 2010.
Jennifer Lawrence was scouted on the street while visiting New York City to interview with talent agents. The Kentucky native finished school early and booked a modeling gig with Abercrombie & Fitch before appearing in a Burger King commercial and in small roles on television.
From 2007 to 2009, Jennifer Lawrence starred on "The Bill Engvall Show" — her first big break! Just a few years later, she scored Oscar, Golden Globe, Independent Spirit and SAG Award nominations for her performance in "Winter's Bone." In 2013, the young actress took home each of those awards for her work in "Silver Linings Playbook." The "Hunger Games" star also earned Oscar nominations for her work in "American Hustle" and "Joy." The 26-year-old has already been involved in several high-profile relationships: She romanced "X-Men: First Class" co-star Nicholas Hoult off and on from 2010 to 2014, stepped out with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin several times between 2014 and 2015 and is currently dating director Darren Aronofsky, with whom she's collaborating on an untitled drama.
Olga Kurylenko, who was discovered while vacationing in Moscow at age 13, relocated to Paris to pursue her modeling career when she was just 16. The Ukrainian beauty appeared on the covers of Vogue, ELLE, Marie Claire and Madame Figaro and posed for Bebe, Clarins, Roberto Cavalli and Kenzo. She also appeared in the Victoria's Secret catalog.
Olga Kurylenko made her acting debut in 2001. She appeared in "Paris, Je T'Aime," "Hitman" and "Max Payne" before becoming a Bond girl in 2008's "Quantum of Solace." Olga has been married twice: to French fashion photographer Cedric van Mol from 2000 to 2004 and to entrepreneur Damian Gabrielle from 2006 to 2007. In 2013, she was falsely linked to "Oblivion" co-star Tom Cruise following his split from Katie Holmes, but Olga was involved with "Magic City" co-star Danny Huston at the time.
January Jones was scouted at a shopping mall when she was just a teenager, but she didn't move to New York City to pursue modeling until after she graduated high school. In 1998, the South Dakota native booked a gig with Abercrombie & Fitch, where she met Ashton Kutcher. They were an item for the next three years but called it quits once January turned her attention to acting.
January Jones has been acting since 1999, but she didn't score her first big break until 2007 when she was cast as Betty Draper on "Mad Men." (She earned one Emmy nomination and two Golden Globe nominations for her performance on the AMC drama.) From 2003 to 2006, January romanced singer Josh Groban, and in 2010, she briefly dated Jason Sudeikis. In 2012, the model-actress stepped out with Noah Miller, her "Sweetwater" director, and the following year, she was linked to Liam Hemsworth during one of his breaks from Miley Cyrus. But the most important man in January's life is her son, Xander Dane, who was born in September 2011. The "X-Men: First Class" actress has yet to reveal the identity of her son's father.