Claudia Schiffer

When supermodel Claudia Schiffer posed in a lingerie ad campaign by Swedish retailer H&M in 2000, residents in her native Germany stole the posters in their hundreds. A response which proves that despite her many years in the business, Claudia remains as popular as ever.

Born on August 25, 1970, the model grew up in Rheinberg, one of four children in a well-to-do family. She was just 17, when, in a Dusseldorf disco, she was approached by a representative for the Metropolitan modelling agency. And six months later after graduating from high school the statuesque 5ft 11in blonde who had always considered herself too tall and too thin, made her first appearance on the cover of Elle magazine. High profile jobs with Guess? Jeans and Chanel followed, with a series of long-term contracts with Revlon helping make her one of the highest-paid models in the world.

Known for her business savvy and language skills, Claudia did not initially find her consistent success in the modelling industry mirrored in her personal life, however. Engaged to celebrity magician David Copperfield for six years, she split up with him in late 1999, and took up with British art dealer and Green Shield Stamp family-member Tim Jefferies. Lasting love, however, came when she met film producer Matthew Vaughn - who served as Guy Ritchie's best man at his wedding to Madonna - and the two were married in a fairytale ceremony in a Suffolk village church in late May 2002. Within months Claudia and Matthew announced they were expecting a little bundle of joy - baby Caspar arrived on January 31, 2003. Their second child, daughter Clementine, was born on November 11, 2004.

Her modelling career may show no signs of flagging, but Claudia's recent moves to gain credibility as an actress have been less well received. Initially eschewing leading roles in favour of small parts in The Blackout opposite Dennis Hopper and Friends And Lovers with Robert Downey Jr, she has recently taken on more substantial parts in the thriller In Pursuit and Sarah Jessica Parker's 2001 comedy, Life Without Dick. Although the former was panned by critics, going straight to video stateside, and Life Without Dick received lukewarm reviews, Claudia - who made a memorable appearance in the romantic comedy Love, Actually - is unlikely to be daunted.
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