Beverly Johnson

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For the California mayor, see Beverly Johnson (politician). For the rock climber and adventurer, see Beverly Johnson (climber).
Beverly Johnson
Beverly Johnson.jpg
Born (1952-10-13) October 13, 1952 (age 62)
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Modeling information
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Hair color Dark brown
Eye color Dark brown
Measurements 34-25-35[citation needed]
Dress size 6 (US), 36 (EU)[citation needed]

Beverly Johnson (born October 13, 1952) is an American model, actress, and businesswoman. She made history when she rose to fame as the first black model to appear on the cover of American Vogue in August 1974.[1][2] A year later, she became the first black woman to appear on the cover of the French edition of Elle.[3] She was the star of the reality series Beverly's Full House, on the Oprah Winfrey Network, which focused on her attempt to heal the flawed relationship with her daughter, Anansa Sims.

The New York Times named Johnson one of the 20th century's most influential people in fashion.[4] Given the success of her 1990s wig line, she has been a leading influencer in hair care, especially among women of color.[citation needed]

Early life and career[edit]

Born into a middle-class family in Buffalo, New York, Johnson was a champion swimmer in her youth and aspired to be a lawyer. She was studying political science at Northeastern University when she tried modeling. She quickly landed an assignment with Glamour and began working steadily.[5] She went on to appear on more than 500 magazine covers, including her groundbreaking Vogue cover in August 1974. Her appearance on the cover changed the beauty ideal in US fashion, and by 1975, every major American fashion designer had begun using African-American models.[6]

In addition to modeling, Johnson has also written a book, Beverly Johnson's Guide to a Life of Health and Beauty,[7] and embarked on an acting career.[8] She has also had roles in the films Ashanti (1979), The Meteor Man (1993), Def Jam's How to Be a Player (1997), and Crossroads (2002). She has appeared in guest spots on several television series, including Law & Order, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, The Parent 'Hood and the Super Bowl episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun (1998). She served for two seasons as a celebrity judge on the TV Land series She's Got the Look, a reality series, where women over 35 compete for a modeling contract and magazine spread. At the start of the series in 2008, Johnson shared that she and other models had suffered from anorexia and bulimia during her career.[9] She had a brief singing career, releasing one album in 1979 on Buddah Records.

Johnson has been a longtime hair and beauty influencer.[clarification needed][citation needed] Beginning with the Beverly Johnson Eyewear Signature Collection in Sears Optical (1991-2002) to her Beverly Johnson Wig and Hair Extension Signature Collection (1996-2011), she was among the first supermodels to cross into the business of fashion. Partnered with Amekor, she launched the Beverly Johnson Hair Collection, a line of wigs and hair products for the African-American market. In 2010, she introduced a line of restorative and styling haircare products to Target. She currently runs Beverly Johnson Enterprises, a company that produces hair extensions.

Personal life[edit]

Johnson married real-estate agent Billy Potter in 1971. They divorced in 1974. In 1977, she married music producer/publisher Danny Sims. Sims and Johnson separated in 1979 and later divorced. Their daughter Anansa Sims was born on December 27, 1978.


Year Title Role Other notes
1976 Deadly Hero
Emergency! TV, 1 episode
1977 The Baron
1978 Crisis in Sun Valley Beverly Television film
1979 Ashanti Dr. Anansa Linderby Alternative title: Ashanti, Land of No Mercy
1980 The Sky Is Gray John Lee's Mother Television film
1990 Hunter Allistar Lang TV, 1 episode
1992–1993 Law & Order Marcela/Salamotu TV, 2 episodes
1993 Martin Ms. Trinidad
Loaded Weapon 1 Doris Luger
The Meteor Man Woman Doctor
The Cover Girl Murders Michaela Television film
A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Wicked Wives Jane Marlowe Morrison Television film
1994 A Brilliant Disguise Barbara
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Mrs. Cox TV, 2 episodes
1995 The Wayans Bros. Miss Kita TV, 1 episode
Ray Alexander: A Menu for Murder Alana Durand Television film
1996 Red Shoe Diaries Lorri TV, 1 episode
Crossworlds The Queen
The Parent 'Hood Mrs. Jordon TV, 1 episode
1997 True Vengeance Lt. Kada Wilson Alternative title: Truth or Consequences
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Fashion designer TV, 1 episode
Def Jam's How to Be a Player Robin
1998 3rd Rock from the Sun Prell TV, 2 episodes
54 Elaine's Patron
2000 Down 'n Dirty Sandra Collins
2002 Crossroads Kit's Mother
Red Shoe Diaries 15: Forbidden Zone Lorri Segment: The Forbidden Zone
2010 Tyler Perry's Meet The Browns Kate 1 episode
2012 Beverly's Full House Herself TV, 8 episodes

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Iconic Cover Girls - Coco & Creme
  2. ^ Joy Sewing Beverly Johnson's got the right attitude The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 23, 2009.
  3. ^ Supermodels Encyclopaedia: Beverly Johnson - Fashion Insider.
  4. ^ Alicia Diaz Dennis, "Fashion Influential #68: Beverly Johnson", Zimbio, December 11, 2008.
  5. ^ "The Body Game". People. 1993-01-11. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  6. ^ Gross, Michael (2003). Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women. HarperCollins. p. 239. ISBN 0-06-054163-6. 
  7. ^ "Beverly Johnson: Official Biography". Archived from the original on 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  8. ^ Levitt, Shelley (1992-08-10). "Like Mother, Like..". People. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
  9. ^ Moss, Marilyn (2008-06-02). "TV Review: She's Got the Look". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2008-07-16. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 

External links[edit]