Paulina Porizkova

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paulina Porizkova
Porizkova in 2014
Pavlína Pořízková

(1965-04-09) 9 April 1965 (age 59)
  • Swedish
  • American
  • Fashion model
  • author
  • actress
(m. 1989; died 2019)
Modeling information
Height180 cm (5 ft 11 in)[1]
  • The Model CoOp (New York)[2]
  • Premium Models (Paris)
  • IMG Models (Milan)
  • Models 1 (London)
  • Traffic Models (Barcelona)
  • Place Models (Hamburg)[3]

Paulina Porizkova (born Pavlína Pořízková, Czech: [ˈpavliːna ˈpor̝iːskovaː]; 9 April 1965) is an author and former fashion model. Born in Czechoslovakia, she relocated to Sweden in 1973. She began modelling in Paris at age 15.[4] In 1984, Porizkova became the first Central European woman to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.[5]

As an actress, she made her film debut in Anna (1987).

Early life[edit]

Porizkova was born on 9 April 1965 in Prostějov,[6][7][8][9] then in Czechoslovakia, to anti-Soviet dissident parents, Anna Pořízková and Jiří Pořízka.[10] She was left in the care of her maternal grandmother after her parents fled to Sweden to escape the Warsaw Pact invasion.[10][11][6] Czechoslovak authorities would not allow her parents to reclaim her, and the ensuing battle was widely publicized in the Swedish press, making her a cause célèbre.[10][11]

When Porizkova was seven, her pregnant mother returned to Czechoslovakia by a fake passport in an attempt to rescue her.[10][11] After the attempt failed, her mother was briefly detained by the national police and then placed under house arrest with her family.[10][11] In 1973, international political pressure led by Olof Palme caused the communist government to allow the Pořízek family to be reunited.[10] Porizkova's parents divorced after her father had an affair.[10][11] She and her father, who refused to pay child support for his children, have been estranged since her youth.[11] Her mother, a midwife, remarried at least twice and, as of 2010, was reported to be serving in the Peace Corps in Uganda.[11]



External images
image icon Porizkova's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover from 13 February 1984
image icon Porizkova's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover from 11 February 1985

Porizkova shared the photo that got the attention of modeling scout John Casablancas. She was 13. One of her friends, who wanted to be a makeup artist, painted Porizkova's face, along with other friends, and sent the photographs to modeling agencies in Paris in the hopes of getting hired. "Soon after, a modeling agent called inviting me to Copenhagen to meet the famed model scout John Casablancas. ... He took one look at me and asked: ‘Want to go to Paris?’ As if I'd say no! The rest, as they say, is history."[10][12]

Porizkova rose to become a top model in Paris during the early 1980s, and her fame spread to the United States when she posed in swimwear for Sports Illustrated.[improper synthesis?] In 1984, at 18 years old, she became the first woman from Central Europe to be on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.[5] She appeared again on the cover in 1985.[13] She was the second woman (after Christie Brinkley) to be featured on the swimsuit issue's front cover in consecutive years (1984 and 1985).[14] Her first appearance as a model in the magazine was in 1983.[10] She appeared on the cover and inside New York in July, 1985.[15] Harper's Bazaar named her one of its ten most beautiful women in 1992 and American Photo magazine in its first issue declared her to be the model of the 1980s.[16][17][18][19][20] Porizkova appeared on the covers of numerous magazines around the world during the 1980s and 1990s, including Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Self, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour.[10][16][21]

She has been featured in advertising campaigns for Chanel, Versace, Hermes, Christian Dior, Oscar De La Renta, Mikimoto, Perry Ellis, Laura Biagiotti, Anne Klein, Ellen Tracy, Barneys New York, Ann Taylor, Guerlain, and Revlon and appeared on the runway for Calvin Klein.[22][citation needed]

In 1988, Porizkova won what was then the highest-paying modeling contract: a $6,000,000 contract with Estée Lauder, replacing Willow Bay.[23][24][25] The black-and-white television and print advertising campaign won praise from critics. The Estée Lauder makeover transformed Porizkova's public image from a swimsuit model to that of European sophisticate and she remained the company's face until 1995.[24][26][27][28] She soon landed another multimillion-dollar contract, with Escada.[29][citation needed]

Television work[edit]

Porizkova was part of the panel of judges on America's Next Top Model (ANTM), starting on Cycle 10, replacing fashion icon Twiggy.[30]

Porizkova continued to conduct regular weekly evaluations of ANTM participants on the show until she announced during a 12 May 2009, appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson that she had been fired from the show.[31] Although Porizkova maintained she was told by producers that she had an "ego problem," especially when she "consistently complained" about Tyra Banks' reported lateness to the set, ANTM executive producer Ken Mok and Banks released a statement claiming Porizkova's firing was due to "the current state of the economy," forcing ANTM to "make major budget cuts…unfortunately, Paulina was a casualty of these cuts." When questioned by ABC News journalist Cynthia McFadden about the firing of Porizkova as well as former ANTM colleague, Janice Dickinson, both of whom had complained Banks was "difficult," Banks refused to address the issue.[32][33][34]

She appeared on Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes.[35]

Porizkova was a participant on Dancing with the Stars,[36] in spring 2007 but was voted off on the first results show which aired on 27 March 2007.[37]

In 2009 and 2010, she played Clarissa on about five episodes of the CBS Daytime soap opera As the World Turns.[38] Porizkova appeared in the fourth episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories' second season.[39]


Porizkova's film debut was in the 1983 modeling mockumentary, Portfolio.[40] She appeared in the 1987 film Anna. In 1989, she co-starred with Tom Selleck in the film Her Alibi;[41] she was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for her appearance.[42]

Porizkova appeared in Emir Kusturica's 1993 film Arizona Dream, with Johnny Depp and Jerry Lewis, in a minor role as Lewis's young Polish fiancée. She had the main female role in the 1998 film Thursday. Porizkova wrote and directed the 2001 film, Roommates.[43][44][45][46] She also starred in the 2001 thriller film Dark Asylum, alongside Judd Nelson.[47] In 2004, she starred in the romantic comedy Knots. She appeared in an episode of the Starz comedy series Head Case which aired on 24 April 2009. She appeared in a 6th-season episode of Desperate Housewives, "Chromolume No. 7", alongside model Heidi Klum. She appeared on the ABC Family drama-comedy series Jane by Design in an episode which aired on 6 March 2012, and made a guest appearance on The Mysteries of Laura in February 2015.[48][49][50]


Porizkova co-authored a children's book, The Adventures of Ralphie the Roach (ISBN 978-0385424028) with British model Joanne Russell and illustrated by her stepson Adam Ocasek, that was published in September 1992. She published her first novel, A Model Summer (ISBN 978-1401303266; Modellsommar in Swedish), in 2007, which is about a 15-year-old Swedish girl (Jirina) chosen by a modeling agent to spend a summer working in Paris in 1980. Porizkova is a blogger for Modelinia and The Huffington Post.[51]

In popular culture[edit]

Porizkova is the subject of three songs: "Friends of P" by The Rentals,[52] "Paulina" by No Doubt, and "Dear Paulina" (written for the film Thursday in which she appeared) by Luna. She is one of several women referenced in Sonic Youth's song "Swimsuit Issue", from the 1992 album Dirty.[53] She was the inspiration of the late transgender model and ballroom performer Octavia St. Laurent who spoke glowingly about her in the documentary film Paris is Burning.[54] She has said that St. Laurent's praise and idolization in the documentary was the favorite moment of her modeling career.[55]

Personal life[edit]

Porizkova holds dual Swedish and U.S. citizenship.[56][57] In 1984, she met Ric Ocasek, lead singer of the rock band the Cars, during the filming of their music video "Drive".[58] The two married on 23 August 1989.[59][10] They had two sons, Jonathan Raven Ocasek (born 4 November 1993)[58] and Oliver Ocasek (born 1999).[60] In May 2018, Porizkova announced she and Ocasek had separated a year earlier.[61][62]

In September 2019, while caring for Ocasek following an unspecified surgery, Porizkova found him dead in his home.[63] At the time of his death, they were still in the process of their divorce, though he had disinherited her as well as his two eldest sons[64] in a new will, alleging that before his recent surgery she had "abandoned" him, a legally significant term.[65] In 2021, her dispute with Ocasek's estate was settled. Porizkova commented, "They gave me what is mine under New York state law, and we’re done."[64]

In 2021, Porizkova briefly dated screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.[66]

In "America Made Me a Feminist", an article she wrote for The New York Times in 2017, Porizkova stated that she considered herself a feminist.[67]


Year Film Role Notes
1987 Anna Krystyna
1989 Her Alibi Nina Lonescu
1993 Arizona Dream Millie
1996 Female Perversions Langley Flynn
1996 Wedding Bell Blues Tanya Touchev
1998 Long Time Since Diane Thwaite
1998 Thursday Dallas
2000 The Intern Chi Chi Chemise
2001 Dark Asylum Dr. Maggie Bellum
2004 Knots Lily Kildear
2012 About Face: The Supermodels, Then and Now Herself Documentary
2017 Kevyn Aucoin Beauty & The Beast in Me Herself Documentary
Year Title Role Notes
1987 Saturday Night Live Herself "Bronson Pinchot" (season 12: episode 11)
2008–2010 America's Next Top Model Judge Judge for cycles 10–12
2009–2010 As the World Turns Clarissa
2010 Desperate Housewives Herself
2013 Rupaul's Drag Race Herself "Draggle Rock" (season 5: episode 3)
2015 The Mysteries of Laura Charlotte Bernice
2016 Nightcap Ana
2017 Bull Nella Wester Episode: "Dressed to Kill"
2022 Beyond the Edge Herself
Music Videos
Year Title Role Notes
1984 "Drive" Herself
1984 "Cold Blood" Herself


  • "America Made Me a Feminist". The New York Times, 10 June 2017[67]
  • A Model Summer. Hyperion, 8 April 2008[68]
  • “No filter: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful”, 15 November 2022[69]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Paulina Porizkova - profile — The Model CoOp". Retrieved 21 November 2023.
  2. ^ "Paulina Porizkova - profile — The Model CoOp". Retrieved 21 November 2023.
  3. ^ "Paulina Porizkova - Model Profile - Photos & latest news". Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  4. ^ Wiseman, Eva (27 November 2022). "'Being heard is better than being seen': supermodel Paulina Porizkova on living 'unfiltered'". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  5. ^ a b Naughty But Nice Rob (25 October 2011). "Paulina Porizkova: Husband Ric Ocasek Sexier Than George Clooney". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Pavlína Pořízková pronikla na pomyslný Olymp modelingu, narodila se v Prostějově" [Pavlína Pořízková broke through to the imaginary Olympus of modelling, she was born in Prostějov]. Olomoucký deník (in Czech). Czech News Agency. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
  7. ^ "Paulina Porizkova". HuffPost. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  8. ^ "Pavlína Pořízková: chudá dcera emigrantů dobyla svět plavkami" (in Czech). 9 April 2020. Retrieved 14 May 2023.
  9. ^ "'Beyond the Edge' Competitor Paulina Porizkova May Be an Underestimated Threat to Win". Distractify. 22 March 2023. Retrieved 14 May 2023.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Rosman, Katherine (15 May 2021). "Paulina Porizkova, Full-Frontal Emotion". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g One on One – Paulina Porizkova. Al Jazeera English. 2010. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ @paulinaporizkov (28 November 2017). "... I was 13 and living with my mother and brother in Sweden after leaving communist Czechoslovakia. Kids at my new school were awful to me because I was a refugee. I was spit on and hit and called a 'dirty communist' and worse. Thankfully, I made a group of friends who were as unpopular as myself (albeit for different reasons): Petra, Charlotte and Christine. These girls, now women, are all still important to me and I'm so incredibly grateful for them. Christine, who took this picture, wanted to be a makeup artist and so one day we all got together and she painted our faces. The plan was to send photos of her artistry to modeling agencies in Paris. When the photos were developed everyone looked lovely, but my friends were shocked by the ones of me. No one had thought of me as pretty, but in the photos something magical happened. It was as if there was an entirely new person captured by the lens. 🌸Christine sent off this photo (along with others in the series). Soon after, a modeling agent called inviting me to Copenhagen to meet the famed model scout John Casablancas. John was busy with a model competition in a mall; I met him for all of 15 seconds. He took one look at me and asked: want to go to Paris? As if I'd say no! ..." Archived from the original on 26 December 2021. Retrieved 25 December 2020 – via Instagram.
  13. ^ Nolasco, Stephanie (10 April 2019). "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Paulina Porizkova says she's '54 and proud of it' after sizzling snaps". Fox News. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  14. ^ Donaldson James, Susan. "Paulina Porizkova Ends 'Love Affair' With Antidepressants". ABC News. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  15. ^ "July 1, 1985" (JPG). New York. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  16. ^ a b Phang, Jennifer (8 July 2019). "Paulina Porizkova — Exclusive Portraits Of The Model". Hollywood Life. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  17. ^ Christmass, Pip (10 May 2021). "Former supermodel Paulina Porizkova, 56, wows with VERY revealing fashion shoot". Seven News. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  18. ^ Vaughn, Carol (13 November 2020). "Famous Fashion Model has Meltdown at San Jose Airport in Costa Rica". The Costa Rica Star. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  19. ^ Bain, Ellissa (14 April 2021). "12 young photos of Paulina Porizkova – Czech model covers Vogue at age 56!". HITC. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  20. ^ "America's Next Top Model: Get To Know Paulina Porizkova". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 29 February 2008. Archived from the original on 23 July 2021. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  21. ^ Garvey, Marianne. "Paulina Porizkova didn't need photoshop to land on the cover of Vogue Czechoslovakia". CNN. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  22. ^ Samaha, Barry (25 March 2021). "The 20 Top Supermodels That Dominated Fashion in the '80s". Harper's Bazaar. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  23. ^ Calistro, Paddy (27 November 1988). "International Icons : The New Faces of Prestige Makeup Have World-Citizen Sophistication". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  24. ^ a b Buck, Genevieve (1 June 1988). "MORE THAN JUST A PERFECT FACE". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 15 May 2021. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  25. ^ Schiro, Anne-Marie (3 May 1988). "A New Model: Rethinking Estee Lauder". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  26. ^ "Supermodel Paulina Porizkova: "It's really freaking hard to be a woman over 50"". WBTV. 3 March 2020. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  27. ^ Mpinja, Baze (26 December 2014). "A Brief History of Estée Lauder Models". Yahoo!. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  28. ^ Pressler, Margaret Webb (17 September 1995). "THE UNBLEMISHED TRUTH". The Washington Post.
  29. ^ Attardo, Katie; Valenti, Lauren (7 April 2020). "The Most Iconic Supermodels of the '80s". Marie Claire. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  30. ^ "Twiggy Replaced on 'America's Next Top Model' — Paulina Porizkova will be sitting next to Miss J". Zap2it. 26 November 2007. Archived from the original on 29 November 2007. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  31. ^ Holmes, Rachel (28 May 2009). "All-out war on America's Next Top Model". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  32. ^ Silverman, Stephen M. (18 May 2009). "Why Tyra Banks Fired Paulina Porizkova". People. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  33. ^ Martin, Denise (13 May 2009). "'America's Next Top Model's' Paulina Porizkova: 'I was fired'". Los Angeles Times Blogs. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  35. ^ Warhol, Andy (30 July 2016). "Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes". YouTube. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
  36. ^ "Meet the New Cast of 'Dancing With the Stars". ABC News. 20 February 2007. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  37. ^ McDonald, Ray (28 March 2007). "Former Supermodel Pavlína Pořízková Eliminated From 'Dancing with the Stars'". Voice of America. Archived from the original on 17 November 2008. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  38. ^ "Paulina Porizkova Joins The Cast Of As The World Turns". 2 November 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  39. ^ "Celebrity Ghost Stories: Paulina Porizkova – Web Exclusive". Archived from the original on 14 August 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  40. ^ "Portfolio (1983)". IMDb.
  41. ^ Simon, Jeff (3 February 1989). ""HER ALIBI": THERE'S NO EXCUSE FOR IT". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  42. ^ "Nominees 1989". Golden Raspberry Awards. 25 March 1990. Archived from the original (ASP) on 4 January 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  43. ^ Smith, Ethan (2 February 2003). "MUSIC; A Band Just Now Recovering From Success". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  44. ^ "A nyolcvanas évek legszebb cseh nője 53 évesen meztelenül állt modellt". Origo (in Hungarian). 30 January 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  45. ^ ""Po przekroczeniu 50-tki słyszę: 'ubierz się babciu', 'jesteś spragniona uwagi, zdesperowana i żałosna'"". HelloZdrowie (in Polish). 27 February 2021. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  46. ^ "Paulina Porizkova - Czech/Model/Actress/Author". Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  47. ^ "Watch Dark Asylum (2001) Movie Online: Full Movie Streaming". MSN. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  48. ^ "Photos from Supermodels: Then and Now". E!. 18 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  49. ^ Nguyen, Hanh (9 January 2012). "Betsey Johnson, Paulina Porizkova Add Authenticity to ABC Family's Jane By Design". TV Guide. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  50. ^ Ross, Robyn (10 February 2012). "Jane by Design's Dasher: Jane's Double Life Comes In Between Her Relationship With Nick". TV Guide. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  51. ^ "Paulina Porizkova Is a Blogger Now". The Cut. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  52. ^ Luerssen, John D. Rivers' Edge: The Weezer Story. ECW Press, 2004, p. 163; ISBN 1-55022-619-3
  53. ^ "Sonic Youth Site Menu". Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  54. ^ Silva, Horacio (19 May 2009). "R.I.P. Octavia Saint Laurent". The New York Times Style Magazine.
  55. ^ Ninh, David (15 May 2009). "Five Questions for Paulina". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  56. ^ Young, Julius (28 February 2020). "Supermodel Paulina Porizkova reveals true feelings about being snubbed from late husband Ric Ocasek's will". Fox News. Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  57. ^ Strand, C. C. (16 September 2019). "Paulina Porizkova, Ric Ocasek's Wife: 5 Fast Facts". Retrieved 28 May 2022.
  58. ^ a b Brozan, Nadine (17 November 1993). "Chronicle". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 26 May 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  59. ^ Smith, Laura C. (18 August 1995). "Ric Ocasek gets married". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  60. ^ "Paulina Porizkova: Model Profile". New York. Archived from the original on 19 July 2017. Retrieved 3 May 2018. Children: Jonathan (Born 93), Oliver (Born 99)
  61. ^ @paulinaporizkov (2 May 2018). "😌". Archived from the original on 26 December 2021. Retrieved 3 May 2018 – via Instagram.
  62. ^ Haas, Mariah (3 May 2018). "The Cars' Ric Ocasek and Wife Paulina Porizkova Announce Split After 28 Years of Marriage". People. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  63. ^ Pareles, Jon (15 September 2019). "Ric Ocasek, New Wave Rock Visionary and Cars Co-Founder, Dies at 75". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  64. ^ a b Kirkpatrick, Emily (25 October 2021). "Paulina Porizkova Settles Her Dispute with Late Husband Ric Ocasek's Estate". Vanity Fair.
  65. ^ Ruiz, Michelle (12 November 2022). "To Paulina Porizkova, Betrayal Is More Than Skin Deep". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 15 November 2022.
  66. ^ Frey, Kaitlyn (20 July 2021). "Paulina Porizkova Addresses Split from Boyfriend Aaron Sorkin: 'He Helped Heal Me'". People. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  67. ^ a b Porizkova, Paulina (10 June 2017). "America Made Me a Feminist". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  68. ^ A Model Summer Amazon. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  69. ^ "No Filter by Paulina Porizkova - Penguin Random House".

External links[edit]