Klum was born and raised in Bergisch Gladbach, a town outside Cologne. She is the daughter of Erna, a hairdresser, and Günther Klum, a cosmetics-company executive. A friend convinced her to enroll in a national modeling contest called "Model 92". Out of 25,000 contestants, Klum was voted the winner on April 29, 1992 and offered a modeling contract worth US$300,000 by Thomas Zeumer, CEO of Metropolitan Models New York. After winning, she appeared on the Gottschalk Late Night Show, a top German television show with host Thomas Gottschalk. She accepted the contract a few months later after graduating from school and decided not to try for an apprentice position at a fashion design school.
Heidi Klum is the current host of Project Runway, filmed at the Parsons The New School for Design. She has been featured on the covers of Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire, and became widely known after appearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and for her work with Victoria's Secret as an "Angel". Klum has hosted the 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2009 Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows. On October 1, 2010, the New York Post reported in its "Page Six" gossip column that Heidi Klum would be leaving Victoria's Secret, which was later confirmed by Klum.
In addition to working with well-known photographers on her first husband's Sports Illustrated shoots, she was the object and subject of Joanne Gair body painting works in several editions from 1997 to 2010. She wrote the foreword to Gair's book of body paint work, Body Painting, Masterpieces. She was a spokesmodel for McDonald's, Braun, Dannon, H & M, and Liz Claiborne, among others. She is currently a celebrity spokesmodel for Jordache and Volkswagen. In addition to modeling, she has appeared in several TV shows, including Spin City, Sex and the City, Yes, Dear, and How I Met Your Mother. She had a role as an ill-tempered hair model in the movie Blow Dry, played a giantess in the movie Ella Enchanted and was cast as Ursula Andress in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. She had cameo appearances in The Devil Wears Prada and Perfect Stranger.
Her other projects include dance and video games. She is featured in the 2006 James Bond video game Everything or Nothing, wherein she plays the villain Dr. Katya Nadanova. She has appeared in several music videos, including Jamiroquai's video "Love Foolosophy" from their album A Funk Odyssey, Kelis's "Young, Fresh n' New", off her second 2001 album Wanderland and, most recently, the second video for her husband Seal's song "Secret" off his 2010 album Seal 6: Commitment. The latter video depicts the married couple sharing intimate moments while naked in bed; the concept was Klum's idea.
In July 2007, having earned $8 million in the previous 16 months, Klum was named by Forbes as third on the list of the World's 15 Top-Earning Supermodels. In 2008, Forbes estimated her income at $18 million, putting Klum in first place. For 2007, Forbes estimated her income at $16 million. Klum is signed to IMG Models in New York City.
In 2008, Klum was a featured guest on an American Volkswagen commercial, where she was interviewed by a black Beetle. When she commented that German engineering is so sexy, she caused the Beetle to blush and turn red. She has been a part of several commercials for Volkswagen and McDonald's on German television.
In November 2008, Klum appeared in two versions of a Guitar Hero World Tour commercial, wherein she did a take on Tom Cruise's iconic underwear dancing scene in Risky Business. In both versions, she lip-synced to Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll" while dancing around the living room with the wireless guitar controller.
In October 2009, Klum was the often-nude one-woman subject of Heidilicious, a photo book by photographer Ian Rankin. Klum ventured into web-based videos, starring in "SPIKED HEEL: Supermodels Battle the Forces of Evil". The web-series starred model Coco Rocha and was directed by fashion documentarian Doug Keeve. In the story, Klum aka 'The Kluminator,' and her stylish sidekick Coco "The Sassy Superhero" Rocha battle the evil Dr. Faux Pas who is plotting to destroy Fashion Week. The heroines employ everything from blow-dryer guns to fist fights, in order to thwart Dr. Faux Pas' dastardly plans. The Kluminator and Girl Wonder avoid a chain of fashion disasters to neutralize a death ray that threatens to vaporize the community of fashionistas gathered in Bryant Park.
In 2010, Klum became the new face and creative advisor for European cosmetics brand Astor, for which she sets artistic direction and designs new products and fashion forward color collections.
In October 2010, Klum parted ways with Victoria's Secret after 13 years of working with the brand. She provided a simple explanation in her official statement, stating: "All good things have to come to an end. I will always love Victoria and never tell her secret. It's been an absolute amazing time!"
It was reported in May 2011 that Klum trails far behind Gisele Bündchen at No. 2 with estimated earnings of $20 million on Forbes' list of the World's Top-Earning Models (2010-2011). Forbes noted that since ending her 13-year run as a Victoria's Secret Angel, Klum has become more of a businesswoman than a model. She's partnered with New Balance and Amazon.com to launch a clothing line and signed a 20-episode deal to host a new show on Lifetime, called Seriously Funny Kids. In fact, some noted fashion designers have long been commenting on Klum's limited role as a fashion model. Karl Lagerfeld, for example, in 2009 agreed with German designer Wolfgang Joop, who called Klum after she had posed naked on the cover of the German edition of GQ magazine, "no runway model. She is simply too heavy and has too big a bust". Lagerfeld observed that neither he nor Claudia Schiffer knew Klum, as she has never worked in Paris and was insignificant in the world of fashion, being "more bling bling and glamorous than current fashion."
|2003||Blue Collar Comedy Tour|
|The Life and Death of Peter Sellers|
|2011||Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil|
Heidi Klum appeared in episodes of TV shows like Malcolm in the Middle (as a toothless hockey player) and Cursed. She has also guest-starred as herself in I Get That a Lot, Spin City, Sex and the City, CSI: Miami, How I Met Your Mother, Yes, Dear, Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives. Further, the character of Katya Nadanova in the video game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing features her voice