Curvy and clever, Kate Upton made the leap from model to pop cultural phenomenon as a sexy, in-on-the-joke "It" girl. Born June 10, 1992 in St. Joseph, MI, Katherine Upton was the great-granddaughter of the Whirlpool Corporation co-founder, Frederick Upton, as well as an elite-level equestrienne in her own right. Blessed with world-class beauty as well, Upton landed a modeling contract in 2008 and quickly rose through the ranks, becoming the face of Guess, Inc. and lensing an attention-grabbing pictorial in the highly anticipated Swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated
in 2011 that earned her the title of "Rookie of the Year." Building on her growing fame, which was powered in part by her fun, goofy-glamour-girl-next-door presence on Twitter and YouTube, the buxom Upton went on to land S.I.
's coveted cover in 2012, wearing an instantly iconic too-small bikini. Named "The Woman of the Summer" by Esquire
and wowing fans with a popsicle-and-bikini photo shoot for the cover of GQ
, Upton earned a Teen Choice Award nomination for Choice Female Hottie and booked guest spots on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) and "Tosh.0" (Comedy Central, 2009- ), as well as cameo roles in "Tower Heist" (2011) and The Three Stooges (2012)
, where she played a lifeguard/nun in a not-so-surprisingly revealing habit.
By Jonathan Riggs