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Rachel Hunter was born September 9, 1969, to a middle-class family in Auckland, New Zealand. Growing up Rachel was taller than most of the other kids, and rather goofy, but she wasn't too bothered by how she looked, she was too busy having fun. She had no interest in fashion or beauty, but she did dream of becoming a ballerina. She even spent all her pocket money on ballet shoes, but her dreams of becoming a dancer faded when she caught toxoplasmosis at the age of 13. Rachel was ill for about nine months, and tried to get back to ballet but it never happened.

She was 15 when her parents split up. A year later, Rachel was spotted by a local photographer and invited to go to New York. A model by age 17, Rachel soon graced the covers of countless fashion magazines, including Vogue, Elle, and Cosmopolitan. She was also asked to pose for Playboy, but she felt she was too young at the time so she turned the offer down.

After posing as a “Sports Illustrated” model in 1989, Rachel quickly became one of the most photographed international cover models in the world. Sports Illustrated offered Rachel a lot of work, including posing ten years later in celebration of her first appearance in the magazine. By 1994 she was appearing in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, as well as the accompanying videos.

At the young age of 21, Rachel wed rock star Rod Stewart, who was 24 years her senior, on December 15, 1990. Its no suprise, their marriage got a lot of attention from the Media. They had two children together, daughter Renee Stewart, (born June 1, 1992) and son Liam Stewart (born September 4, 1994), but after separating in 1999, they later filed for divorce on June 17, 2003.

Life after Rod has been a busy one for Rachel. She has been romantically linked to Mark McGrath and Bruce Willis. Rachel also started taking acting classes. After a few guest appearances on TV shows, including 'The Drew Carey Show,' and 'Suddenly Susan,' Rachel made the transition into feature films.

She worked on several independent films, including 1999's A Walk in the Park and 2000's Two Shades of Blue, starring Gary Busey. She had a small part in 2001's Rock Star, with Mark Wahlberg, and shared the screen with actor Alexandra Paul in the 2002 film, Redemption of the Ghost.

Rachel played "mom" in the Fountains of Wayne, music video Stacy's Mom in 2003, has hosted VH-1's fitness program as well as launched numerous fitness and workout videos. She then hosted the show 'Make Me A Model, a countrywide search for the upcoming UK supermodel.'

She is no stranger to adventure, having made a trip to Cameroon to see at close range the endangered Gorillas. Rachel is a staunch supporter of Born Free Foundation and set up her own Rachel Hunter Lowland Gorilla Fund following her last trip to the hostile Ugandan Rainforests. She has also been made an Ambassador by BFF for her work with them.

Rachel is also a keen supporter of the Breast Cancer Campaign, after having a scare herself. She found a lump under her arm and thought it was breast cancer, fortunately it turned out to be a blocked duct but it had started to poison her blood, so it had to be removed.

Rachel landed a multi-million pound deal in autumn 2003 with Classified Cosmetics for the worldwide campaign of their new spray-on make up. Rachel also closed a deal as the model for Ultimo's underwear product, and in 2004 Rachel, who sports a 36C/D-24-35 figure, also posed nude for a Playboy cover, and Pictorial, she was paid $1.8 million US.

Rachel currently resides in Los Angeles where she juggles her modelling and acting careers with her role as mother to her son Liam and daughter Renee. They live a stone's throw from Rod's place, and he sometimes looks after the children while she's away.

She says she'll probably do more work for the Born Free Foundation, when she finishes modelling, and she like's nothing more than spending time with her children. She loves to watch Liam play hockey, and Renee dance, then on Sunday they have a nice cooked meal. They also have two horses and enjoy riding and having a great time - that's what life's all about.

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