A supermodel, actress, and fashion designer in equal measures, Cheryl Tiegs won the hearts of many over the years through both her looks and talents. Let us take a look at the life of Cheryl Tiegs through a variety of vintage photos.
Small Screen Debut
Besides cover pages, Cheryl Tiegs shined on screen too. She debuted as an actor in ABC’s drama Moonlighting (1986) with a cameo performance. Tiegs also did many guest appearances on shows like NBC’s Just Shoot Me (2000-2002) and the web series Children’s Hospital (2015).
Who’s That Girl?
Cheryl Tiegs was born on September 25, 1947, in Breckenridge, Minnesota. Breckenridge is quite near “The World’s Biggest Catfish,” which is a tourist attraction in North Dakota. She was born to Phyllis and Theodore Tiegs and her father was an auto-assembly lineman. However, he decided to change his career route and become a funeral director. Cheryl’s career as a model only began when she decided to move to California in 1952 and pose for an ad for a swimsuit manufacturer. The rest is history!
Move to California
Cheryl Tiegs’ family moved to California when she was five years old. They lived in Alhambra, a suburb in Los Angeles. It was only a stone’s throw away from the iconic Sunset Boulevard! This move to California gave Tiegs the opportunity for a glamorous life. Tiegs attended the Alhambra High School there. When she was a senior at high school, she posed for a swimsuit ad for Cole of California, which is a bathing suit company.
The Beginning of Her Career
Cheryl Tiegs’ work for Cole of California at the age of 17 literally changed her life. The company ran a massive ad push across many platforms. They also published the ad in several magazines to raise awareness and brand promotion. One of them was Seventeen magazine. This ad appearing in such a popular magazine launched her career and gave her impressive exposure. There was no turning back for Cheryl Tiegs after that!
Her Big Break
After she initially dipped her toe in the modeling world with an ad for a swimsuit manufacturer, it was Cheryl Tiegs’ work with Glamour magazine that launched her career for good. An editorial staff member of Glamour magazine took notice of her in the advertisement by Cole Company and requested to hire her immediately. Glamour magazine was, and still is, one of the most esteemed women’s magazines in the world. Tiegs was only seventeen when she got featured on the cover!
California State University
Like anyone who moves to the dreamy state of California, Tiegs had big dreams! She initially enrolled at California State University in Los Angeles. California State University is actually the largest four-year public university system in the United States. She was majoring in English there. She soon discovered, though, that her passion for the entertainment industry surpassed her love for literature. So, she dropped out of college before her junior year and gave her full attention to her career.
The Boss Lady
After she gained a stamp of fame in the 1970s, Tiegs turned away from swimsuit modeling full time and channeled her new-found mainstream appeal to designing for her own line for women and girls’ with the American department store Sears in the 1980s. Tiegs was considered to be a multifaceted business woman, who made waves in several industries. Tiegs also had a huge contribution in the retail chain’s turnabout in the 1980s.
Tiegs started quite young in the fashion industry and quite by accident. Her friends encouraged her to audition for commercials, which is what helped her jump-start her career. She was also thriving in the entertainment industry when television was still quite young. She appeared on the cover of Glamour magazine at the age of only seventeen. In fact, the staff at the magazine company was so blown away by Tiegs’ beauty that she didn’t even need to do any formal interview before booking her photoshoot for the cover.
Time Magazine Feature
Being featured in TIME magazine is a huge achievement! It was no different for Cheryl Tiegs. TIME magazine hired Tiegs in 1978 to do a cover story about her. It was called “The All American Model.” She went on to be featured in TIME magazine two more times; a total of three features! She also had a total of four People magazine covers under her bag throughout her career.
The Sports Girl
Cheryl Tiegs is an icon in the sports fashion industry. She was featured four times on the cover of Sports Illustrated throughout her career. Because of her illustrious career with the magazine, Tiegs was added into their “Hall of Fame”. It was the magazine’s 40th anniversary and Tiegs was inducted for modeling in 2004. Men’s Health magazine and People magazine also mentioned her for her immense career in the industry and for her huge contribution.
Cover Girl in Her Fifties
Age never managed to stop Cheryl Tiegs from excelling at what she does. Her love for being a cover girl was not limited to her youth. She posed in a bikini for the cover of More magazine even in 2001. She was 54 at that time. Tiegs earned a lot of praise for defying the glaring ageism in the industry and breaking the age barrier in the fashion, beauty and fitness industry.
The African Queen
Tiegs sure had a fascinating life. She met legendary photographer Peter Beard in 1978 and decided to travel to Kenya with him in 1979. It was a photographic expedition to study and investigate the devastation of African wildlife. A documentary was made on their journey called Africa: End of the Game. This phenomenal documentary ended up winning an Emmy award. Look magazine crowned Tiegs “The New African Queen” in 1979 when they ran a cover story on her expedition. She also posed for the cover of Outside magazine in 1980.
She Is a Doll!
Cheryl Tiegs was made into a doll! Matchbox Industries created a doll in her honor in 1989. The celebrity doll depicts Tiegs as a model wearing a pink and white dress. It was a part of their “Real Model Collection.” The collection also includes Christie Brinkley and Beverly Johnson. The company sought to boost the self-confidence of young girls. The series was reviewed as “The Most Beautiful Girls in the World.” Tiegs donated 20% of the profits from the doll to Make A Wish Foundation.
After her dazzling career in modeling throughout three decades, Tiegs made a return into the lives of the average Americans in 2012 – but this time as a reality TV star. Tiegs appeared in the celebrity reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice as a contestant alongside the likes of comedian, Arsenio Hall. In this show, she used her entrepreneurial business skills to wow the competition. All the proceedings she won during the show were donated to the Farrah Fawcett Foundation.
Tiegs the Philanthropist
Tiegs was an earnest supporter of the Farrah Fawcett Foundation. She is a member of the Board of Directors of C.O.A.C.H. for Kids. Tiegs is still an ardent advocate and spokesperson for a private, non-profit clinical research center, graduate medical school and hospital called City of Hope in Duarte, California. Not only that, but she also serves as an ambassador for planned parenthood. Tiegs has also contributed and supported causes such as the Macula Vision Research Foundation and I Am Waters.
The Environmental Activist
Cheryl Tiegs is a long-time environmental conservationist. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Earth Conservation Corps. The model went on a mission to the Arctic to examine the effects of global warming. She drove a hydrogen-powered car to raise awareness about the concept of zero-energy emission as a part of the General Motors environmental program. She spoke about environmentally conscious living in Planet Green’s reality show Living With Ed, where she made a guest appearance in 2010.
The Fashion Designer
Tiegs wasn’t just good at posing in clothes; she was great at making them too! The model launched a signature collection of clothing and accessories for Sears in 1980. She was the first supermodel to launch her own retail venture. The sales neared $1 billion by 1989! Tiegs also founded “Cheryl Tiegs Sportswear,” which was sold at 700 stores all across America. Revlon also collaborated with Tiegs to develop a line of hair accessories and wigs.
The New York Life
After graduating high school in 1968, Tiegs relocated to the Big Apple in order to further her career in modeling. She had already established herself as a respected model but now wanted to take things to the next level.She definitely bagged some big opportunities! Over the course of her modeling career in the 1960s and 1970s, she’d appear on Seventeen, Elle and Glamour magazines as well as high-fashion publications Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. That’s one seriously impressive portfolio!
Her Bel Air House
Cheryl Tiegs now lives in Los Angeles and has recently listed her first home for sale. Surrounded by ponds and fountains, as well as an array of greenery, the retired supermodel’s Balinese-esque house is one for the ages. Set on 1.44 Bel Air acres, this home, inspired by Balinese decor, is located in a very good neighborhood where some of Hollywood’s finest live. This 4700 square-foot estate, including pool and new amenities, can be yours for only $18.5 million!
Tiegs set the bar high for all supermodels who came after her! She shined in her career as a model and left everyone starstruck. She made history when she became the first model ever to appear twice on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. However, she became a pop-culture icon when she posed in a fishnet swimsuit in 1978. She was far from done, though! She also got a $1.5 billion contract with Cover Girl cosmetics, which was the biggest contract ever at that time!
We all adore our childhood memories. Tiegs is no different. She grew up visiting her grandparent’s farm in Breckenridge, Minnesota. She recalls spending the summer running around barefoot, stealing eggs from the chickens. It looks like her love for nature and adventure stemmed from these very moments spent outdoors! When she is overwhelmed by the spotlight, she enjoys retreating into nature’s beauty and spending time with herself or playing a game of tennis with friends. Nature and Tiegs go a long way back.
Big Screen Debut
As an actress, she made her debut in ABC’s comedy-drama Moonlighting in 1986. Her next appearance was as Lola Valenti in 1995 in an episode of NBC’s The John Larroquette Show but her big-screen debut occurred in the 2003 American independent art-house drama film The Brown Bunny. In the 2016 comedy-horror film Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens, she was cast as Raye Shepard, the mother of Fin Shepard, the male protagonist of the film series.
A Believer of Healthy Lifestyle
A supporter of maintaining peak physical and mental health, Tiegs believes there is a difference between how old you are on paper and how old you actually feel. She remarks, “Chronological age – there’s nothing you can do about that. I’m 52, but I set that number aside.” Tiegs is also a spokesperson for Renewal: A Time for You, a lifestyle program created by Deepak Chopra, as well as for Cambria, a company that produces engineered quartz surfaces.
MAC Fashion Icon
MAC Cosmetics is probably the most famous makeup brand in the world. Imagine being recognized by this giant company! Cheryl Tiegs did just that. In November 2000, Tiegs was honored as the first MAC Fashion Icon. She received the award at a gala at the Beverly Wilshire for her contributions to the industry and for her role as a pioneer. Being the first Fashion Icon of MAC is quite an achievement!
New Mexico Expedition
Tiegs loves traveling. Among her many favorite destinations, she particularly loves going to New Mexico. In the past, the supermodel has spoken of her favorite expedition to New Mexico to visit the Tarahumara Natives. The only way to access the area was to hike in, carrying everything you need on your back. For this, Tiegs hiked for 10 days, which was a hard but wonderful experience. She really does get out there!
Tiegs’ Net Worth
Tiegs, like many international celebrities, has a taste for the finer things in life. Her extensive career has allowed her to amass a fashion line and other assets, including jewelry – an empire worth over $30 million. In May 1996, Cheryl spent an undisclosed amount to buy a 1.5-acre property in Bel Air, California. As previously mentioned, she has tried to sell the house a number of times over the years. The model first listed it for $12 million in 2013. She then tried offloading it for $15 million in 2015. In September 2019, she listed the property again for $18 million.
Tiegs’ Love Life
Like so many of her contemporaries, Cheryl Tiegs has been married multiple times in her life. From 1970-79, she was married to advertising executive Stan Dragoti. A couple of years later, she tied the knot with photographer Peter Bear. She was also married to Gregory Peck’s son Anthony as well as yoga instructor Rod Stryker. She doesn’t want to marry again. Tiegs is grateful for the marriages she has had and recognizes her ex-husbands’ contributions in her life. Although she is open to relationships, she says marriage is officially off the table.
Gregory Peck’s Daughter-in-Law
It’s amazing to think that at one point in her career, Cheryl Tiegs was the daughter-in-law of the one and only, Gregory Peck. Out of all of the men she was married to, this was arguably the one that fans remember the most. After tying the knot with Anthony Peck, this meant that Tiegs was part of Hollywood royalty. Gregory Peck, of course, was the star of classic movies such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Twelve O’Clock High.
Tiegs has three sons: Zackary, Peck, and the twins Theo and Jaden, who were delivered via surrogacy during her marriage to Stryker. She gave birth to her first child, Zackary Anthony Peck on October 1, 1991 in Los Angeles, at age 44. The child’s father is her now ex—third husband, Tony Peck. At 52 years old, she became mother once again when she had twins Jaden Joseph Stryker and Theo Reid Stryker. They were born in July 2000 via surrogacy. The children’s father is her now ex-fourth husband, Rod Stryker.
Travel and Adventure
Every once in a while, Cheryl Tiegs goes letter-spacing: 0px;”>on a Sports Travel Adventure Therapy (STAT) trip with like-minded women. This travel company based in Greewich, Connecticut, aims to empower women, while putting on three to four trips annually. Between STAT trips, Tiegs finds her own way into the wild, most recently to the Arctic Circle.
True to Her Roots
“Pretty is as pretty does” is an old adage one rarely hears these days. However, supermodel Cheryl Tiegs still believes it; she lives it too. Though Tiegs has been a top model since she was 17, she never quite forgot her roots. She believes that the type of person one is truly makes a difference. Tiegs said she would get up early and stay late if her job required her to, and she was grateful for the money she was making as well as the great job. She gained the reputation of being friendly and easy to work with over the years because of her humble nature.
Tiegs the Author
Cheryl Tiegs has been successful in whatever she set her mind on. Being an author was no different! In 1976, she broke into the publication industry and wrote the book The Way to Natural Beauty. Cheryl’s advice in her book is timeless and is presented in an intelligent and warm manner. She shared her knowledge with her readers on health and wellness, which was very popular among mass consumers at the time.
The Feud With Ashley Graham
Cheryl Tiegs recently came under fire after she criticized plus-sized model Ashley Graham who posed for the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2016. Tiegs who was 68 at that time, and had appeared three times on the cover of the Swimsuit Issue in the 1970s and 1980s, has faced a backlash after she suggested that Graham, a model who is a size 16, was not “healthy.” However, she quickly tweeted an apology to the plus-sized model and her fans.
Starring in a Web-Series
Broadening her mark on television in 2015, she appeared in a test run web series show called Children’s Hospital. The situation comedy television and web series was created by Rob Corddry, which premiered its first season online on TheWB.com on December 8, 2008. It’s a show about the emotional struggles and relationship dynamics between doctors with healthy drives for romance. While part of the show is dedicated to the treatment of patience, much of it focused on the doctors’ personal lives.
A Career Sabbatical
Cheryl Tiegs took a sabbatical in 2017. It was the first time in her life that she didn’t have to set an alarm and get up to go to work. She focused on herself for a change, as she had been working from the age of seventeen. Instead, she chose to stay low and reach out to the friends she was out of touch with over the years. We can all agree Cheryl deserves the break!
Part-Time Modeling Career
Tiegs started her modeling career very slowly. She worked part-time in high school and college. She would do anything and everything! Tiegs would do fashion shows in the back of parking lot of a department store for free. She was absolutely thrilled with her part-time gigs. Tiegs happily worked for $5 an hour, which was great money for her at the time. She worked hard and relentlessly until she made it big!
Shows Tiegs Frequented
Cheryl Tiegs had multiple standing gigs with different shows throughout her career. She frequently appeared on The Today Show, Access Hollywood, Extra and The Doctor Oz Show. With partner Sports Illustrated, Tiegs created and starred in her own workout video series called Aerobic Interval Training. Tiegs has also appeared on NBC’s Just Shoot Me (1997) and Oxygen’s Girls Behaving Badly (2005). She has been featured a number of times in Fox’s Family Guy (1999), portraying herself in a recurring role.
A Simple Girl
Although she modeled for many name brands, Tiegs was a very simple girl in real life! She did a lot of catalog modeling, which she totally rocked, but, according to her, she was never a fashion icon. Tiegs dresses very simply in her personal life. She would be seen sporting Ralph Lauren or Calvin Klein on many occasions, but she would always return the designer wear after wearing them. She would choose a sweater, a pair of jeans and tennis shoes any day!
America’s Swimsuit Sweetheart
While Cheryl Tiegs looked as good as ever when she appeared on the front cover of Sports Illustrated back in the ’70s, it seems that “America’s Swimsuit Sweetheart” revealed a little bit more than usual. Many celebrities owe thanks to a specific photo for gaining “pin-up” status and this was Cheryl’s ticket to a new level of fame in the ’70s and the ’80s. It would prove to be her first of four appearances on the front cover of the iconic magazine. In 1996, at 49 years of age, Tiegs made her final appearance on Sports Illustrated.
Her Biggest Accomplishments
Despite her illustrious career, Cheryl Tiegs considers her biggest achievement to be her child and the opportunity to raise him. She takes pride in her parenthood. Tiegs’ son is now a fine young man too. After having accomplished that, she believes her next achievement is simply the fact that she is willing to go as far as she could go. She also takes pride in being the leader of the pack and creating revolutions in the entertainment industry.