Ali Landry is an American actress, model, and beauty pageant winner who won the ‘Miss USA title’ in 1996. Her mother named her after actress Ali MacGraw after she watched her 1970 film ‘Love Story’. She is of French (Cajun) descent and grew up in Cecilia, Louisiana, where she attended Cecilia High School. She was the captain of the cheerleading squad in high school and was crowned ‘Miss Louisiana Teen USA’ at the age of seventeen. She then won 1996 ‘Miss Louisiana USA’ title and stepped into limelight after winning the ‘Miss USA’ title. She made her acting debut in 1997 in the TV series ‘Clueless’. Her popularity soared when she became "the Doritos Girl" by appearing in the ‘Doritos’ commercial broadcast during the 1998 Super Bowl. Her film debut was in the movie ‘Beautiful’ in 2000. In the ensuing years, she has appeared in several films and TV series. She has also been featured in several ‘most desired women’ lists. She is married to film director Alejandro Gomez Monteverde and has three children.
Childhood & Early Life
Ali Landry was born on July 21, 1973, in Cecilia, Louisiana, U.S., to Renella (Ray) and Gene Allen Landry. Her mother named her after the actress Ali MacGraw after watching her movie ‘Love Story’ (1970).
She went to Cecilia High School and was the captain of the cheerleaders in her school. In 1990, she began participating in beauty pageants and won the title of ‘Miss Louisiana Teen USA’. She then went on to participate in the ensuing ‘Miss Teen USA’ pageant and was ranked seventh in the final competition.
After graduating from high school in 1991, she attended University of Southwestern Louisiana to pursue a degree in mass communication. She also became an active member of the Kappa Delta sorority.
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Ali Landry won the 1996 ‘Miss Louisiana USA’ crown. She was the first former ‘Miss Louisiana Teen USA’ to win that title and in February 1996, she won the crown of ‘Miss USA’ in Texas. She was also the first former ‘Miss Teen USA’ contestant to win the ‘Miss USA’ crown.
In 1996, she participated in the ‘Miss Universe’ pageant and made it to the top six before being eliminated. In 1997, she made her acting debut with a small role in the TV series ‘Clueless,’ followed by an appearance in ‘Conan the Adventurer’.
She appeared in a TV commercial of the ‘Doritos’ chips brand which was aired during the 1998 Super Bowl games. She then hosted a short-lived sketch comedy show titled ‘Prime Time Comedy’ in 1998 that was followed by her appearances in several TV series, including ‘Pensacola: Wings of Gold’ (1998-2000) and ‘Popular’ (1999).
In 1999, she hosted the ‘Miss Universe’ pageant. In 2000, she made her film debut with the movie ‘Beautiful’ and played a recurring role in the TV show ‘Felicity’. She hosted the TV show ‘Farmclub.com’ (2001) and the second season of ‘Spy TV’ (2002). She also ran the Boston Marathon in 2002.
From 2003 to 2006, she appeared in the UPN sitcom ‘Eve’. In 2006, she appeared in the feature film ‘Bella’. She hosted an interview show on Yahoo!, ‘Spotlight to Nightlight,’ both the English and Spanish-language versions.
In 2009, she launched a fashion line named ‘Belle Parish’. In November 2011, she appeared in the TV show ‘Hollywood Moms' Club’ and was a telecast judge in the ‘Miss USA 2016’ pageant. In 2018, she made an appearance in an episode of ‘Kevin Can Wait’.
Ali Landry appeared in the TV commercial for the ‘Doritos’ chips brand which was broadcast during the 1998, 1999 and 2000 Super Bowl football games. This ad campaign made her immensely popular, and she became known as “the Doritos Girl.” She was listed by ‘People’ magazine among the 50 most beautiful people in the world in 1998.
In 2006, she made the film ‘Bella’ alongside her director husband. The movie was critically acclaimed, and its makers were honored at the ‘Toronto Film Festival’, the ‘Smithsonian Center’ and the ‘White House’ for their contribution to Latino culture.
Family & Personal Life
Ali Landry met actor Mario Lopez during the ‘Miss Teen USA’ 1998 pageant where he was a presenter. The couple got engaged in the summer of 2003 and tied the knot on April 24, 2004, in Mexico. The marriage was annulled on 12 May 2004 after she discovered about Lopez’s infidelity.
She married film director Alejandro Gomez Monteverde on April 8, 2006, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She had met him at a Bible study. The couple has three children together, a daughter and two sons.
Her daughter, Estela Monteverde, was born on 11 July 2007, and her elder son, Marcelo Alejandro Monteverde, was born on October 8, 2011, while her youngest son, Valentin Francesco Monteverde, was born on July 11, 2013.
She borrowed a dress from photographer Kay Ouzts for the ‘Miss USA’ pageant.
On September 19, 2015, her father-in-law and brother-in-law were found dead in Pueblo Viejo, two weeks after being kidnapped from their home in nearby Tamaulipas.