Amber Valletta is an American model and actress who graced the cover page of American ‘Vogue’ magazine at the age of 18. During the 1990s, Valletta modeled for world-renowned designers and fashion houses, such as ‘Louis Vuitton,’ ‘Versace,’ ‘Gucci,’ and Giorgio Armani. Subsequently, she reached the status of ‘supermodel’ and signed multimillion-dollar contracts with Elizabeth Arden and Calvin Klein. She made her television debut in 1995 when she started hosting the popular ‘MTV’ show ‘House of Style.’ She also made her film debut in the same year by appearing in the Douglas Keeve-directed documentary film ‘Unzipped.’ Valletta received her breakthrough role in 2011 when she was cast to play Lydia Davis in the American drama television series ‘Revenge.’ She played Lydia Davis from 2011 to 2014, appearing in 14 episodes of the series. Despite a successful career as a model and actress, Valletta has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction.
Childhood & Early Life
Amber Evangeline Valletta was born on February 9, 1974, in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. She was raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she attended ‘Booker T. Washington High School.’ When she was 15 years old, her mother enrolled her at a modeling school called ‘Linda Layman Agency.’
During the early-1990s, Valletta moved to Milan, Italy, where she started her modeling career. She fell in love with modeling after featuring in an advertorial for ‘Italian Vogue.’ Subsequently, she appeared in many fashion shows in Italy.
She appeared on the cover of American ‘Vogue’ magazine at the age of 18 and went on to grace the magazine’s cover on 12 other occasions throughout the 90s. It did not take Valletta long to reach the status of ‘supermodel.’ She started working with famous fashion brands and designers early in her career. In the November 1999 ‘Millennium’ cover of ‘Vogue,’ she was presented as one of the ‘Modern Muses.’
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After becoming one of the most sought after models in the mid-1990s, Valletta was signed to host the popular ‘MTV’ show ‘House of Style’ which focused on fashion and the lives of models. She hosted the show from 1995 to 1996 along with her friend and fellow model Shalom Harlow.
Valletta made her film debut in 1995, when she appeared in the documentary film ‘Unzipped,’ which follows fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi as he works towards displaying his 1994 fall collection. She pursued her modeling career during the late 1990s before focusing on her acting career.
From 2000 to 2001, she appeared in six films, namely ‘Drop Back Ten,’ ‘What Lies Beneath,’ ‘Perfume,’ ‘The Family Man,’ ‘Hysteria – The Def Leppard Story,’ and ‘Max Keeble's Big Move.’ In 2003, she was cast to play Celine in the Danny DeVito-directed black comedy film ‘Duplex.’
In 2004, she played Martina in the comedy-drama film ‘Raising Helen,’ and also appeared as Sarah in one of the episodes of dark comedy television series ‘Lucky.’ In 2005, she played an important role in the French action thriller film ‘Transporter 2,’ which had Jason Statham playing the lead. In the same year, she was also seen in a romantic comedy film titled ‘Hitch.’
Valletta played a prominent role opposite award-winning actor Michael Keaton in the 2006 independent dramedy film ‘The Last Time.’ In the same year, she was also seen playing Brynn Lilly in the Mike Binder-directed comedy-drama film ‘Man About Town.’
In 2007, she played important roles in three films, namely ‘Dead Silence,’ ‘Premonition,’ and ‘My Sexiest Year.’ In 2008, she played Jane Summers in the drama film ‘Days of Wrath.’ The following year, she appeared in one of the episodes of ‘CNN’ network’s Sunday talk show ‘State of the Union.’
Valletta appeared alongside Jackie Chan in the 2010 American comedy film ‘The Spy Next Door.’ In the film, she played Gillian who falls in love with Jackie Chan’s character. In 2011, she played Camilla in a comedy film titled ‘Girl Walks into a Bar.’
From 2011 to 2014, she played Lydia Davis in the drama TV series ‘Revenge.’ In 2014, she landed another recurring role as Sonya Odum in the crime drama television series ‘Legends.’ In 2015, she appeared in two TV series, namely ‘Hot in Cleveland’ and ‘Blood & Oil.’
In 2017, Valletta was seen in three documentary films, namely ‘Walking,’ ‘Kevyn Aucoin Beauty & the Beast in Me,’ and ‘A Film for Planned Parenthood of New York City.’ Apart from appearing in films and TV series, Amber Valletta has also appeared in music videos of popular artists, including Will.i.am, Fergie Duhamel, and Keith Urban.
Family & Personal Life
Amber Valletta is of mixed origin, as her father is of Italian and Portuguese ethnicity, while her mother Theresa Malaby is of Cherokee ancestry. Her mother worked at post office before Valletta became a supermodel.
Valletta started struggling with drug addiction early in her life. She had started smoking marijuana by the time she was 10 years old. After moving to Europe in her late teens, she became addicted to alcohol and cocaine. Her addiction to alcohol and cocaine was so severe that she had once turned up to her uncle’s home high and drunk when he was in his deathbed. Despite the grave situation, she was only thinking about finding a place to snort another line of cocaine.
When Valletta was 22 years old, she almost ruined a multi-million dollar deal after showing up drunk and high on the first day of the campaign. At the age of 25, she started seeking professional help which helped her fight addiction. One of her ways to fight addiction is lending her support to those who are trying to fight their respective addiction. She also prays to God to help her stay sober.
Valletta started dating Hervé Le Bihan whom she married in 1994. After divorcing Bihan in 1996, she started a relationship with professional volleyball player Chip McCaw. Valletta and McCaw were blessed with a son named Auden in 2000. Valletta and McCaw got married in September 2003. She divorced McCaw in 2015 and started dating a hairdresser named Teddy Charles.