Petra Nemcova Biography
Sun Sign: Cancer
Also Known As: Petra Nemcova, Czech Chick
Born in: Karviná
Famous as: Model
father: Oldřich Němec
mother: Božena Němcová
siblings: Olga Němcová
education: London Business School
Petra Nemcova is a Czech actress who was discovered at a young age in her home country by a model scout. Although she was hesitant to break into the business at first, she won a modeling competition at age 16, signed with an agency, and moved to Milan to start her career. She was featured in magazines, advertisements, and movies before experiencing her big break as the cover of ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition’. After this, her modeling career took off. She was featured as a host and judge on modeling shows and competition and competed in one season of ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Perhaps her most important work followed in the wake of a tragedy she experience in Thailand. While she was on vacation with her fiancé, an enormous tsunami hit, injuring her and killing many others. She was inspired by this tragedy to found ‘Happy Hearts Foundation’ to bring hope to children affected by these disasters. She has also spent her time with various other foundations and has won many awards for the dedication of her time. She has also written and published an autobiography called ‘Love Always, Petra’, in which she talks about growing up in a Soviet dominated Czechoslovakia.
- Petra is one of two children and was very close to her sister Olga growing up. She was discovered as a young teenager when she was walking in Prague by ‘NEXT Model Management’. She moved to Milan, Italy immediately after signing.
- Feeling overwhelmed by the glamour industry at such a young age, she moved home to the Czech Republic after her very brief stint in Milan. In 1995, she won the Czech ‘Elite Model Look’ competition at the age of 16. She then returned to Milan to begin modeling seriously.
- Starting in 2000, she worked for designers such as Lolita Lempicka, Matthew Williamson, and Michino Koshino. She made her first TV appearance on ‘Absolutely Fabulous’, a British sitcom, a year later.
- In 2002, she made her first appearance in the ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.’ A year later, she achieved a major milestone in her career when she appeared on the cover of the magazine.
- She was on the panel of judges of the 53rd Miss Universe pageant, held in Ecuador June 2004.
- In 2005, she released ‘Love Always, Petra,’ an autobiography where she writes about living under Communist rule in Czechoslovakia as a child. It follows her career from breaking out as a model and living as a supermodel now.
- In 2006, she founded the ‘Happy Heart Foundation’ (HHF) to help children recover from natural disaster by rebuilding schools. This was inspired by the tsunami tragedy in Thailand two years earlier.
- She was the host of ‘A Model Life’, which was an American reality show that followed a group of models trying to make it in New York City in 2007. The same year, she was a presenter at ‘Live Earth,’ an entertainment convention that focuses on the environment. In 2008, she dabbled in realty, selling two apartments in New York City for around $25 million each. By this time, she had appeared on the covers of ‘Sports Illustrated’, ‘Cosmopolitan’, ‘Elle’, ‘Shape’, ‘Figaro’, ‘Glamour’ and more. She has been featured in campaigns for ‘Victoria’s Secret’, ‘Maidenform’, ‘Playtex’, and ‘John Lewis’, and many more.
- In 2012, she served as the face of ‘Only Make Believe’, an organization that performs plays for children in the hospital.
- Recently, in January 2015, she became the face of ‘Ultimo’ underwear, replacing Abbey Clancy.
- She was featured on the cover of ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition’ in 2003, her first big break. She went on to become a supermodel, working for brands such as ‘Victoria's Secret’ and appearing on the covers of ‘Elle’ and ‘Glamour.’
- Following the tsunami, she founded a charity to help children recover from natural disasters. She has dedicated much of her life to this work.
- In 2005, Glamour gave her the ‘Survivor Award’ in gratitude of her work after the tsunami the year before.
- In 2012, she was awarded the ‘James Hammerstein Award’ at the ‘Make Believe on Broadway’ gala for her support of children in need. Also in the same year, she was named ‘Ambassador-at-Large’ in Haiti for her work there after the tragic earthquake through ‘HHF’.
- In December 2004, tragedy struck when Němcová was vacationing with her fiancé, Simon Atlee, in Thailand. The infamous tsunami, one of the worst natural disasters of all time, swept the couple out of their hotel room window. Němcová survived by clinging to a palm tree, suffering lacerations and a severely broken pelvis; Atlee was swept out to sea and found dead three months later.
- She founded the ‘Happy Heart Foundation’ (HHF) in 2006, an organization aimed to help survivors of natural disasters. They specifically focus on coming in and rebuilding schools after first-responders leave the scene. She was inspired to do this work after her own experience with the tsunami in Thailand.
- It is reported that she has dated Sean Penn and James Blunt. In 2012, she broke off her engagement to actor Jamie Belman.
- As of 2014, she is happily in a relationship with Laurent Lamothe, the Haitian prime minister.
- As of 2015, Němcová is estimated to have a net worth of $9 million, amassed mostly from her work as a model and a television host.
- She has said one of her greatest joys in life is dancing and that she can dance for four to five hours straight without even stopping to drink water.
- She is extraordinarily multilingual, speaking six languages. She can converse in English, French, Italian, Slovak, Polish, and Czech fluently.
- She was on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and placed eighth with her partner Dmitry Chaplin.
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