Ricki Lander is an American actress known for her roles in both television and films. She first came to limelight in 2008 with the cult film ‘Iron Man’ and soon followed it up with guest roles in popular television series such as ‘CSI Crime Scene Investigation’ and ‘Prison Break’. A great performer, Lander since her early years had a love for music, theatre and dancing. She started her career in television but soon made her way to the big screen. Though Lander’s acting career has bought her stardom and fanfare, it was essentially her relationship with business tycoon, Robet Kraft, that made her an overnight sensation. Kraft, who lost his first wife to cancer, found love in Lander. Despite the massive age gap, he being 39 years her senior, Kraft and Lander have been steadily going strong, though they have been in an on-off relationship.
Childhood & Early Life
Ricki Lander was born on December 14, 1979 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Peggy Lander and Robert A Lander.
Right from an early age, young Lander found an inclination towards music, dance and theatre so much so that at the age of 15, she moved to Los Angeles, California, to train with the Los Angeles Classical Ballet and then toured Japan as a dancer.
Upon completing her early education, Lander enrolled at the Florida International University in Miami. During her tenure at University, she received several Academic and Artistic scholarships. She graduated cum laude with honors with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications.
After graduation, Lander studied at Mike Nichols' New Actor's Workshop in New York City and at Uta Hagen’s HB Studio also in New York City.
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Ricki Lander marked her debut in acting with television. Her first ever role was as herself in the popular television series ‘The Class’ in the episode ‘The Class Goes to Bar’ in 2006. Same year, she did an uncredited role of Dream Girl in ‘The Achievers’ and a recurring role as herself in ‘RTL Boulevard’.
In 2007, Lander continued with her television trysts, appearing in a couple of shows such as ‘Ugly Betty’, ‘Cult’ and ‘Dirt’. She was flooded with opportunities, both for big and small screen.
The big breakthrough in Lander’s career came with the 2008 blockbuster film ‘Iron Man’ where she starred alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Terrence Howard. ‘Iron Man’ escalated Lander’s career to greater heights. Her performance in the film and was lauded by both critics and audience.
Lander’s phenomenal career success with ‘Iron Man’ took a further leap as she ended the year on a high note with guest role in popular television series ‘CSI Crime Scene Investigation’ and ‘Prison Break’.
Ricki Lander was cast in the lead role for the film ‘The Harsh Life of Veronica Lambert’, also known as ‘5 Nights in Hollywood’, alongside Ed O'Ross, Bart Johnson, and Elena Satine.
Lander’s brilliance on screen earned her a couple of television roles including ‘Working Class’, ‘True Blood’, ‘Access Hollywood Live’ and so on. In 2011, Lander played a guest role in the movie ‘L!fe Happens’ and soon followed it with ‘A Green Story’ and ‘Lost Angeles’
In 2013, she appeared in Farrelly Brothers Comedy ‘Movie 43’, where she was cast playing the nurse to Halle Berry's character in the 'Truth or Dare' segment. Same year, Lander was cast as a correspondent for the exploration series ‘The Travel Detective’ alongside travel guru Peter Greenberg.
In 2014, she served as a correspondent and producer on the PBS documentary ‘Israel: The Royal Tour’, filming and narrating behind-the-scenes footage with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and First Lady Sara Netanyahu.
Lander’s recent role in films has been for the film ‘Ant-Man’ opposite Paul Rudd. She appeared in the televisions series ‘Unforgettable’ and ‘Blue Bloods’ in special roles.
Ricki Lander modelled for several brands and publications under a contract with Ford Models. She brought the idea of a ‘contemporary stylish female fan’ in sports arena to Fanatics who welcomed it with open arms and thus led to the creation of a casual and chic fan gear.
In January 2014, she designed a collection of women’s fangear for College, MLB, NHL, NBA, and NFL under the label ‘Let Loose by RNL’. The label was launched by sports e-commerce conglomerates Fanatics and FansEdge.
Apart from acting, Lander’s love for dancing led to her association with the arts and dance community. She serves on the Board of Directors for the New York City Ballet and as the Board of Trustees for the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. In 2016, she co-chaired the New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala along with fellow hosts Sarah Jessica Parker and Daisy Maeda.
Ricki Lander’s most prominent work has undoubtedly been the 2008 film ‘Iron Man’. The film was a commercial success and bagged numerous awards and appreciation. Lander struck a career high with the film as it brought her to global popularity and stardom. She backed it up with several other prominent television appearances in ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’, ‘Ugly Betty’, ‘Prison Break’, ‘True Blood’ and so on.
Personal Life & Legacy
Since 2012, Ricki Lander has been in an on-off relationship with Robert Kraft, the American billionaire and business magnate. He is the CEO and Chairman of The Kraft Group. Kraft is 39 years older to Lander. He has four children from his previous relationships.
Lander and Kraft have been together for five years. But theirs’ isn’t a steady relationship. They have been spotted with other men and women as well
In 2017, Lander gave birth to a daughter. Though Kraft has been providing support to both Lander and her baby, he denies being related to the child.
Her boyfriend, Robert Kraft, in an official statement, claimed that he isn’t the father of Lander’s baby, which she delivered in 2017. This is surprising enough since they have been in a relationship since 2012.