For these Sports Illustrated cover girls, fame and fortune followed

For some models, a Sports Illustrated cover helps pave the path to enduring fame and fortune. Here's the rundown on seven success stories.



Swimsuit models: In the Feb. 9 Image section, an article about former Sports Illustrated swimsuit models said that Kathy Ireland appeared on the TV show "Bay Watch." She has not. —

Cheryl Tiegs

Age: 66

S.I. covers: 1970, 1975, 1983

Known for: Considered to be the first supermodel, Tiegs was also the first woman to appear on more than one S.I. cover when she racked up her second in 1975. But it was an inside shot of Tiegs in 1978, when Brazilian model Maria Joao appeared on the cover, that caused an uproar. Tiegs' photograph showed her emerging from the surf in a wet mesh one-piece suit that revealed almost all her assets — generating a record number of canceled subscriptions (340), the most letters regarding a swimsuit issue (2,947) and ultimately a change in S.I.'s policies to allow subscribers (such as libraries) to opt out of receiving the annual issue.

Other successes: Tiegs was the first model with her own line of clothing and accessories, which chalked up more than $1 billion in sales over the nine years it was sold at Sears. She also sold a line of sportswear on QVC and launched a collection of wigs for Revlon. Like most of the S.I. alums, she's done some acting, appearing, for instance, on "Just Shoot Me." In 2012, she competed on "Celebrity Apprentice," but she was eliminated in the first show after telling host Donald Trump the cutthroat environment wasn't right for her: "I'm actually more of a quiet person."

Net worth: $14 million

Christie Brinkley

Age: She celebrated her 60th on Super Bowl Sunday and posed for the cover of People in a one-piece swimsuit for the occasion.

S.I. covers: 1979, 1980, 1981

Known for: She's ex-husband Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" and Clark Griswold's fantasy in the National Lampoon vacation movies.

Other successes: She's appeared on more than 500 magazine covers and was the face of CoverGirl for a record 25 years. She hosted "Living in the 90s with Christie Brinkley" on CNN.

Net worth: $80 million



Elle Macpherson

Age: 49

S.I. covers: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1994, 2006

Known for: She holds the record for most swimsuit edition covers.

Other successes: She has her own company, Elle Macpherson Inc., and she launched a line of intimate apparel, Elle Macpherson Intimates — which became the bestselling lingerie brand in the U.K — as well as a collection of beauty products. In addition, she appeared in movies including "Sirens," "The Mirror Has Two Faces" and "Jane Eyre." She was co-host and executive producer of "Fashion Star," and host and chief judge on "Britain's Next Top Model" from 2010 until the series was canceled in October.

Net worth: Various sources place her net worth between $45million and $60 million, but it hardly matters. She married billionaire real estate developer Jeffrey Soffer in August.

Kathy Ireland

Age: 50

S.I. covers: 1989, 1992, 1994

Known for: Her cover for the 1989 issue, marking the swimsuit edition's 25th anniversary, was also the bestselling swimsuit edition. And Ireland and Rachel Hunter were both pregnant when they appeared with Elle Macpherson on the 1994 cover.

Other successes: She's modeled, she's acted ("Bay Watch," "Melrose Place," "The Player"), but what she really is, is a heck of a tycoon. She founded lifestyle brand Kathy Ireland Worldwide in 1992 and, starting with a pair of athletic socks, launched a company that moved more than $2 billion in merchandise in less than a decade. Products have included apparel, furniture, furs, bridal wear, housewares and, of course, swimwear.

Net worth: $350 million

Tyra Banks

Age: 40

S.I. covers: 1996, 1997

Known for: She was the first African American S.I. cover model, appearing in 1996 with Valaria Mazza and in 1997 solo.

Other successes: She's acted on TV ("Fresh Prince of Bel-Air") and movies ("Higher Learning," "Halloween: Resurrection") and was "youth correspondent" on "Oprah." Now she has her own production company called Bankable and a degree from Harvard's Executive Education Training Program. She's the executive producer and host of "America's Next Top Model" and "The Tyra Banks Show." Her television work has garnered two daytime Emmys.

Net worth: $90 million

Heidi Klum

Age: 40

S.I. cover: She was the cover girl only once, in 1998, but she is arguably among the most famous alums.

Known for: The West German-born Klum once yodeled on the "Late Show With David Letterman." And she throws a Halloween bash every year that is second to none.

Other successes: She's acted, sculpts, sings and produces television programs. But she's best known as the host on "Project Runway." She's hosted the "Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" four times — more than any other model. She became a host on "America's Got Talent" last year. She also has her own line of swimsuits, fragrances and skin care products, plus a line of kids' clothing and gear with Babies R Us.

Net worth: $70 million

Kate Upton

Age: 21

S.I. covers: 2012, 2013

Known for: Bursting onto the public scene in 2011 in a YouTube video that showed her doing the Dougie at a Clippers game. She was S.I.'s swimsuit Rookie of the Year in 2011, before making the cover for the first time in 2012.

Other successes: In 2013, she was the first professional model — as opposed to big-time movie/TV star or first lady — to appear on the cover of Vogue in more than a decade. She's shot everything from Carl's Jr.'s sexy burger ads to high-fashion spreads with celebrity photographers such as Terry Richardson and Steven Meisel. And she's dipped a pedicured toe into acting as well ("The Heist," "The Three Stooges").

Net Worth: Estimated at about $2 million. But she's still a rookie. Give her some time and she's likely to do just as well as her Sports Illustrated big sisters.

Los Angeles Times researcher Scott Wilson contributed to this report.