By Sara Templeton
From the wilds of Canada comes Estella Warren, one of the most gorgeous North American girls on the planet. She's very flexible too, and was once a top-flight synchronised swimmer, who now lives in New York donning the latest fashion items in return for fist fulls of cash.

Obviously though, modeling wasn't always on her mind. Born on the 23rd of December, 1978 in Peterborough, Ontario in Canada, Estella wanted to swim. In fact she swam with the Canadian National team since she was 12, with accolades for swimming between 1994-1996.

And much like Australia, Canadians love their successful sports stars, and Estella was part of a team that was highly competitive, and understandably revered by her kin.

Her aqueous forte was synchronised swimming and she missed out on the 1996 Atlanta Olympics due to a modeling commitment. Boy, I would have chosen the Olympics any day, because models come and go like flies on horse shit, but then that's the random nature of the universe for you. And imagine, if she had have signed up for the Atlanta Olympics, I probably wouldn't be writing about her on this digital medium? 'Tis possible...

Let us backtrack just a smidgen and it becomes clear that Estella's modeling career gathered momentum when she decided to send a couple of the Polaroids from an old high-school show to an agent in New York. What happened next is simple - she was signed up for a contract and forever became a part of high-flying fashion industry. It sounds all too easy...

Right out of the blocks, the Canadian lass was being photographed by the likes of industry big-wig Ellen Von Unwerth, who is the kind of photographer who choses her subjects very carefully, and was a huge boost for the young Canadian. Upon looking back, Estella said: "I thought it would be fun but it was hard work".

Having been a professional swimmer, getting cold, half-naked and wearing figure-hugging clothes has never been a problem for the leggy blonde and she has the utmost confidence in herself, which shines through in almost all of her shoots. "Coming from a barely clothed childhood as a swimmer makes me really comfortable with my body."

Her first major shoots were for the Italian edition of Vogue - three times over, in fact!

But the campaign that would cement her position in the industry forever was the famed Chanel No.5. filmed Hollywood detractuer, Luc Besson. Estella's role as Little Red Riding Hood struck a chord with millions of women around the world and a supermodel with a long-lasting flavour was born.

She gained even more publicity - some good, some bad - after shoots with famous click-artist Bruce Weber. The images are still considered controversial to this day, and the provocative images of Estella could be viewed high up on New York on billboards all across the highly populated and sometimes scary city. Some of the shots were banned because of their notorious subject matter, but it didn't phase the fun-loving Canadian - in fact she received international publicity for it, which led to her next assignment.

Victoria's Secret, where only the best-of-the-best get an entry card, was next on her long list of objectives to conquer. Following this lucrative sojourn, next on her list was the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, which she appeared in, not to mention playing the role of host for the accompanying video, all of which are worth massive dollars and would have given her bank balance a very sweet boost.

She went on to score the people's votes too, gaining the titles of Maxim magazine's hottest babe and UK GQs number one as well, proving that men as well as women were stunned by her physical beauty. From here, she had a yearning for acting, which always seems to be the case for models. Why? It probably comes down to being the centre of attention, and could be that "me, me, me" thing...

If I sound jealous that's probably because I am. Some chicks get it all, and what do I get? Freedom to write what I want... Hey, that's not so bad actually! Maybe I should stop complaining. Maybe I'm just blind to the fact that I'm much luckier than perhaps two thirds of this planet's population, some of whom don't even have homes. Maybe, just maybe [Ed - that's quite enough Ms Templeton].

Back to the point of her emergence in Hollywood, and she has starred in the movies Driven and Planet of the Apes early in the millennium, followed by the disdainful Kangaroo Jack (it gave marsupials a bad name), The Cooler, and she appeared in a couple of Law & Order episodes in 2005, adding TV credits to her ever increasing resume. In 2006 she starred in Pucked, which is best described as utter garbage, and can be seen in the upcoming movie Taphephobia (2006) which sounds quite spooky, and is based on the premise of a bloke waking up buried in a coffin, with nothing to keep him company but claustrophobia and a mobile phone.

Estella Warren isn't a terribly poor actor, it's just that movies she chooses (or scrapes from the bottom of Hollywood's scripting barrel as it were) are complete and utter stinkers. Poo! What's that smell? Here's hoping she gets that break though, which could come with Irreversi in 2007, which was still shooting at the time of writing; a thriller about the effects that a huge cash payout has on a married couple. Let's wait and see...

With her good fortune continuing in Hollywood at a consistent pace, Estella always has modeling to fall back on, and as the photography suggests, she'll always have an audience.

Our research indicates that in her spare time Estella enjoys swimming (urg...), horse riding, tickling the ivory keys (piano), singing, acting and even cooking. Yes cooking! She almost has the same hobbies as me, but sadly for her bird watching is off the list. She has recently worked for numerous modeling agencies, with her father as her manager, in Milan, Paris, New York and London, and we can expect to see Estella star in other movies in future, as she does have a modicum of talent.

It's not often you hear of ex-champion swimmers - from Canada no less - who go on to conquer the entertainment industry. Estella Warren is well known and absolutely adored in Canada and, much like Australia's own Megan Gale, her stunning beauty and overseas success have combined with her positivity to give her an aura that rarely wanes.

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