A Huge Heart
What’s the word for a person who makes something positive out of a bad situation? Answer: Sean Astin. There aren’t many who could stomach being told throughout their lives that their father might be several different people, and keep their cool about it. But somehow, Sean managed to do exactly that. If you didn’t already love him for his endearing Samwise Gamgee portrayal in Lord of the Rings or Rudy in Rudy, his real-life capacity for positivity is sure to hook you.
Sean Astin was actually born Sean Patrick Duke on February 25, 1971 – with his mother’s last name, Duke, in light of his father’s identity being unknown. (Stay tuned to hear when it changed and why.) When his mother Patty realized that she was carrying a baby Sean, she was in between relationships by only a matter of days – which made it hard to know for sure who the father was. And she wasn’t the only one who wanted to know.
Patty Duke was only 23 at the time, but she already had quite a career behind her in the arts. She first went on the stage at the age of 13, following in her brother’s footsteps. She had made a legacy for herself by being one of the youngest actors to ever receive an academy award for her captivating performance as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. However, being one of America’s beloved young stars meant that Patty was right under the public’s watch at the time.
A Rough Start
Patty had been hustled into child acting by harsh managers and a mother who couldn’t take care of her. These managers were a married couple who trained young stars to become disciplined adult actors. They initially had high hopes for Patty’s older brother, but once Patty was a bit older herself, they saw more potential in her and quickly turned all of their efforts to her. Their method was to practically adopt her, and as such, they were able to dictate her time and practically her entire life.
A Star Is Born
First, they changed her name, as she discusses in her autobiography, “Call Me Anna.” They eradicated her accent. Then they took it upon themselves to not only find her acting offers, but to also decide whether or not she would take them. At a relatively late age for normal teenage rebellion, Patty began to speak up for herself against the harrowing demands of young stardom, wanting to have some of a say over how she spent her time.
In Need Of Escape
But her managers were just as determined to keep her locked down. They would find ways to intervene, and Patty continued to find ways to evade them. It wasn’t long before she felt trapped in this life that had been decided for her, and felt the urge to turn away in any direction she could. That’s when the media started to take note of some of the more public decisions she was making.
Her big chance for escape seemed to come while she was working on the set of The Patty Duke Show: a sitcom designed around her personality and rise to fame and thus named after her. She and the director Harry Falk became close and began dating, leading him to realize that her managers were overly controlling her. He proposed to her, and in accepting him she was finally given refuge from her managers. However, their marriage only lasted a few years.
Patty Looks For Love
Nonetheless, this marriage was the catalyst that finally broke her free of her child star bondages and reliance on her guardians. When this marriage didn’t work out, Patty took some time to herself, focusing on her career. But a few years later, she found herself in a highly criticized affair with another star child, Desi Arnaz, Jr. Not surprisingly to some, this fling came to an end almost as soon as it began.
Lucy Doesn’t Love You
Arnaz’ parents, actors Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, very publicly disapproved of the fling since their son was 6 years younger than Patty. But Patty herself was still so young, and unequipped to deal with so much of her life being watched. But a visitor she was hosting named Michael Tell offered to make a show out of marrying her to help turn the attention away from Arnaz, and that’s how Patty wound up with husband #2 – for a grand total of 13 days.
A Different Kind Of Love
Patty and Michael never grew close during their time together, and so she didn’t considered her second marriage to be of consequence – not knowing it might yet have an impact on her future. She quickly moved on to a new relationship with fellow actor John Astin. At the time, John was still married but separated, which briefly got in the way of their relationship’s potential. That’s when Patty found out that she was pregnant with Sean.
A Motherly Instinct
Patty knew immediately that she wanted to give her unborn child a different kind of life than the life she had growing up. But not knowing who the father was would naturally make that a little bit tricky. No matter how much she loved John or vice versa, she felt that bringing a baby into their relationship might be more than he had bargained for; he had signed up to be a boyfriend, not necessarily a father.
A Father For Sean
Neither John nor Patty could be certain if it was his child she was carrying, but fortunately for Patty, he was ready to care for her child. Patty reciprocated by offering to care for John’s three children from his previous marriage in return. Once his divorce was finalized, the two were married in 1972 with a 1-year-old Sean even attending the ceremony. In a momentous impulse, Sean loudly called John “Daddy!” and their future together was decided – for the time being.
Another Father For Sean
However, Patty’s relationship with John wouldn’t see as many years as Sean’s would. In 1984, John and Patty developed a rift, finally divorcing in 1985. All of a sudden, this turn of events gave Patty the feeling that it was time to tell Sean that John might not have been his father after all. For the first time, he heard that a total stranger from his mom’s past might be his father – someone named Desi Arnaz, Jr.
The Man Who Raised Sean
Sean truly loved the man who he had known as his father up until this day. It wasn’t hard for him to decide that John would remain an important figure in his life, whether or not they shared blood. But that didn’t answer his inner dilemma toward what he should do with this new information his mom had just given him. He wondered if he could ever get used to the idea of having a different father.
Keeping Two Dads
Despite his wholesome relationship with his large family, he decided to accept his mother’s words and get in touch with the man who he now believed was his biological father. But once he and Arnaz met, they took such a liking to each other that he didn’t want to end their relationship with a simple meeting. He decided to pursue a real bond with Arnaz, which blossomed and lasts to this day. He was just 14 at the time.
Time Goes On
Sean went into adulthood juggling a lot on his plate: his single mother, his two fathers, and any inner turmoil that came from having something he’d believed his entire life turn out to be untrue – but he did so with tons of strength and positivity. He was strong not only himself, but also for his mom – whose childhood issues would continue to shape her adulthood – and for his fatherly figures, who also felt some responsibility for his situation.
Not letting the unusual confusion over his biological father get in the way of his dreams, Sean continued on to achieve a fulfilling acting career. In 1985, the very same year he received this shocking news and had his reality uprooted, he was given his first major acting role as Mikey Walsh in The Goonies – casting him as the lovable type that he seemed to be in real life, and that he would go on to play in many other feature films.
Daddy Drama Returns
In the midst of Sean’s proliferous acting career, he was approached by a stranger who had even more surprising and uninvited news about his father. The man turned out to be a relative of his mother’s second husband, Michael Tell, who insisted that Michael was Sean’s actual biological father. It seemed impossible, given the short and unromantic nature of this particular marriage. But to Sean, it opened a door that he had never quite been able to close before.
Sean’s chance meeting with a relative of Michael Tell was, in the end, telling of much more. It made Sean face the fact that he still didn’t have a definite answer about his father. At this point, his father’s identity had already been questioned and resolved multiple times, with Sean needing to emotionally adjust to the news each and every time. It must have been exhausting. This time, he didn’t feel equipped to just take in any more news without a bit more certainty.
At this point, a lot of things were right in Sean’s life, and he was grateful for it. He had been raised by a loving father. He had grown up in a large and close family. He was now happily married to his wife of almost 10 years. He’d enjoyed a successful acting career, following in his mother’s footsteps. So, despite feeling obviously frustrated by the complex situation, he was mostly just curious – and so he resolved to solve the mystery once and for all.
One Last Step
He decided that a paternal DNA test was the only way to get the information, and the answers, that he needed. He was ready to close the door that had so far remained open to others, giving them chances to repeatedly uproot such an important part of his life. But in order to know for sure, he needed to get in touch with the last contestant who hadn’t been a part of his life so far. So, he found Michael Tell.
The Final Father
After Michael and the other two men he knew might be his father agreed, the test was done – and the results showed him that Michael Tell was, after all, his biological paternal father. Everyone had thought it the least likely answer since Michael and Patty had hardly known each other. But looking at this picture, the truth seems pretty clear now. Upon learning this information, he reached out to Michael again to ask for one more favor: to get to know each other.
Patty Doesn’t Buy It
Like with the other candidates, who were all fatherly figures to Sean, he and Michael began to form a bond – which they still have to this day. Whether they were brought together by science, love, or both, their relationship clearly proves that it’s just impossible not to get along with Sean Astin. But, his mother had a harder time accepting the results of the test. When asked about it, she expressed, “I can support his truth as long as my truth, if not supported, is respected.”
The Sweetheart’s Sweethearts
Patty, along with some of her relationships around the time of Sean’s birth, was being scrutinized by the masses from a very young age. From the outside looking in, she was jumping from one relationship to another too fast to be normal. America cared about their sweetheart – but what they didn’t know was the circumstances Patty had come from, and who or what had pushed her repeatedly in difficult directions.
Patty Fights A Battle
Despite the issues that made Patty’s adolescence hard, Hollywood was even better then than it is now at keeping the lid on mental issues. Even though she had troublesome episodes during filming processes that would be witnessed by the cast and crew, the news was kept very quiet. So it wasn’t until she was in her 50’s that the world heard for the first time that she had been struggling with mental disorders for most of her life.
Later in life, she decided to go public about having bipolar disorder. Following this, she wanted to take the knowledge a step further by speaking up for others as well. So she decided to become a spokesperson for mental health, and spent the rest of her life advocating for more research and funding. But part of surviving with mental disorders is holding onto the comforts you’re able to find in the world, and for Patty it was her belief about Sean’s father.
An Understanding Son
It was hard for Sean to hear Patty’s dismissal, but it didn’t cause any damage to Sean’s relationship with his mother or any of his fatherly figures. Though her aversion may seem strange, the emotional turmoil Patty had gone through was playing a major role in her life. Unlike Sean, his mother wasn’t ready to open her heart to multiple possibilities about a situation so fragile. Can anyone really blame her? Sean, at least, did not.
An Unusual Family
Sean Astin’s open heart is nothing short of a phenomenon when taking into account the complicated hand that he was dealt in his youth. He has welcomed not one but three fatherly figures into his life, even though many came into it without warning, and even after finding out that some were not his actual father. He cultivated healthy relationships with them all, regardless of uncertain and sometimes unideal circumstances – showing how much he truly appreciated each one as a person.
Strength of Character: Personally And Professionally
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the same strength of character Sean displayed in his personal life, dealing with unusual twists and turns that could have done more damage and left many feelings hurt, was giving him strength in his career. Because Sean found a way to harness the strength he got from his strange circumstances and the fulfillment of many relationships into his career, it never ceased to fulfill him in the same way.
Samwise The Brave
Sean’s career really hit the jackpot when he was cast as the steadfastly optimistic Samwise Gamgee in Lord of the Rings. Sporting a constantly warm smile in the face of a harrowing journey with a million terrifying threats through Middle Earth, Samwise accompanies his friend on a difficult quest out of nothing but the caring in his heart. As it turns out, those Samwise eyes that overflow with kindness and stop you in your tracks were a feature of Sean’s in real life as well.
A Legendary Heart, On And Off Screen
In the end, Sean gets the kind of extended family that few people even believe is possible in this day and age. And without a good nature like his, it certainly wouldn’t be. But thanks to his uncanny ability to find the good in any situation – which is such a part of him that even his roles in film often embody it – Sean has made the improbable possible, and finally has the answers that eluded him for so long.
In 1993, Sean Astin won hearts over around the world again with his touching portrayal of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger in the film Rudy. Here, he plays an aspiring football player with no clear shot at his dreams. But he refuses to give up on them, overcoming a series of obstacles to finally touch the success he’s always dreamed of. There ending is far from perfect, but the battles Rudy fights and is able to win leave him feeling victorious – much like the victories Sean made for himself in real life.
Ever the sacrificial support system, Sean’s most recent acting gig was as the modest hero Bob Newby on Stranger Things. Here, he volunteers himself as a fatherly figure to the sons of his girlfriend – just in time for the entire family to get trapped in a life-or-death situation together. He gets everybody out and saves the day, but unfortunately doesn’t make it out himself. Does the fatherly figure he plays here seem at all inspired by elements of Sean’s real life? Sit tight: it gets more complicated.
30+ Stunning Female Athletes Who Could Easily Be Models
Daughter of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, Laila is a former professional boxer who competed from 1999 to 2007 before retiring as undefeated. Since she stepped out of the ring, Laila has gotten married and done various amounts of television work including her appearance on George Lopez and as a participant on Dancing With the Stars. Then again, are you really that surprised? Not only does she have an undeniable presence but she’s also downright beautiful. The powerhouse has also appeared in numerous magazines such as Sports Illustrated, People, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan among many more.
Raised in Arizona, the ever-so stunning Blair O’Neal has been playing golf since she was just 11 years old. By the time she turned 13, Blair began playing for the American Junior Golf Association and her career only grew from there. After four years of collegiate-level golf at Arizona State University, O’Neal began playing professionally all whilst establishing a modeling career. After all, have you seen her?! Her smile could seriously light up a room! In any event, the blonde bombshell has been quite busy throughout the years. Today, though, she has her hands full taking care of her newborn baby with husband Jeff Keiser.
A California native, Natalie Coughlin is a competitive swimmer and twelve-time Olympic medalist. With these kinds of achievements under her belt, it’s no surprise that Coughlin has earned the World Swimmer of the Year Award once as well as American Swimmer of the Year Award three times. Since her last big meet in 2016, Coughlin has kept busy with other ventures. Aside from becoming a spokeswoman for C20 Coconut Water and appearing on television, Coughlin has written a book and modeled for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, which doesn’t come as much of a shock considering her impressive talent and radiant beauty.
The youngest daughter of 16-time NHRA World Funny Car Champion John Force, Courtney Force isn’t your ordinary 32-year-old. After following in her father’s footsteps and becoming a drag racer, the blonde-haired beauty worked hard to become a household name. During her career, Force also did television work including a feature with her family on A&E’s reality show Driving Force. In 2015, she married fellow racecar driver Graham Rahal and five years later, the couple announced that they’re expecting their first child in November 2020. So, although Force retired from her sport in 2019, there’s no doubt that she’ll be keeping busy.
Daniela Hantuchová is a retired tennis player from Slovakia. After turning professional, Daniela made her breakthrough in 2002 when she won her first WTA tournament — and that was the first of many accomplishments to come during her 18-year career. While Daniela was making a name for herself as a world-famous tennis star, she also modeled for magazines including Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and ESPN: The Magazine’s “The Body Issue.” It was then that Daniela was also noticed for her undeniably good looks. Although she’s widely considered to be a symbol of beauty, Daniela has never really considered herself as such, saying that modeling is “just fun to do from time to time.”
Here we have Kim Glass — an indoor volleyball star who joined the U.S. national team in May of 2007. The following year, Glass made her first Olympic appearance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, helping Team USA to a silver medal. Aside from becoming a champion in her respective sport, Glass has also dabbled in modeling, which makes sense considering how stunning this woman is. Are we right?! Aside from appearing in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2011, Kim had also auditioned for Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model five different times while she was in college.
Hailing all the way from paradise, also known as Hawaii, Alana Blanchard is an accomplished professional surfer who has taken part in the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) World Tour. Aside from riding waves, Blanchard designs Rip Curl swimwear — particularly a line of wetsuits specifically made for surfing. With her naturally beachy hair and flawless facial features, it doesn’t come as a shock that Blanchard does modeling work in addition to her surfing career. She also keeps busy raising her son with fiancé and Australian pro-surfer Jack Freestone.
A Norwegian professional snowboarder, Silje Norendal competes in slopestyle. Now 26 years old, there’s no denying that Norendal has accomplished quite a lot throughout her career thus far. Not only has she won gold during the Winter X Games Europe in Tignes in 2013, but Norendal also finished in fourth place at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Korea. Aside from her indisputable talent, Norendal has also received attention for her breathtaking looks and radiant smile, modeling for various brands and magazines.
Alica Schmidt may only be 21 years old but there’s no denying that the German sprinter and hurdler has already made a name for herself, for both her talent and looks. Not only has she represented the United States at the 2008 Summer Olympics and 2012 London Olympics but she also competed at the World Championships in Athletics on three different occasions — 2005, 2007, and 2011. When she isn’t on the track, Schmidt models, which isn’t a shocker as she’s considered one of the world’s most beautiful athletes.
Ana Ivanović is yet another star who has dominated in the world of tennis. Originally from Serbia, Ana began competing professionally in 2003 before retiring in 2016. During her career, Ana has won several singles titles and was even ranked No. 1 in the world in 2008. Despite her retirement, Ana hasn’t slowed down. Aside from raising her two sons with husband Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ana has modeled for multiple magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, Bella, and Vanity Fair (Spain) among many others.
Katarina Witt may have retired from figure skating in the late ’80s but that doesn’t mean her name has been forgotten, especially due to the fact that the German native has worked in film and television since. In any event, Witt rose to stardom after winning two Olympic gold medals for East Germany — the first at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics and the second at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. She also happens to be a four-time World Champion and two-time World silver medalist. With her unstoppable talent and radiant beauty, it’s no surprise that Witt was East Germany’s poster athlete.
Now 35 years old, Lindsey Vonn is an American former World Cup alpine ski racer for the U.S. Ski Team. After beginning to ski at the young age of two, Vonn went on to have an extremely successful career, winning multiple championships and Olympic gold medals. Although Vonn retired in 2019, there’s no doubt that she’ll always be remembered for her insane talent and striking beauty. Throughout the years, Vonn has modeled for various magazines including the 2010 and 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, as well as Maxim.
Soo Yeon Lee
Believe it or not, people, but table tennis — a.k.a. ping-pong — is a professional sport. Meet Soo Yeon Lee, a South Korean former player who shocked the world with her technique and drive before retiring. Lee began playing table tennis at a very young age and was even extensively trained in the sport by an Olympic gold medalist. Since she stepped away from her racket, Lee has gone on to become a coach, actress, and professional model. In fact, she has been featured in advertisement campaigns for a number of prominent brands including Nike, Adidas, K-Swiss, Red Bull, and Target.
Gabrielle Reece, now 50 years old, has not only made a name for herself as a professional volleyball player but also as a sports announcer, fashion model, and actress. After playing collegiate-level volleyball for Florida State University — on scholarship — Reece moved to New York City to pursue a parallel career as a sports fashion model whilst continuing in her pro-volleyball career. Then again, we can’t say that this surprises us so much as she looks like a natural in front of the camera not to mention her insanely gorgeous appearance.
Known as the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing, Danica Patrick is an absolute machine. Now 38 years old, the former professional racecar driver dominated in her sport before retiring in 2018. In fact, her victory in the 2008 Indy Japan 300 is the only win by a woman in an IndyCar Series race. A globally recognized athlete, Patrick has become a pop culture icon throughout the years due to her talent and looks. Not only has she done film and television work but she’s also been a cover model for magazines such as FHM, Sports Illustrated, TV Guide, and ESPN: The Magazine.
Yet another powerhouse is Kerri Walsh, a professional beach volleyball player. Throughout her career, Kerri has impressed fans by becoming a three-time Olympic gold medalist as well as a one-time Olympic bronze medalist. She was even five weeks pregnant during the 2012 London Olympics where she won gold — an impressive feat, to say the least. Considering how easy she is on the eyes, it’s no surprise that Kerri has also gone on to do television and modeling work, appearing in the ESPN: The Magazine “Body Issue,“ with images taken both before and after giving birth to her third child.
Born and raised in sunny California, Jennie Finch is a former professional softball player. During her career, not only did she become a collegiate All-American but also a medal-winning Olympian and two-time pro-All-Star. With this being said, there’s no denying that this blue-eyed beauty was an unstoppable force in her respective sport, so much so that Time magazine described her as the most famous softball player in history. Although Finch retired from the sport in 2010 to focus on her family, she began working at ESPN as a color commentator for National Pro Fastpitch and college softball games.
Named one of 50 Most Beautiful People by People magazine, Anna Kournikova is a Russian former professional tennis player who has won multiple Grand Slam titles and WTA Championships. Although her career was cut short due to serious back and spinal problems, Kournikova is very much still a household name. Aside from the fact that she does quite a lot of television and modeling work, Kournikova is also known for her relationship with singer-songwriter Enrique Iglesias, from whom she has three children.
Ashley Beard first rose to fame as a professional swimmer and seven-time Olympic medalist. Her success has unsurprisingly earned her the American Swimmer of the Year Award twice. After a brief hiatus, Beard came out of retirement in 2010 and placed second in the 200-meter breaststroke at the National Championships that year. Apart from being an extremely gifted swimmer, Beard has also been known to do modeling work including walking fashion shows. But then again, do you guys really find it at all surprising considering her incredible bone structure and mesmerizingly blue eyes?
Born Patricia Anne Stratigeas, Trish Stratus is a fitness master, fitness model, professional wrestler, actress, and television personality. Throughout her childhood, Trish took an interest in wrestling but it wasn’t until after pursuing a career in modeling that she was noticed by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Then, in November 1999, the Canadian superstar signed to a multi-year contract with the company. Aside from professional wrestling, though, Stratus has also appeared on a number of magazine covers and been involved in charity work.
Are you guys also starting to realize just how many beautiful tennis players there are in the world? Well, here’s another one for you — Maria Sharapova. A Russian native, Maria had an extremely fruitful career before retiring in February 2020, winning a medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Aside from making a name for herself in athletics, Maria has been known for her work with multiple magazines including a feature in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She has also appeared in several advertisements for brands such as Nike and been the face of several fashion houses.
Often called by her nickname “Rowdy,” Ronda Rousey is an American professional wrestler and former mixed martial artist who won Olympic medals in judo at the 2008 Summer Olympics. It wasn’t until 2018 that Rousey began a career in professional wrestling, signing a contract with WWE. Aside from whooping butt in the ring, Rousey has also enjoyed success as both an actress, author, and model. In all honesty, though, how could she not? Not only is she an absolute beauty but she’s also incredibly inspiring.
Let’s be real — Serena Williams stole our hearts the minute she turned professional in 1995. While we could sit here the whole day telling you guys about all that Serena has accomplished, we’re pretty sure you already know. In any event, Serena is a force to be reckoned with and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Aside from dominating tennis courts all around the globe, this goddess also enjoys her fair share of television and modeling work. Then again, if we looked like her, we also wouldn’t mind posing for magazine covers.
The captain of both the 2012 “Fierce Five” and 2016 “Final Five” U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics teams, Aly Raisman is a retired gymnast and two-time Olympian that made waves in the athletic world after becoming the 2016 Olympic individual all-around silver medalist and floor exercise silver medalist. Aside from her unstoppable talent, Raisman has stunned fans with her poise and grace. Not only has she done modeling work over the years, appearing in various magazines, but she was also a contestant on Dancing With the Stars.
Lolo Jones has gained public attention throughout the years not only due to her immense talent but also because of her exotic looks. An American hurdler and bobsledder, Jones has won three NCAA titles and garnered 11 All-American honors while attending Louisiana State University. Now 37 years old, Jones has no intention of slowing down in the near future. Aside from essentially ruling in her respective sport, Jones has also done modeling work for magazines including the ESPN: The Magazine’s “The Body Issue,“ as well as the cover of Outside.
Michelle Wie, a professional golfer, began playing when she was just 10 years old. At that point, she became the youngest player to qualify for a USGA amateur championship. Beyond that, Wie also became the youngest winner of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and the youngest to qualify for an LPGA Tour event. By 2005, shortly before her 16th birthday, Wie finally took her career to a professional level in which she was unsurprisingly accompanied by an enormous amount of publicity and endorsements. Then, in 2014, this knockout won her first major at the U.S. Women’s Open.
Eugenie “Genie” Bouchard is a professional tennis player who has certainly made quite a name for herself over the last few years. In fact, at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, Bouchard became the first Canadian-born player representing Canada to reach the final of a Grand Slam tournament in singles. Aside from these accomplishments, including awards that she has received, Bouchard has also been noticed for her effortless beauty. We mean, this gal has a smile that could light up any room — or tennis court, in her case.
Born and raised in Washington state, Miesha Tate is an American mixed martial arts pundit and former mixed martial artist. Throughout her years in the industry, there’s no question that Tate has solidified her place as a champion. In fact, her fighting technique has only earned her praise from multiple peers and media outlets. Outside of MMA and the UFC, though, Tate has modeled for various different websites and publications including ESPN: The Magazine and Fitness Gurls. Since her retirement, Tate has gone on to become the VP for ONE Championship — Singapore-based mixed martial arts, Muay Thai, and kickboxing promotion.
Alright, people — how stunning is Alex Morgan?! Now 31 years old, Morgan is an American soccer player for the Orlando Pride of the National Women’s Soccer League, the highest division of women’s professional soccer in the United States. An unstoppable force to be reckoned with, Morgan has helped the U.S. win their titles at the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cups. Besides her accomplishments on the field, though, Morgan has also found success in modeling for a number of magazines including the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Vogue, Elle, and Time among various others.
Did your jaws drop at the sight of Skylar Diggins, too? Yeah, we thought so. This beauty queen is a 29-year-old professional basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). After getting drafted third overall by the Tulsa Shock in the 2013 WNBA Draft, Diggins instantly rose to fame with her fierce talent. Not only has she been named the WNBA All-Star four times but was also recognized as the WNBA Most Improved Player in 2014. When she’s not on the court, Diggins keeps busy with modeling work for several magazines including Vogue.
An American Olympian and professional ice hockey player, Hilary Knight is undoubtedly one of the strongest people in the sport. Now 31 years old, Knight has been playing for as long as she can remember. She is currently a forward with the PWHPA — Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association — and the United States women’s national ice hockey team. Aside from shredding ice, Knight also models and is involved in the well-known #LikeAGirl campaign, making her the ultimate role model for girls all over the globe.
Hailing all the way from the land down under — Australia — Torah Bright is a professional snowboarder and Australia’s most successful Winter Olympian. With her aggressive riding style and amplitude, Bright has easily become one of the biggest names in the sport. Throughout the years, she has gone on to win multiple medals, awards, and accolades. With so many accomplishments under her belt, it’s hard to imagine that Bright has time for anything else yet she does! When she isn’t wowing fans with her unbelievable tricks, she’s shocking them with her insanely good looks and modeling work.
Born and raised in Ireland, Becky Lynch might be one of the most charming people to ever grace the WWE. With her adorable accent, powerful skills, and beautiful appearance, it’s no surprise that Becky is beloved by many. Although the red-headed beauty is currently signed to WWE on the Raw brand, she’s been on maternity leave as of May 2020. Aside from wrestling, Lynch also dabbles in acting. Not only did she graduate with an acting degree from the Dublin Institute of Technology but she also attended Columbia College Chicago and the Gaiety School of Acting.
At 34 years old, it’s safe to say that Candace Parker has certainly established herself in not only women’s basketball but also in the world of basketball as a whole. After getting the first overall pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft, this six-foot-four-inch goddess has helped the Los Angeles Sparks win various titles. With several awards and accolades under her belt, Parker will forever be a household name. When she isn’t bouncing the ball around, she spends her time as the studio analyst for CBS Sports NCAA men’s tournament coverage and NBA on TNT.
This blonde-haired beauty is named Nastia Liukin, a former artistic gymnast. Throughout her career as a gymnast, Nastia won several awards and accolades including the 2008 Olympic All-Around champion. She was also a five-time Olympic medalist, the 2005 and 2007 world champion on the balance beam, and the 2005 world champion on the uneven bars. After an extremely successful career, Nastia stepped back from the sport in 2012. Since her retirement, Nastia has kept busy with not only television work but also with The Nastia Liukin Cup — an annual gymnastics competition held in the United States that’s hosted by Liukin.
Simone Biles, a Belizean-American artistic gymnast, is a household name at this point. At just 23 years old, she is the most decorated American gymnast and third most decorated in the world, with a total of thirty Olympic and World Championship medals. Having been referred to by many as the “greatest gymnast ever,” Simone continues to work in other industries outside of sports. She is endorsed by Nike and other big brands, and it’s clear that her beauty is just the cherry on top of a wildly successful career.
Sloane Stephens is an American professional tennis player whose undeniable talent was internationally recognized at the 2013 Australian Open, where she defeated Serena Williams. She has won multiple awards, including the WTA Comeback Player of the Year, since. Represented by TLA Worldwide, Sloane has been the face of several big brands throughout her career, including Under Armour, Nike, and American Express. Her stunning appearance coupled with a long list of athletic accolades is sure to contribute to her success for years to come.
Naomi Osaka is a Haitian and Japanese award-winning professional tennis player who has been successfully ranked No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association. The first-ever Asian player to hold the highest ranking in tennis singles, Osaka has become known as the “first” of many athletic endeavors. Her beauty has also not gone unnoticed, as Naomi is endorsed by multiple big brands such as Nissan and world-renowned cosmetics company, Shiseido. Still in her early twenties, it’s safe to assume her career will span for many years to come.
Lisa Leslie is an American former professional basketball player who currently serves as a head coach in the BIG3 professional basketball league. With a long career full of numerous successes and awards, it’s no surprise that she was inducted into both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. In addition to her incredible sports history, Lisa has also secured a notable reputation in fashion and media, with several roles on TV and numerous appearances in Vogue and Newsweek.
Regarded as an icon in the world of soccer, Mia Hamm is a retired professional player who became a two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion over the course of her career. During her time as an international player, Hamm signed endorsement deals with big brands including Gatorade, Nike, Dreyer’s Ice Cream, Pepsi, and Nabisco among many others. If she hadn’t been a star on the field, though, Hamm could have done extremely well as a model considering her striking appearance and experience posing for magazines such as Sports Illustrated, Time, and People.
Gabrielle Christina Victoria Douglas is an American artistic gymnast. She was a member of the gold-winning teams at both the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics and is known as the first African American to become the Olympic individual all-around champion. Her incredible achievements and striking beauty have taken her career off the mat and into media and film. An author and star of her own reality TV series, Gabby doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Pusaria Venkata Sindhu is an Indian professional badminton player who made her international debut in 2009. At just age 17, she rose to the top 20 of the BWF World Ranking in 2012. Since then, she’s won multiple super series titles. Not only is she athletically talented but her beauty has also made waves in the sports industry with her numerous brand endorsements such as those with JBL, Gatorade, and Panasonic. Having already made a Forbes list for the highest-paid female athletes, it’s safe to say her successful career will last.
Maya Moore, an American professional basketball player, is a member of the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA. Her athletic talent and hard work led to her being named the inaugural Performer of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 2017. In addition to numerous awards and championships won, Maya now continues to use her platform for criminal justice reform. Regardless of her future endeavors, her athleticism and activism – and no doubt, her beauty – are sure to be remembered.
Claressa Shields is an American professional boxer with multiple world championships. She’s won gold medals in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and remains one of only seven boxers – male or female – to hold all four major world boxing titles simultaneously. In addition to her remarkable boxing career, Claressa has been the star of a documentary and continues to find acting work in films and advertisements – not surprising, considering her talent is punctuated by extreme beauty.
Allyson Michelle Felix is a recognized athlete all around the world. She’s an American track and field sprinter who has won awards in all of her events: 100, 200, and 400-meters. And in 2017, she was recognized as the most decorated athlete in World Athletics Championships history, with a total of 18 career medals. Not only is Allyson a talented, successful, and revered athlete, she just so happens to be undeniably beautiful. If she ever desired a career in modeling, she’d surely rise to the top.
Professional swimmers are often recognized for their physique, and Simone Ashley Manuel is no exception. She is an American competitive swimmer who specializes in sprint freestyle. In the 2016 Olympics, her talent and hard work won her two gold and two silver medals. Having turned professional in 2018, Simone’s career is only getting started. She also signed with TYR Sport, Inc. — an American manufacturer of swimwear and triathlon apparel — and will no doubt find further success as both an athlete and model.
Venus Williams, older sister to the legendary Serena, certainly deserves her flowers for her incredible athletic achievements. She was discovered at the age of seven for her unusual talent and potential to be a great tennis player, and she went on to do just that. As of today, Venus has been ranked No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association on three separate occasions. An athletic force to be reckoned with, Venus also holds two degrees, one in business administration and another in fashion design – not surprising considering her track record of stylish looks on and off the tennis court. With numerous athletic and professional accolades already under her belt, she doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
Sydney McLaughlin is an American hurdler and sprinter, known for her time at the University of Kentucky before going on to win a silver medal at the 2019 World Championships in 400-meter hurdles. In 2018, she broke the collegiate and NCAA record for the same event. Later that year, she became professional. Sydney comes from an athletic family, with both mom and dad having a history of competitive running. In addition to inheriting strong athletic genes from her parents, she can also thank them for her stunningly good looks.
Elizabeth “Liz” Cambage
Hailing from Australia, Liz Cambage is a professional basketball player currently playing for the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA. One of her many contributions to the sporting world is her 53-point performance in a game against the New York Liberty – the current WNBA single-game scoring record. Standing tall at six-foot-five-inches, it’s reported that she was teased for her height growing up. But now, with records and multiple achievements to her name including a memorable slam dunk during the Olympic games, it’s clear who came out on top. Beautiful and talented, Liz is sure to continue being a success.
Crystal Alyssia Dunn Soubrier is an American soccer player both wildly talented and strikingly beautiful. She plays for the North Carolina Courage of the National Woman’s Soccer League (NWSL). In 2015, she was the youngest player to win both the NWSL Most Valuable Player and Golden Boot awards. With numerous successes in the sport since she first started playing, it’s safe to assume that she will be in the game for a long time. But if she ever decided to take another track, her undeniable beauty would likely keep her a household name.
Another Washington state native to make this list, Hope Solo is a former soccer player. The 38-year-old stunner was the goalkeeper for the United States women’s national soccer team from 2000 to 2016 in which she became a World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist. Considering that she’s regarded as one of the top female goalkeepers in the world, we think it’s safe to say that Solo is a name that’ll never be forgotten. Following her impressive feat at the 2011 World Cup, Solo then participated in Dancing With the Stars and posed for numerous magazines, of course.
In all honesty, we might be in love with Gina Carano. We mean, look at her! In any event, Carano started her career in the sport of Muay Thai although it wasn’t long before she transitioned into mixed martial arts, where she became the face of women’s MMA. After she retired from competition, Carano decided to keep busy with acting and modeling work. Ranked in fifth place on a list of the “Top 10 Influential Women” of 2008, Carano has been featured in ESPN: The Magazine as well as Maxim.
Born in California, Anastasia Ashley began surfing at the age of five right before moving to Hawaii. By the time she turned six, Ashley won a surf contest using a run-down board that she found in the garbage right outside of her house. A year after that, Ashley ultimately picked up a sponsor that would replace her board with new ones. With that being said, it’s clear that talent coursed through Ashley’s veins from the time she was a little girl. Now 33 years old, Ashley has achieved quite a lot as a professional surfer as well as a model, which doesn’t shock us considering her flawless looks.
Brie & Nikki Bella
Nikki and Brie Bella are identical twins and professional wrestling tag team that performed on WWE. The Bella Twins are both former Divas Champions, with Nikki having held the title twice and Brie once. Although they’re now retired from wrestling, both Nikki and Brie are still very much in the spotlight. Other than enjoying a life of motherhood, Nikki and Bella have their hands full with modeling work as well as running their own beauty line — Nicole + Brizee.
Caroline Wozniacki is yet another powerhouse that the world has fallen in love with due to both her awe-inspiring talent and beguiling appearance. Originally from Denmark, Wozniacki is a former professional tennis player who reached world No. 1 in singles and the 20th in the Open Era. She also happens to be the first woman from a Scandinavian country to hold the top-ranking position. It’s important to note that Wozniacki accomplished all of this despite getting diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2018 — talk about inspiring. After her retirement in 2019, Wozniacki tied the knot with former NBA champion David Lee.