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Janice Dickinson
Janice Dickinson 2014.jpg
Dickinson in 2014
Born (1955-02-16) February 16, 1955 (age 69)
  • Model
  • television personality
  • businesswoman
Years active 1969–present
Ron Levy
(m. 1977; div. 1979)
Simon Fields
(m. 1987; div. 1993)
Alan B. Gersten
(m. 1995; div. 1996)
Rocky Gerner
(m. 2016)
Children 2
Relatives Debbie Dickinson (sister)
Modeling information
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Hair color Dark brown
Eye color Brown

Janice Doreen Dickinson (born February 16, 1955) is an American model, television personality, and businesswoman. Initially notable as a model, Dickinson has been disputably described by herself as the first supermodel. (Lisa Fonssagrives is widely considered to have been the world's first supermodel, with a career that began in the 1930s.) One of the most successful models of the 1970s and 1980s, she also served as a judge on four cycles of the reality series America's Next Top Model (2003–2006). Dickinson opened a modeling agency in 2005 which was documented on the reality series The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency (2006–2008).

In 2007, Dickinson was a contestant on the seventh series of the British television show I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! which she finished as runner-up. In 2008, she starred on the reality series Janice & Abbey, alongside British model Abbey Clancy. In 2010, Dickinson appeared on the fourth series of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, and in 2015, she appeared on Celebrity Big Brother 16.

Dickinson has released three autobiographical books: No Lifeguard on Duty (2002), Everything About Me Is Fake… And I'm Perfect (2004), and Check Please! Dating, Mating, and Extricating (2006).

Early life

Dickinson was born in Brooklyn, New York, the second daughter to Jennie Marie (née Pietrzykowski) and Ray Dickinson. Her mother was of Polish descent.

She was raised in Hollywood, Florida with her elder sister, Alexis, who became a real estate agent, and her younger sister, Debbie, who also became a model.

Modeling career

In the early 1970s, Dickinson moved to New York City to pursue work as a model after winning a national competition called "Miss High Fashion Model." At a time when blue-eyed blondes dominated the fashion scene, Dickinson was turned down several times by modeling agents, including Eileen Ford, who informed Dickinson she was "much too ethnic. You'll never work."

She was discovered by the fashion photographer Jacques Silberstein when his girlfriend, actress Lorraine Bracco, mentioned she liked Dickinson's look. Wilhelmina Cooper became Dickinson's first agent. Her modeling pursuits led her to Paris, France, where her "exotic looks" secured her reputation within the European fashion industry.

She returned to New York City in 1978, and spent the next several years working steadily, earning $2,000 per day, nearly four times the standard rate. Dickinson eventually signed with Ford Models to land a major ad campaign for a new JVC camera. Dickinson, who had not forgotten Ford's initial rejection, was intent on revenge. She soon orchastrated some twenty Ford models to defect to John Casablancas's upstart Elite Model Management.

By the 1980s, Dickinson was considered a supermodel, as she "possessed the kind of name and face recognition" that the majority of women in the modeling industry strive to achieve. ..... She has appeared on the cover of Vogue (International editions only) 37 times. She was seen on the cover of Elle seven times in a row and has been the face of ad campaigns for brands including Revlon, Alberto VO5, Balmain, Obao, Christian Dior, Clairol, Hush Puppies, Orbit gum, Max Factor, Virginia Slims, and Cutex.

Dickinson looked for ways to sustain her relevance within the fashion industry as she aged, becoming a fashion photographer. In 2008, she launched her own jewelry line on HSN.

In 2009, Dickinson recorded a song entitled "Crazy", which was written and produced by Craig Taylor.

"First supermodel" claim

Samata Angel and Janice Dickinson during London Fashion Week
Dickinson (right) and Samata at London Fashion Week 2010

While Dickinson claims to have coined the term supermodel in 1979, and to be the first "supermodel", the word already was known in the 1940s. The writer Judith Cass used the term in 1942 in her Chicago Tribune article "Super Models are Signed for Fashion Show". In 1943, author Clyde Matthew Dessner used the term in his book So You Want to Be a Model!

The New York Times, on March 21, 1967, and The Daily Times of Salisbury, Maryland on May 19, 1967, both referred to Twiggy as a supermodel.

In 1968, an article in Glamour described Twiggy, Cheryl Tiegs, Wilhelmina, Veruschka, Jean Shrimpton, and 15 other models as "supermodels".

Syndicated columnist Suzy Knickerbocker in 1970 described Penelope Tree as a supermodel.

The April 23, 1971, issue of The Hour headlined one of its articles "Supermodels Reveal Their Beauty Secrets", including an advertisement with the caption "Supermodel Cheryl Tiegs". The article also says, "The fashion/beauty world is dotted with Supermodels" and "Cybill Shepherd a Supermodel who may turn into a Superstar." Jean Shrimpton was described as a supermodel by Time in 1971, as were Margaux Hemingway by Vogue on September 1, 1975, Beverly Johnson by Jet in 1977, and Naomi Sims in the 1978 book Total Beauty Catalog by K.T. Maclay.

Lisa Fonssagrives and Dorian Leigh, whose careers began before Dickinson was born, have been retroactively recognized as the 20th century's first supermodels. Gia Carangi has been called the first supermodel as well as Jean Shrimpton. Lauren Hutton has also been referred to as the first supermodel, due to the fact that she was the first model to get a cosmetics contract. (In 1974 with Revlon.)

Television career

In 2003, Dickinson returned to media attention with her stint as a judge on the reality television series America's Next Top Model. She was hired after producer Tyra Banks read No Lifeguard On Duty and realized that Dickinson could offer the contestants advice on the perils of the fashion industry. As a panelist, Dickinson became known for her wit and incisive, brutally honest critiques.

Dickinson frequently quarreled with her fellow judges, particularly Kimora Lee Simmons and Nolé Marin. A recurring source of tension between Dickinson and Banks was the former's dubiety concerning plus-size models.

After four cycles, Banks fired Dickinson, replacing her with Twiggy. Dickinson was hurt by the decision. "I was just telling the truth and I was saving these girls from going out there and being told that they're too short, too fat, their skin's not good enough," she said. "I was to America's Next Top Model what Simon Cowell is to American Idol." Despite this, Dickinson made guest appearances on the following three cycles: As the photographer for a photo challenge in cycle 5, in a mentor role in cycle 6, and as the interviewee for an interview challenge in cycle 7. In 2005, Dickinson was a cast member on The Surreal Life during its fifth season. She was confronted by castmate Omarosa Manigault during a publicity photo shoot while Dickinson was posing with a prop knife. After being physically separated by Bronson Pinchot the two continued to feud throughout the series.

In 2006, Dickinson starred in her own reality show, The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency, for the Oxygen cable-television channel. The program, which ran for four seasons, documented Dickinson launching a new career as a modeling agent. She appeared with British model Abigail Clancy in Beauty & The Best, a reality series detailing Clancy's attempt to break into the American modeling market. The show debuted in the United Kingdom on Living on May 14, 2007, and premiered in the U.S. on Oxygen on February 19, 2008.

In November 2007, Dickinson became one of the celebrities taking part in the British reality television show I'm a Celebrity…Get Me out of Here!. She set the record for most Bushtucker trials, competing ten times in a row. In the finale of the series, it was announced that Dickinson had gained second place in the competition, with Christopher Biggins coming first.

Dickinson was also a contestant for season two of the American version of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! which began airing in June 2009. She was eliminated from the show on June 18, 2009.

In 2009, Dickinson was a guest judge on the Finnish version of the Top Model franchise. She created controversy after the claimed effects of accidentally mixing a sleeping aid with champagne caused her to fall down a flight of stairs and burst out at the models. Dickinson was taken to a hospital where she was told she had no visible injuries. She later apologized to the models during the show's airing.

Other guest appearances include "Still Charmed and Kicking", an episode of Charmed. Dickinson made a cameo appearance in Darren Hayes's music video "On the Verge of Something Wonderful". In 2010, Dickinson appeared on the celebrity edition of British dinner-party contest Come Dine with Me, on which she frequently butted heads with former Page 3 Girl Samantha Fox over her glamour modeling career, and flirted with Calum Best.

Dickinson appeared in the fourth season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which premiered in December 2010. In 2011, she guest-starred in an episode of 90210 (titled "Project Runway").

In August 2015, Dickinson was a housemate on the sixteenth season of the British reality show, Celebrity Big Brother. She became the seventh celebrity to be evicted from the house, just two days before the final.

In 2020, Dickinson appeared on season 24 of The Bachelor.

In 2023, she was scheduled to appear on I'm a Celebrity... South Africa, but had to withdraw from the show, after she suffered a head injury, which required her being taken to hospital.

Personal life

Dickinson has been married four times. Her former husbands are Ron Levy, Simon Fields, and Alan B. Gersten, also known as Albert Gersten. She has a son, Nathan, and a daughter, Savannah. ..... Their relationship ended when DNA tests proved he was not the father. ..... In 2012, she announced she was engaged to Dr. Robert Gerner ("Rocky"), a psychiatrist whom she married in December 2016.

..... Dickinson said that she tried to write about this in her 2002 autobiography, but Cosby and his lawyers pressured her and her lawyers to remove the details.

In March 2016, it was revealed that Dickinson had been diagnosed with breast cancer.


Dickinson released a memoir detailing her "wild days" as a supermodel. Titled No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World's First Supermodel (2002), the book was effective in introducing her to a new generation. ..... Her next memoir, Check Please! Dating, Mating, and Extricating (2006), discusses the men in her life, and prescribes her rules for dating.


As actress
Year Title Role Notes
1983 Exposed Model
1998 Buddy Faro Evelyn Maynard 1 episode
2005 Charmed Paige #2 Episode: "Still Charmed and Kicking"
2005 Wassup Rockers Beverly Hills Actress Cameo appearance
2021 Pink Rehabilitation Dr. Janice
As herself
Year Title Role Notes
2003–2008 America's Next Top Model Judge
2004 Rock Me Baby Herself Episode: "Look Who's Talking"
2005 The Surreal Life Herself Season 5
2005–2006 The Tyra Banks Show Herself 10 episodes
2006 Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles Herself 1 episode
2006–2008 The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency Herself
2007 Janice & Abbey Herself Main role
2007 I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! (UK) Participant Series 7, runner-up
2009 I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! (US) Participant Season 2
2010 Finland’s Next Top Model Guest judge 1 episode
2010 Come Dine with Me Herself Celebrity edition episode
2010 8 Out of 10 Cats Herself 1 episode
2010 Loose Women Herself Guest panellist; 2 episodes
2010–2011 Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew Herself
2011 Celebrity Juice Herself 2 episodes
2011 Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model Guest judge 2 episodes
2012 Sweden's Next Top Model Guest judge
2012 RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Guest judge 1 episode
2014, 2016 Botched Herself 2 episodes
2015 Celebrity Big Brother 16 Contestant Series 16, 7th place
2015 Couples Therapy Herself 5 episodes
2018 The Face Thailand Guest judge 1 episode
2020 The Bachelor Herself 1 episode
2023 I'm a Celebrity... South Africa Participant

See also

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