Rachel Hunter was born September 9, 1969, in a middle-class family in Auckland, New Zealand. Her parents to carry on through a rocky relationship, and they eventually divorced when Rachel was still a child.\

Although Rachel was more reserved and inhibited as a young girl, her personality seemed to undergo a dramatic transformation in 1982 when she was diagnosed with a rare blood disease. Following her recovery, Rachel became much more gregarious, which may have given her the fuel she needed to pursue a career in the spotlight.

While she had always dreamed of becoming a ballerina, Rachel inevitably wound up posing for the camera. A model by age 17, Rachel soon graced the covers of huge number of fashion magazines, including Vogue and Cosmopolitan.

At the young age of 21, Rachel's life in the public eye took on a whole new meaning when she wed Rod Stewart, who was 24 years her senior. Together they had two children: Renee and Liam.

By 1994, Rachel had established herself as a top fashion model, both on the runway and on magazine covers. She began appearing in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, as well as the accompanying videos.

Hunter and Stewart first separated in January 1999, but did not divorce. Their divorce was expected to proceed after Stewart proposed to another model, Penny Lancaster, in March of 2005. Hunter appeared on the 1994 "Dream Team" cover of Sports Illustrated, alongside models Kathy Ireland and Elle Macpherson. Both Hunter and Ireland were pregnant when the cover photo was taken. Rachel has apparently been romantically linked with everyone from Mark McGrath to Bruce Willis. For the time being though, she remains single.

Life after Rod has been a busy one for Rachel. She worked on several independent films, including 1999's A Walk in the Park and 2000's Two Shades of Blue, and had a small part in 2001's Rock Star. In addition, she also hosted a fitness program for VH-1 and released several exercise videos.

She has also been very vocal about animal rights, making a notable trip to Congo to bring awareness to the gorilla crisis that is ongoing there. But life for Rachel after marriage hasn't been without its setbacks, most notably a cancer scare, which, luckily, proved to be non-threatening.

 

In addition to all this, Rachel has performed in a number of chart topping music videos, the most recent being "Stacey's Mum" which sees her dancing sexily to a track by Fountains of Wayne, which is one of the Top Five Most Played Pop Videos in the States. While her workload is not as hectic, career wise, Rachel is raising her two children while continuing to fight for her charitable causes and auditioning for films.

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