Rachel Hunter (born 9 September 1969) is a New Zealand born model, actress and reality TV show host, who is a naturalised citizen of the United States. She is best known for her appearance in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues and her marriage to singer Rod Stewart, which ended in 2006.
Born in Glenfield, a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, her parents divorced when she was still a child. Wanting to be a ballet dancer, she was diagnosed with a rare blood disease as a teenager, which curtailed her dancing ambitions.
As a result, Hunter began modelling by age 17 in 1986, and the same year turned down an invitation to pose for Playboy magazine.
Resultantly persuaded by her aunt to fly to the United States, she signed for the Ford Models agency of New York, landing the Cover Girl cosmetics contract and becoming the spokesperson for the company. But Hunter rose to global prominence after posing as a Sports Illustrated model in 1989. She subsequently appeared on magazine covers, including Cosmopolitan and on the 1994 "Dream Team" cover of Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue.
She posed naked for a cover-featured Playboy pictorial published in 2004. She also replaced Penny Lancaster,