Janice Doreen Dickinson is an American model, author, actress, television personality, and television agent. Initially notable as a model, she has been disputably described by herself and others as the first supermodel. One of the most successful models of the 1970s and the 1980s, she also served as a judge on four cycles on American’s Next Top Model beginning in 2003. Take a look below for 28 more fun and interesting facts about Janice Dickinson.
1. Dickinson was born in Brooklyn, New York, the second daughter to Jennie Marie and Ray Dickinson.
2. Her mother was of Polish descent and her father was of Scottish and Irish ancestry.
3. 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.
4. Dickinson has been open about the emotional and physical abuse she suffered as a child and teenager, and how her father used to sexually abuse one of her sisters.
5. Of her childhood with her “rageoholic pedophile” of a father, Dickinson stated, “Because I wouldn’t give in and let him have sex with me, I was verbally and physically abused on a daily basis. I was told that I looked like a boy and wouldn’t amount to anything.”
6. 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.”
7. 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.”
8. She was discovered by the fashion photographer Jacques Silberstein when his girlfriend, actress Lorraine Bracco, mentioned she liked Dickinson’s look.
9. Wilhelmina Cooper became Dickinson’s first agent.
10. Her modeling pursuits led her to Paris, France, where her “exotic looks” secured her reputation within the European fashion industry.
11. 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.
12. Dickinson eventually signed with Ford Models to land a major ad campaign for a new JVC camera.
13. Dickinson, who had not forgotten Ford’s initial rejection, was intent on revenge.
14. She soon became one of 20 Ford models to defect to John Casablancas’s upstart Elite Model Management.
15. 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.
16. She appeared within and on covers of magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Photo, Vogue, Marie Claire, and Playboy, and worked with some of fashion’s best-known names, including Bill Blass, Gianni Versace, Valentino Garavani, Azzedine Alaïa, Pino Lancetti, Halston, Oscar de la Renta, and Calvin Klein.
17. She has appeared on the cover of Vogue (both American and international editions) 37 times.
18. 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.
19. In 2009, Dickinson recorded a song entitled “Crazy,” which was written and produced by Craig Taylor.
20. 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.
21. Dickinson has been married four times. Her former husbands are Ron Levy, Simon Fields, and Alan B. Gersten, also known as Albert Gersten.
22. She has a son, Nathan, and a daughter, Savannah.
23. Dickinson was having an affair with Sylvester Stallone when Savannah was born in 1994, and it was reported that Stallone was the father. Their relationship ended when DNA tests proved he was not the father.
24. In her books and in interviews, she has discussed her numerous sexual relationships with male and female celebrities.
25. In 2012, she announced she was engaged to Dr. Robert Gerner (“Rocky”), a psychiatrist whom she married in December 2016.
26. In November 2014, Dickinson joined a number of women who said comedian Bill Cosby raped her in 1982, adding that she tried to write about this in her 2002 autobiography but that Cosby and his lawyers pressured her and her lawyers to remove the details.
27. In March 2016, it was revealed that Dickinson has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
28. 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.