Family & Companions
Model-actress Ali Landry became an overnight sensation in one of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials ever. Already crowned Miss Louisiana Teen USA 1990 and Miss USA 1996, the Louisiana beauty turned to acting in 1997. The following year Landry broke out nationwide with a star-making appearance as the über-athletic "Doritos Girl" in a television commercial aired during Super Bowl XXXII and soon picked up recurring roles on such series as "Pensacola: Wings of Gold" (syndicated, 1997-2000) and "Felicity" (WB, 1998-2002). Two years later, Landry made her feature film debut alongside Minnie Driver in the beauty pageant comedy "Beautiful (2000). While low-budget fare like "Repli-Kate" (2002) traded in on her stellar looks, Landry showed promise as a comedic actor with a regular cast role on the sitcom "Eve" (UPN, 2003-06). Landry earned high marks for her performance in Alejandro Gomez Monteverde's well-regarded indie drama "Bella" (2007). Later work included a notable guest turn in 2008 on the police procedural "Criminal Minds" (CBS, 2005- ) and a supporting role in the inspirational drama film "Me Again" (2012). Determined to be regarded as more than just a pretty face, Landry continually pursued her professional aspirations while remaining true to her personal beliefs.
Ali Germaine Landry was born into a family with deep Cajun roots on July 21, 1973 in Breaux Bridge, LA. A cheerleader in high school, Landry's first foray into the pageant world came in 1990 when the athletic beauty was named Miss Louisiana Teen USA. After graduating from Cecilia High School in 1991, Landry attended the University of Southern Louisiana (later University of Louisiana at Lafayette), where she majored in communications before representing her home state in the Miss USA competition and taking home the crown in 1996. Later that year, Landry competed in the Miss Universe pageant and finished among the top six finalists. Having already modeled for several years, Landry began her acting career in 1997 with small roles on series like the comedy spin-off "Clueless" (ABC/UPN, 1996-99) and the sword-and-sorcery adventure "Conan" (syndicated, 1997-98), in addition to a minor recurring appearance on the daytime soap "Sunset Beach" (NBC, 1997-99). She later gained a bit of early hosting experience on the short-lived sketch comedy show "Prime Time Comedy" (NBC, 1998) and UPN's clip show "America's Greatest Pets" (1998).
Landry's most notable appearance by far that year was as the focus of a television commercial for Doritos snack chips. Co-starring comedic actor Sean Hayes, the spot allowed Landry to put her years of gymnastic training to good use. As a stunningly attractive woman simply doing her laundry, her dexterous passion for the snack seemingly defied the laws of gravity as she jumped and flipped across the laundromat snatching chips out of the air. Originally broadcast during Super Bowl XXXII, it left a nation of football fans slack-jawed with appreciation and prompted The New York Post to proclaim "A star was born" the following day. The attention lavished upon the "Doritos Girl" was not without its downside, though, as over the months that followed her sensational breakthrough, Landry was pelted on more than one occasion with bags of Doritos by misguided fans. Though many of Landry's early roles simply traded on her stunning features - the pilot for the short-lived "Significant Others" (Fox, 1998) billed her as merely "Gorgeous Woman" - she handled character parts well, including a multi-episode arc on the military adventure series "Pensacola: Wings of Gold" (syndicated, 1997-2000) and a recurring role on "Felicity" (The WB, 1998-2002) as Natalie, the unexpected spouse of series regular Scott Foley.
Things were looking up in Landry's personal life as well. In 1998, the beauty met former "Saved by the Bell" (NBC, 1989-93) heartthrob Mario Lopez while serving as a color commentator for the Miss Teen USA pageant. Landry made her feature film debut, not surprisingly, in the beauty pageant dramedy "Beautiful (2000), starring Minnie Driver and directed by Sally Field. Less notable projects included the low-budget horror movie "Soulkeeper" (2001) and the National Lampoon sci-fi sex romp "Repli-Kate" (2002), in which Landry was type cast as a scientifically created "perfect woman." Mixing business with pleasure, Landry appeared opposite her beau Lopez in the direct-to-DVD crime drama, "Outta Time" (2002). Television hosting duties kept Landry's visibility high with steady work on the reality-revenge show "Spy TV" (NBC 2001-02), the concert series "Farmclub.com" (USA Network, 2001), and the haute couture program "Full Frontal Fashion" (syndicated, 2002-03). Landry continued to accrue acting credits, as well with appearances as a Playmate-style model in the juvenile comedy "Who's Your Daddy?" (2003) and a pair of performances on the short-lived action series "Fastlane" (Fox, 2002-03) before joining the cast of "Eve" (UPN, 2003-06) as one of rap star Eve's girlfriends, a former model. After a six-year courtship with Lopez - one followed intensely by the tabloids - the aesthetically pleasing pair finally married in 2004. Sadly, the marriage was annulled within two weeks - reportedly after Landry discovered infidelities on Lopez's behalf, just prior to their wedding.
In 2005, Landry met Mexican director Alejandro Gomez Monteverde, reportedly at a church Bible study. Putting her painful and brief first marriage behind her, Landry and Monteverde became engaged on Memorial Day of that year before tying the knot in early 2006. Landry's union with the director extended to a professional relationship when she took part in Monteverde's next feature film, the acclaimed drama "Bella" (2006), an emotional pro-life tale of forgiveness and redemption. Continuing to expand her acting repertoire, Landry guest-starred in a 2008 episode of "Criminal Minds" (CBS, 2005- ) as a woman who is kidnapped by a brilliant serial killer (Jason Alexander). On a more lighthearted note, she also served as a commentator throughout the first season of the caught-on-tape reality show "The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest" (truTV, 2008- ) and served as a contestant on the short-lived celebrity obstacle course competition "The Superstars" (ABC, 2009). Other acting work included a co-starring role in the faith-based inspirational drama "Me Again" (2012).
By Bryce P. Coleman
Cast (Feature Film)
Represented as Miss Louisiana in the Miss USA pageant; won the competition
Cast as Kenzie on the short-lived NBC soap "Sunset Beach"
Guest starred on the daytime soap opera "The Bold And The Beautiful" (CBS)
Landed recurring role on the syndicated series "Pensacola: Wings of Gold"
Played recurring role on "Felicity" (The WB)
Film debut in Sally Fields' dramedy "Beautiful," starring Minnie Driver
Hosted NBC's candid-camera television series "Spy TV"
Cast in a featured role on the UPN sitcom "Eve"
Portrayed Elissa in the comedy feature "Who's Your Daddy?"
Co-starred in the romantic drama "Bella," which husband Alejandro Monteverde wrote, produced and directed