Michelle Yvonne Hunziker (born
January 24, 1977) is a Swiss actress, model, singer and a television
personality known to Italian and German audiences.
She was married to Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti from 1998 to 2002; they
have one daughter together, Aurora, born on December 5, 1996.
Hunziker was born in Sorengo (Lugano), in the Italian-speaking part of
Switzerland. Her mother Ineke is Dutch; her father Rudolf, who died of a
heart attack in the fall of 2001, was a German-speaking Swiss national. He
was a painter, but worked as a hotel manager. In 1983, the family moved to
Ostermundigen, a suburb of Berne in the German speaking part of
Switzerland which is also hometown to Swiss Hollywood star and legendary
first Bond girl Ursula Andress. In Ostermundigen Hunziker attended
elementary school. After her parents' separation, Hunziker's mother moved
to Zuchwil/Solothurn. This caused a crisis in Hunziker's life. In 1993,
when Hunziker was 16 years old, she moved to Bologna with her mother.
Wanting to become an interpreter, she studied Italian, French, German,
English and Dutch at a local college. After moving to Milan with her
mother, she decided to become a fashion model and was hired by Riccardo
Gay, a renowned agent. Although considered to be both too heavy and short,
at 17 she posed for well-known labels such as Armani, Rocco Barocco, La
Perla, Colmar, Fuerte Ventura, Lovable and Swish.
Being Eros Ramazzotti's fiancée, she was discovered by a TV producer. In
1996, she co-hosted the Rai Uno-show I cervelloni with Paolo Bonolis. In
summer she presented the prime time comedy show Paperissima Sprint (Canale
5) with Gabibbo. Because of her popularity she hosted the afternoon show
Colpo di Fulmine (Italia 1) in 1997. At the same time she wanted to extend
her artistic abilities. Therefore she attended the professional academy
M.A.S. in Milan with her choreographer Susanna Beltrami.
In 1998, the Italian film director Vincenzo Verdecchi offered Hunziker her
first film role in the TV series La Forza dell'Amore (Canale 5). After she
took the female main role in Fammi stare sotto al letto. She can also be
seen in the documentary film The Protagonist and in another film, Alex
l'Ariete, where she acted with ex ski star Alberto Tomba. Then she
co-hosted with Pippo Baudo the Canale 5 show La festa del Disco. From
1999-2001 she presented the late night show Nonsolomoda (Canale 5) where
she reported about fashion and lifestyle.
In 1999, TV3, the first Swiss private television station, was founded in
Zürich, and Hunziker presented a show called Cinderella, where a hair and
make-up artist as well as a styling adviser helped both a prominent person
and a viewer of the program to get a new look. After the first episode,
Hunziker was caught in the crossfire. The Swiss newspaper Blick even
wrote: "Cinderella, TV3's new lifestyle show is not bad. It is
catastrophic". Later, Hunziker was interviewed by the Swiss German
magazine Schweizer Illustrierte and she told that she couldn't speak
German anymore after having lived in Italy for many years. After TV3 had
changed the concept, the show became more popular.
After having hosted the Swiss show Cinderella, Hunziker was discovered by
German TV producers. In 1998, she presented the awarding of the Goldene
Kamera with Thomas Gottschalk (a very well-known presenter in Germany). A
year later, she co-hosted the show Michael Jackson & Friends (ZDF) in
Munich. After having attended different talk shows, she presented her
first show in Germany: Erstes Glück (SWR/Das Erste). She co-hosted the
show with Thomas Elstner and interviewed prominent people about their
first love. The show wasn't very popular though, and was finally
suspended. When she got back to Italy, she presented the shows Donna sotto
le stelle and Piazza di Spagna (Canale 5) with Gerry Scotti and Tacchi a
spillo (Italia 1) with Claudio Lippi. In 2002-2004 she presented with
Carsten Spengemann the first and second season of Deutschland sucht den
Superstar, the German version of the British TV show Pop Idol. Since
October 2009 Hunziker is co-host of the popular German TV show Wetten,
In 2006 she released a music album in English, Lole, that was available
only in German-speaking countries; the only single off the album was From
noon till midnight. In it she covered 3 songs of Ira Losco, a Maltese
singer. The 3 songs are 'Get Out', 'Someone Else' and 'Love me or Hate
Hunziker co-hosted the Italian comedy shows Zelig (Italia 1) and Scherzi a
parte (Canale 5) in 2001. Zelig is one of the most famous Italian TV
shows. Later that year, she got the Italian TV Oscar in the category
Discovery of the year. Besides, she co-hosted the famous Italian open air
music show Festivalbar with Daniele Bossari and Alessia Marcuzzi.
She has also starred in the musicals directed by Saverio Marconi The Sound
of Music (playing the role of Maria von Trapp) and Cabaret (playing the
role of Sally Bowles); both had great success in Italy.
In 2007, Michelle Hunziker co-hosted with Pippo Baudo the popular Italian
song contest, the Festival di Sanremo on Rai Uno.
Michelle Hunziker is still in Italian television, currently in Striscia la
Notizia with Ezio Greggio.