The gorgeous model and Miss USA 1996 is best known for her commercial appearance as the famous "Doritos Girl." She currently stars as "Rita Lefleur" on UPN's comedy series "Eve." Wherever Ali Landry pops up, there's water involved. She was born on July 21, 1973, in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, the Crawfish Capital of the World. Once she was all grown-up in an orange one-piece swimsuit, she paddled off with the Miss USA 1996 crown. She has even done some laps on TV in what else other than Sunset Beach, and her tidal turn on the small screen took place in a laundromat. During last January's Super Bowl, she wiped out viewers in an ad for Doritos Puffs: Two cool dudes try to impress her with their prowess at catching the chips in their mouths, but Landry, who studied tap, ballet, and gymnastics for 15 years, outdoes them with a series of splits and leaps performed with a man-melting smile. Her commercial costar Sean P. Hayes says, "We were shooting all day, and a lot of Doritos were consumed. I've never seen anyone look better with orange powder on her face." The 5'8" Landry, who lives in L.A. and dates Phoenix Cardinals quarterback Stoney Case, still can't believe her impact. "It's absolutely crazy," she says, citing her imperfect vision ("I'm almost blind without my glasses"), and her bunions (she kept her favorite tennis shoes through a growth spurt). Even her best beauty secret is low-priced. "I buy this teeth-bleaching stuff at Target and do it myself," she says. Her former apartment mate Brian Edwards swears it works: "When Ali smiled, I would say, 'Stop it, you're blinding me!'"
Name: Ali Landry
Date of Birth: July 21, 1973
Place of Birth: Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
Currently Resides: Los Angeles, California
Education: University of Southwestern Louisiana
Major: Mass Communications
Pets: Shiatsu named Cosmo
Weight: 120 lbs
Greatest Accomplishment: Miss Louisiana and Miss USA, 1996
Nickname: The Dorito's Girl
Role Models: Oprah and Rosie
Sorority: Kappa Delta
Favorite Thing: Staying in Bed and Reading All Day
Hobbies: Sports and Outdoors
Most Daring Thing: She Went Bungee Jumping
Favorite Music: 70's Rock
Favorite Musicians: Harry Connick Jr. and Aaron Neville
Favorite Actresses: Sandra Bullock, Susan Sarandon, Julia Roberts
Favorite Actors: Anthony Hopkins, Sean Connery, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Mel Gibson
Favorite TV Show: Oprah
Charities: Special Olympics and Susan Kohman Breast Cancer Foundation
Ali Landry: “Care for a Dip?”
The Doritos diva is nacho average girl
She believes in ghosts. In fact, she believes that a particularly naughty one pulled down the sheets on her and her sister one night in Louisiana when they were teenagers. She also believes in psychics, which is why I find myself sitting across from a frighteningly intense young “spiritualist” named Sherry, who announces that the cards say my life is a mess. I am, in her words, “like a lost child looking for its mother.” I’m also, she says, somewhat infatuated with Ali. Like she needed to be a mind reader to figure that out.
A quick Landry list: She’s hotter than reality TV. Check. As friendly as a Wal-mart greeter. Check. Smart. Check. Free-wheeling and fun. Check…and mate. Oh, did I mention that she pours pretty nicely into a bikini? The two of us are knee-deep in our “special day” together—strolling along L.A.’s funky Venice boardwalk in search of psychic answers. Ali wants advice on her love life. I want proof that this whole thing isn’t just the best dream I’ve ever had.
Sherry the psychic is a highly trained professional. She won’t let me sit in on Ali’s tarot reading (I was “diluting her energy”), so I don’t get to check out her karmic road map. But when Sherry looks under my hood, she says that I have powerful, unresolved “feelings” for Ali and that I need to let her know how I feel or else my “soul will remain troubled.” She’s so convincing, I begin to rehearse my speech.
In the chips
For a girl who’s built a career on a single Doritos commercial (see “10 Sexiest Commercials Ever,” page 88), Ali is about as popular as the pope. And soon she’ll be straining necks from coast to coast. Check her out this fall on Felicity as a sexy Texan who, she says, “comes into town to stir up trouble.” She’ll also be stealing scenes from Minnie Driver on the big screen in the beauty-contest flick Beautiful (not much of a stretch for this former Miss USA). Need more? Every week, she orchestrates stirring movements as cohost of USA’s live music show, Farmclub, alongside Matt Pinfield.
Still, it all comes back to the chips. We’ve been on the boardwalk just five minutes when a pimply surf punk starts a near riot with the witty observation, “Holy sh*t—it’s the Doritos girl!” to a gang of dumbstruck beach bums. If you think she’s tired of being the poster child for munchies, you think wrong. “Are you kidding?” she answers. “I’m so grateful. If people thought it was cool or sexy or whatever, then that’s great. I appreciate it.” Ah, memories…
This is typical Ali. Despite a state-of-the-art chassis and a face that defies description with something as feeble as words, she’s as approachable as a drive-through window. After a full day of conversation, I can count her negative comments on one finger. She only pulls out the punches to put down a chick who had it coming—her former rival, the dreaded Miss New Jersey! “Ugh. I’ll never forget her. She was just one of those girls who was so…competitive. She used to work out naked in her room, just to intimidate other girls.” Once I regained consciousness, the conversation continued.
Miss Jersey—as well as 48 other state queens—became roadkill on Ali’s ride to the title. Being Miss USA led to her move to California and The Commercial. “I almost didn’t go on that audition. My manager made me,” she says. “They told me to pretend I was catching something in my mouth and to dance around like James Bond—whatever that means. So I did all this crazy stuff—a front flip and this cartwheel split. And I got it. They ended up incorporating the gymnastics stuff into the commercial.” America scored it a perfect 10.
Born on the bayou
The Ali Landry saga begins an hour outside of New Orleans in Breaux Bridge, the kind of tiny swamp town where you go to school on air boats and traffic stops for gators. It was the perfect terrain for her family’s Southern-fried version of Crocodile Dundee—her brother, Ty. Ali recalls dodging dead fish, birds and other rotting carcasses that he hung from the front door to greet her when she came home from school. “It was like living in Wild Kingdom in my house.”
Her father, a hard-as-nails oil refinery worker, made it his business to grill any and all of her potential suitors. “Oh, my God! He made all my boyfriends walk up to the door and introduce themselves. There was no driving up and honking, even though I just wanted to run out to the car and leave.” He also grounded her for having the audacity to get B’s on her report card.
Fortunately, Ali’s mom let her out of the house long enough to strut her stuff on the pageant circuit in the hopes that it would help her nail a career in broadcasting. Otherwise, she might be working in public relations at the oil company—safely under the gaze of her protective pappy. Are her bayou buddies pumped by their pal’s rise to stardom? “They think it’s cool, but they can’t really relate. They can’t conceive of going to Paris or meeting with celebrities.” Funny—until a day or so ago, I could definitely relate.
Back to the beach
Weird sh*t happens when you’re walking on Venice Beach—one of America’s freakiest freak shows—with a fabulous freak of nature. We bypass the rollerblading guitarist in a three-foot-high hat, five dressed-up dogs and a cage of coiled pythons, advertised as “available for photo ops” and then…hello! A flabby, shirtless guy on rollerblades asks, “You into the rock ’n’ roll, man?” Now there’s a conversation you don’t want to get into. “No,” I say. “Oh, that’s too bad, man. I’m gonna make a video, and I’d give you $1,000 for her to dance in it.” Right. “I don’t think you can afford her,” I say, “but thanks.” Ali smiles. “I’m sure glad he asked you for permission.” And then it becomes clear—I’m her muscle!
Cut to a few hours earlier. It’s barely one in the afternoon, and Ali wants to tank up. “Let’s have margaritas!” she says, a mischievous grin on her face. This could be going far worse, I think. Could she be a wild child? “I probably haven’t been drunk since last year,” she informs me. “And I’ve really only gotten stinking drunk maybe three times in my life! Once was when I was 15—the first time I ever drank. I threw up in my boyfriend’s hands. The next time I was in New Orleans, and—again—I was underage. I drank two giant Hurricanes and threw up out the window of the car.” And the third time? “It was just last year. My sister was here, and we had this idea in our heads that we were gonna drink a few shots for a little kick start to the evening. Let me tell you, that turned out to be a very bad idea.”
Ali’s an old-fashioned girl. It took some serious arm-pulling just to get her to dish out her first kiss—literally. “I was at a party in high school, and people were kissing all over the yard. The guy I was dating was like, ‘Come on, let’s go walk.’ But I knew what he wanted and said no. He pulled on my arm, and I gripped this bush and again he said, ‘Let’s go for a walk,’ and pulled harder. I’m gripping so tight that my knuckles turn white, and he’s still pulling—and I’m trying to be cool about it, which is hard when you’re hanging onto a bush. Finally, my hand slipped off and he had me. We kissed, and I thought, Oh, this is cool, actually. Then we locked lips all night.
“Ever since then, kissing has been a big deal for me,” she says shyly. “I’ve kissed maybe 10 guys my entire life.” Is she counting swapping spit on-screen? “That’s a different story. I can just kiss guys and not feel weird about it because it’s work. No strings attached. And it’s not cheating, so it’s all good.”
Ali’s love interest (Mario López, whom you may recall as the incredibly lame high school stud Slater on Saved By the Bell) is also going to have to get used to the occasionally flammable photo session (like, say, this one). “Of course, no man likes to see his girlfriend posing for sexy pictures, but it’s work and you can’t get around it. And sexuality is part of a woman’s power. I fought it for a while, but I’ve accepted the fact that I am a girl and people think I’m attractive. So I don’t think that’s what you would call a bad thing.” Not in my book.
Ali Landry's Natural Beauty
The most incredible part of Ali is how natural she seems, she has a healthy, curvaceous, full body. She is what we consider to be natural beauty. Ali has just finished filming "The Courier" with Mario Lopez and it is scheduled for a Spring 2002 release. Ali loves to wear risqué outfits the way they should be worn, being both stylish and appealing. There are few things in life better than a beautifully dressed woman.
Ali Landry is known to most of us as the Doritos Girl, the beautiful woman who walks through a quiet library room, and activates the sprinkler system because she is so hot, though Pepsi, Doritos' parent company, would have us believe the chips are responsible for the fire alarm. She was Miss USA in 1996, and has been modeling and appearing on several televisions shows, as well as the latest video from 98 Degrees.
Doritos' sales have increased since Ali Landry started appearing in the ad campaign. Bear with us on this thought, but maybe she has something to do with it. And maybe her sex appeal could be part of the reason? Come on, the boys at Pepsi are not in kindergarten; the woman is sexy, guys love her, and she probably wouldn't be in the ads otherwise.
The inescapable part of Ali Landry's looks is how natural she seems. She has a healthy, curvaceous, full body, unlike most skeletons who pretend to be models. She looks like what a good looking woman should look like. Not to take credit away from fashion models, but Ali is what we consider a natural beauty. If friendliness is a virtue, then Ali is very virtuous since she is supposedly one of the most pleasant people in the world to be around with. Her constant smile is matched by an equally ready effort to make everyone she meets feel at ease with her.
Her television appearances have been limited to mostly B-list shows, and her modeling career can best be described as sporadic. She is just starting out in the tough worlds of modeling and show business. We wish her luck because it's a long climb up. When we say "Ali Landry", we get reactions like Huh? Who?. If we say "the Doritos Girl," we get reactions like Yeah, baby!. Unfortunately, Ali is not a household name just yet, and though she is quickly gaining recognition, chances are she is not very well known outside of the US.
Does wearing unbelievably sexy, tight dresses qualify as having fashion sense? Of course not, but Ali wears her risque outfits the way they should be worn. The are both stylish and appealing. There are few things in life better than a beautifully dressed woman.
Ali Landry Auditions Stunt-Breasts
Sexy Ali Landry didn't think it was necessary to take her clothes off in her new film Repli-Kate (2001) but she did get to sit in on the auditions for the nude body double. The film contains bare breasts and bare buttocks so it was essential to make sure that whoever bared those body parts was similar to Landry. She says, "It was so weird because I sat in this room with the director and producer and these girls came into the room, one after the other, and slowly took all their clothes off. I was so embarrassed I hid my head in a piece of paper - the poor girls must have thought I was a weirdo. After the fourth girl, the director grabbed the piece of paper from me and said, 'These girls are supposed to be your breasts, you've got to make sure they're right.' Some of the breasts were too far apart and some hung to the right, but you know what, after you've seen four or five pairs they all look the same."