Tyson Beckford: Evolution of a Modeling Icon

Tyson Beckford is an American supermodel and actor born on December 19, 1970. Recognized for his chiseled features and alluring presence in front of the camera, Beckford achieved fame as a Ralph Lauren Polo model, becoming a quintessential figure in the fashion industry. His look, a mix of Jamaican, Chinese, and Panamanian heritage, contributed to his distinctive appeal, setting him apart in the modeling world.

Transitioning from the runway to television, Beckford also gained recognition as a host for the Bravo program “Make Me a Supermodel,” showcasing his versatility and commitment to the art of fashion. His impact extended into acting, where he landed roles in films such as “Into the Blue,” “Biker Boyz,” and “Zoolander,” which allowed him to further demonstrate his range and talent within the entertainment industry.

Aside from his professional endeavors, Beckford has maintained an active presence on social media, engaging with a diverse fanbase and sharing personal insights into his life in fashion and entertainment. His continued relevance in the public eye underscores his status as a cultural icon who has adeptly navigated the complex landscape of modeling and acting.

Early Life and Background

Tyson Beckford’s early years were shaped by a multicultural heritage and educational experiences influenced by his family’s movements between the United States and Jamaica. His identity was formed as much by his family origins as by the cultural exchange of his education.

Family Origins

Born: December 19, 1970
Place of Birth: Rochester, New York
Father: Jamaican and Chinese-Jamaican descent from Panama
Mother: Chinese-Jamaican

Tyson Beckford was born to a Jamaican mother, Hillary Dixon Hall, and a father, Lloyd Beckford, who is of Panamanian descent. This diverse lineage contributed to his distinctive looks and later, his success in modeling. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Jamaica, where he spent a significant part of his childhood before returning to New York.


  • Location of Upbringing: Rochester, New York, and Jamaica
  • High School: Pittsford Mendon High School

As part of a busing program, he attended Pittsford Mendon High School in the suburb of Rochester. This educational environment was part of his exposure to a socio-culturally diverse setting, which provided him with experiences beyond his immediate community.

Modeling Career

Tyson Beckford’s ascent in the modeling industry is marked by his achievements and affiliations with top fashion brands, most notably Ralph Lauren. His emergence as a leading figure in fashion has been impactful, particularly in the context of representation for black male models.

Rise to Fame

Beckford’s modeling career gained momentum when he was recruited by Ralph Lauren for the company’s Polo line. He quickly became a prominent face of the brand, showcasing the Polo collection on various platforms. This association helped solidify his status as a top model and contributed significantly to the concept of the supermodel in the male modeling industry. During this period, Beckford’s presence extended to the covers of major fashion magazines such as Vogue and GQ, which further amplified his fame.

Collaborations and Campaigns

Throughout his career, Beckford has been involved in numerous high-profile collaborations and campaigns. Beyond Ralph Lauren, he has walked the runway for several international Fashion Week events, representing a wide array of designers and influencing trends within the fashion world. His portfolio extends beyond traditional modeling, as he has often been seen in promotional campaigns and has lent his image to various fashion and lifestyle brands. Beckford has also worked with other major labels and magazines, maintaining a strong presence in the industry over the years.

Film and Television

Tyson Beckford has established a noteworthy presence in both film and television, transitioning from modeling to acting and hosting. He has taken on roles in action and comedy films and has appeared on various TV shows, often highlighting his modeling background.

Acting Roles

Beckford made his acting debut in the film Boricua’s Bond and has since accumulated a series of film credits. Notably, he played a role in the action-adventure movie Into the Blue (2005) and appeared in the comedy film Zoolander (2001) as himself, capitalizing on his modeling fame. Beckford also took part in various television series:

  • My Wife and Kids (2003)
  • Half & Half (2003)

His performances showcase his versatility as an actor, embellishing his characters with the experience he gained in the fashion industry.

Host and Reality TV

In the realm of television, Beckford’s charisma led him to hosting opportunities. He was the host of Make Me a Supermodel for two seasons, where his expertise in modeling was instrumental for the show’s dynamic. Additionally, he has made appearances on other reality TV programs and game shows:

  • The Face
  • Hollywood Squares
  • Cribs
  • America’s Next Top Model

Throughout these appearances, he not only shared insights from his modeling career but also engaged with a broader audience, further establishing his persona in television.

Cultural Impact and Ventures

Tyson Beckford has leveraged his modeling success to create a significant impact within media and various business ventures. His ventures encompass a range of industries, demonstrating his versatility beyond the fashion world.

Influence in Media

Beckford’s media influence took root when he became the face of Ralph Lauren’s Polo menswear. His esteemed presence in the fashion industry was further solidified when he was named “Man of the Year” by VH1, and included in “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” by People magazine. Beckford also stepped into film and television, with roles in movies like Biker Boyz and the TV program Make Me a Supermodel on Bravo. His height, a commanding 6 feet 1 inch, allowed him to carry a visible trademark presence across all forms of media, including participation in high-profile music video productions such as Britney Spears’ “Toxic.”

Business Endeavors

In the business realm, Beckford has made strides with a variety of ventures. He has expanded into fragrances, launching a scent named Orion Skye. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he also introduced a rosé collaboration, showcasing his adaptability in branding and marketing. Moreover, Beckford has been associated with promotions for Dodge Ram, indicative of his pervasive influence that extends into the automotive industry. Beckford continues to explore new territories, maintaining his status as a dynamic force in both the media and business sectors.

Personal Life

Tyson Beckford is often recognized for his high-profile relationships and his passion for diverse interests and hobbies, which reflect his multifaceted personality beyond the modeling world.

Relationships and Family

Tyson Beckford has been linked to several notable personalities in his life. He shares a son, Jordan Beckford, with celebrity stylist April Roomet. While Beckford’s relationships have been subject to media scrutiny, he maintains a relatively private family life.

  • Former Partners:
    • April Roomet: Celebrity stylist and mother of his son.
    • Berniece Julien: Briefly linked with the model.

Interests and Hobbies

Away from the runway, Tyson Beckford has cultivated a range of interests:

  • Motorcycle enthusiast: Beckford experienced a serious accident in 2005 involving his 2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10.
  • Music: He has shown an affinity for bass music.
  • Fashion: His exotic looks have made him a muse for fashion designers like Catherine Malandrino.
  • Public Spaces: He has been spotted enjoying leisure time at places like Washington Square Park.

Written by Eric

37-year-old who enjoys ferret racing, binge-watching boxed sets and praying. He is exciting and entertaining, but can also be very boring and a bit grumpy.