This highly recognizable babe was born Kimberly Noel Kardashian in the exclusive San Fernando Valley community of Calabasas, CA on Oct. 21, 1980. Her father was attorney Robert Kardashian, who gained infamy as the man who sheltered O.J. Simpson after the double murders of Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman; and later as a member of his colossal legal team. Her mother was socialite Kris Houghton, who divorced Kardashian in 1989 before marrying Olympic legend, Bruce Jenner. Prior to his involvement in the Simpson case, Kardashian's father had been out of the legal profession for almost two decades and was operating a music marketing firm called Movie Tunes. Kardashian worked there while attending Catholic school, and decided to follow in her father's footsteps after his death in 2003. She struck out on her own as a wardrobe stylist for music commercials and video shoots, but apparently found her calling as a "closet designer" - one who organizes closets, it was assumed - after helping Bernadette Leonard, her godmother and wife to boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard, bring some order to her own storage areas.
At first blush, Kim Kardashian seemed indistinguishable from any of the twenty-something actresses, models, babes, and socialites whose faces littered the pages of gossip magazines and web sites in the early millennium. Like so many of them, she had access to fabulous wealth, male companions of varying celebrity pedigrees, her own reality series and an uncanny ability to appear wherever the paparazzi were swarming at any given moment. But what separated Kardashian from that maddening crowd was not so much what she did but what she had - to wit, an inordinately bountiful posterior that demanded and received cult-like worship from celebrity chroniclers. Prior to Kardashian's arrival on the scene, only Jennifer Lopez's rump had received so much devotion from so many admirers. However, unlike La Lopez, Kardashian appeared to have no problem showing off her back end in all its glories in a purloined bedroom videotape with second string R&B star, Ray J. Star power and idol worship trumped any bad feelings that may have resulted from the video's leak, allowing Kardashian's grip on media coverage to not only continue unabated, but expand to other venues like feature films and television competitions. Perhaps just as important to her stardom as her posterior was the success of the Ryan Seacrest-produced reality show based around her rather large and glamorous family, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" (E!, 2007- ) - a show which humanized the young woman, putting a face and a heart with the fabled behind.
Though pitched as a depiction of life at home with Kardashian, her mother and stepfather, and their extended brood, "Keeping Up" operated from that grey zone known as "semi-scripted" reality television, which meant that some of the "wacky" situations aired for viewers were concocted by a crack team of writers and not the product of the Kardashian's day-to-day existence. For her part, Kardashian seemed largely removed from the chaos of her home life, which counted her sisters Kourtney and Khloe, brother Robert Jr., half-sisters Kendall and Kylie, and stepbrothers Burton, Brandon and Brody among its daily visitors. Her participation seemed limited to working at Dash, the clothing store she co-owned with her sisters, and commenting on the hijinks her sisters and mother seemed to stir up in each episode while Jenner cast disapproving glances like a sitcom dad. However, in true Kardashian fashion, there were a few racy moments to maintain interest, such as a 2007 photo shoot for Playboy and a sexy calendar layout intended for boyfriend and New Orleans Saints pro Reggie Bush which somehow gets sold to the public by her mother. Critics dismissed the program as one of the more pointless exercises in reality television, but its ratings soared with each subsequent season.
The added exposure allowed Kardashian to expand her "brand" to other venues as well. In 2008, she released her own exercise DVD, "The Kim Kardashian Workout: For Your Mind, Body and Spirit," which was produced through her production company, Kimsaprincess Productions, and a signature fragrance was also announced. Later that same year, she was announced as one of the celebrity contestants on the seventh season of "Dancing with the Stars," on which she was paired with professional dancer, heartthrob and season six winner Mark Ballas. Kardashian was top-billed alongside such other marginal actresses as Carmen Electra and Vanessa Minnillo in "Disaster Movie" (2008), a kitchen-sink pop culture comedy that featured her in scenes spoofing World Wrestling Entertainment divas, among other soft targets.