Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Laura Harring Former Miss USA

Laura Harring (born Laura Elena Herring Martínez; March 3, 1964) is a Mexican actress and former Miss USA (1985). She is known for her role as Rita in Mulholland Drive.

She was born in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. Her mother, María Elena Cairo, is a psychotherapist, real estate investor, and secretary, and her father, Raymond Herring, was a developer and organic farmer of Austrian-German descent.

The two divorced in 1971. Harring lived the first ten years of her life in Mexico, before her family relocated to San Antonio, Texas. Caught by stray fire from a driveby shooting at age 12, Harring suffered a head wound from a stray .45 bullet.

At age 16, she convinced her family to let her study in Switzerland at Aiglon College. She eventually returned to America, settling down in El Paso, Texas and entered the world of beauty pageants.

She won the title of Miss El Paso USA, and soon after, Miss Texas USA. In 1985, she became the first Hispanic to win the Miss USA crown, and the first of 5 consecutive Texan winners. She went on to make the top 10 at the 1985 Miss Universe pageant.

Harring spent the next year traveling through Asia, exploring Europe and working as a social worker in India. It was in Europe that she was introduced to the world of nobility and, in 1987, she married Count Carl-Eduard von Bismarck-Schönhausen, great-great-grandson of Otto von Bismarck. While she retains the title of Countess von Bismarck-Schönhausen, the couple divorced in 1989 but still remain friends. Harring studied theatre at the London Academy of Performing Arts and is skilled in the Italian style of Commedia dell'arte, as well as Latin dances, including the Argentine Tango.

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