Who is Carré Otis?
Carre Otis was born September 28, 1968 in San Francisco, and raised in Marin County, California along with her older sister Chrisse and her younger brother Jordan. She attended Marin Academy in San Rafael, California and the John Woolman School in Nevada City, California.
Early modeling career
Otis began modeling at age 16. Discovered in San Francisco, she was initially signed to Elite Model Management by John Casablancas. She first achieved fame while working for Elite in Paris, when she appeared on the cover of French Elle in April 1986. Over the next several years, she appeared on covers in the American and foreign editions of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Allure, Mirabella, and Marie Claire.
Otis appeared in ads for Guess jeans (1988), Calvin Klein jeans (“biker chick” look, 1991), appeared in the 1996 Pirelli calendar, and also posed for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition (2000). Otis was also featured in 1990 and 2000 issues of Playboy magazine.
In 1990, Otis made her acting debut in the film Wild Orchid. The film became notorious due to unsubstantiated rumors that she and co-star Mickey Rourke filmed an unsimulated sex scene. Stills from the film’s climactic sex scene were sold to Playboy, and were the subject of a lawsuit filed by Otis. Otis would later appear in another Rourke film, Exit in Red.
Marriage to Mickey Rourke
Otis started dating Mickey Rourke not long after the release of Wild Orchid. The couple married in 1992, and had one of the most celebrated and stormy celebrity marriages of the 1990s. In 1994, Rourke was arrested for spousal abuse, but the charges were later dropped. Otis battled anorexia and drug dependency, addictions that had tormented her since her adolescence. With Rourke’s help, Otis was able to get clean from heroin in 1994, but her struggles with other substances continued until 1996. In 2001, Otis said that she had mixed everything, including “alcohol, anti-depressants, uppers, downers and diet pills”. She noted in that same interview that she and Rourke “had equally explosive personalities” (and she had) her own depression. We were both drama addicts.” For several years before and during their marriage, Rourke refused to allow Otis to model, forcing her to turn down lucrative opportunities and threatening photographers and agents with whom she had worked. The couple eventually divorced in 1998.
Later modeling career
After the end of her marriage to Rourke, Otis gradually resumed modeling. In 2000, she became one of the oldest models to appear in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Shortly thereafter, she began an enduring recovery from anorexia. As part of that recovery, she experienced a weight gain that offered her the opportunity to work as a plus-size model, most notably as the face for iconic Marina Rinaldi clothing (of MaxMara Group) and in commentary and editorials for Mode Magazine; since then Otis has served as a spokesman for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week in 2003. She also appeared periodically as a correspondent on Channel 4 News in San Francisco.
In 2005, she represented the Breil jewellery line.
Carre Otis Today
Otis discovered Buddhism in the late 1980s. She is a committed practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, and a student of Lama Tsultrim Allione.
In 2005, Otis was remarried to Matthew Sutton, an environmental scientist. She and Sutton have two daughters, Jade (born 2006) and Kaya (born 2008). They live in Colorado.
Her memoir, “Beauty Disrupted: The Carre Otis Story”” (with Hugo Schwyzer), is scheduled to be released by HarperCollins in August 2011.