TODAY | October 21, 2013
>>> it is one of the most successful magazine franchises in the world. it's released every february.
>> the " sports illustrated " swimsuit issue which has propelled the careers of countless supermolds, including three-time cover girl christie brinkley , and that was in a row. who hasn't changed a bit, and it's getting on our nerves.
>> you can take a look back at how it all started and all the models lucky enough to grace the covers in the " sports illustrated " 50 years of beautiful.
>> nice to see you, christie.
>> is that you on the cover?
>> whose body did they use for the cover?
>> nobody knows . but i am on the cover. i think it's on the left breast .
>> yes, you are.
>> oh, now i get it. now i see. there you are.
>> i honestly can't believe you're going to be 60 and you look like this.
>> i know, they are making such a big deal about " sports illustrated " turning 50. it's like --
>> in february when they turn 50, i'll turn 60. then we'll talk.
>> the whole -- a beautiful woman knows they are beautiful long before somebody else tells them so. but you were not modeling. you were pursuing -- didn't you love photography and art? you were an artist.
>> i was in paris to study art and i was working as an illustrator. and i was discovered there by a french -- by an american photographer.
>> your father had been a television executive , right?
>> a producer, right.
>> and were you hooked once you started modeling? did you realize this is where you needed to be?
>> well, you know, i thought -- i could travel, i could -- i really kind of reluctantly got into modeling. very reluctantly. but " sports illustrated " --
>> but successfully, i'd say.
>> " sports illustrated ," very much convinced me that this is -- look at this. that's in the seychelles islands .
>> what happened there?
>> i got the cover in the seychelles islands .
>> you don't know if you're going to get the cover. what happened?
>> seychelles are extremely beautiful but the bugs are gigantic. and everywhere. so one morning we fly in sort november the evening to an island called bird island . i hadn't seen my surroundings yet. went to bed. woke up to the sound of lizards crunching the wood, jump in the shower. this point we're already freaked out by all the things crawling. i wasn't going to get freaked out. but water goes down, not up. i look and there's this creature crawling up my leg. i fly out of the shower. i grab the towel. when i pull the towel up over me on the back side, there's this big hairy spider. so i throw the towel. i troun my suitcase. i used to carry little protein bars because i'm a vegetarian, vegan.
>> of course you are.
>> i opened up, there's a half eaten bar that's attracted ten billion bugs from the island.
>> paradise is now hell.
>> i'm hauling out like raiders from the -- the movie. at this point i just tear stark naked out the front door and there is the restaurant with all the english bird watchers there.
>> with their binoculars.
>> that's a strange bird .
>> but a lovely one.
>> if you are watching out there, there may be a british person with a shot of me streaking.
>> if it hasn't shown up all these days.
>> we could talk to you forever because you have a million of those stories. congratulations to " sports illustrated ." congratulations on your new products.
>> and the book goes on sale tomorrow. and it's gorgeous. it's really great to know it's --
>> we love you.
>> what can i say?