The Stunning Transformation Of Lisa Vanderpump
Most people were introduced to Lisa Vanderpump for the first time in 2010 when The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills premiered on Bravo. Audiences were drawn to her sarcasm, her honesty, and her lavish lifestyle, and to this day, Lisa is one of the most beloved women to ever appear on the franchise.
While her involvement on RHOBH is what she is most well known for, it is just one of the many facets of Lisa’s fascinating and ever-evolving world. From a young actress in the UK to a reality TV star, entrepreneur, and activist, Lisa Vanderpump is far more than a privileged housewife. In fact, Lisa is one of the most hardworking and successful women in the public eye. She has become an inspiration to millions and has used her intelligence, creativity, wit, compassion, and honesty to do continue to wow her fans. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to discover how Lisa Vanderpump has transformed into who she is today.
Born in London, Lisa Vanderpump was a full-time drama student at 9
One thing’s for sure: Lisa Vanderpump was made to be an entertainer. As Lisa told the Daily Express, she was born in London and was already in ballet classes by the time she was 3. This was just her first step toward years of training within the performing arts, as she then ended up going to a prestigious drama school for many years.
While Lisa claims to have had a regular upbringing, it’s very clear that she was not only intelligent, but that she also knew what she wanted for her future. She explained to the Daily Express, “I was advanced for my age, always a year ahead at school. When I was too young to go to high school, rather than repeat a year, at nine I went to the Corona Academy drama school, and ended up staying for eight years.”
Lisa Vanderpump was a successful young actress in the UK
Ballet classes and drama school were just the beginning of Lisa Vanderpump’s successful career as an actress in the UK. By the time she was 13, Lisa snagged her first movie role, playing the daughter of Glenda Jackson’s character in 1973’s A Touch of Class. She later found work on several television shows, including an ITV series called Kids
Not only was Lisa making great strides in her acting career at a very young age, but she was also making her own money without the help of her parents, as she told the Daily Express. “I did over 100 commercials for brands like Maltesers, Lilt, Britvic 55 and Hamlet cigars, so by 19 I’d bought myself a flat in Fulham,” she shared. “I never had any financial help after leaving home, just a good education and a kick in the arse.”
Clearly Lisa was a go-getter ever since she was a young girl. In an episode of Heather McDonald’s podcast Juicy Scoop, Lisa said, “I was really together. I kind of very much believed in a strong work ethic. I had a job since I was like 13, you know?” Without Lisa’s hard work, determination, and independence, who knows where she would be today!
Lisa Vanderpump met husband Ken Todd when she was 21
While Lisa Vanderpump is one of the most beloved Real Housewives, her husband, Ken Todd, is one of the most beloved Househusbands. Their connection and devotion to one another pops through the screen, and it comes as no surprise that the second they laid eyes on each other, there were sparks. Lisa told Stassi Schroeder on her podcast Straight up with Stassi (via The Daily Dish), that she met Ken through her brother — who, at the time, worked at a nightclub. Lisa explained, “But he was wrong for me in every sense of the word. He was 16 years older than me. He was a playboy, running around town with his trousers ’round his ankles. And I was dating somebody else.” However, she noted, “I just looked at him and there was an instant connection.”
Lisa told Stassi that soon after their initial meeting, she went on a trip to America. Upon returning to London, she bumped into Ken, and he asked her on a date. After their first date, they were engaged about six weeks later, and the rest is history!
Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd grew their family
Years after Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd had their first child, daughter Pandora Vanderpump Sabo, they decided to grow their family and adopted their son, Max. As she shared on Season 7 of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Lisa knew she could give birth to more children, but she wanted to adopt. She went on, “And we heard of Max, who was in foster care. And I just wanted him, I just said I’d have him before I even got there.” She noted that she’d attempted to adopt four other children during her time in England, but she and Todd weren’t approved. “We were turned down because we were too old, and at the time, I think I was 35,” she elaborated.
Lisa later explained in a blog post for Bravo that adoption was something very familiar to Ken and his family and something they’d wanted to do for some time. “It wasn’t something strange to our family, and we were excited to embrace him to our loving home,” Lisa wrote.
In 2005, Lisa Vanderpump became a partial owner of SUR
Most Lisa Vanderpump fans are very familiar with her restaurant SUR, due to it’s presence in her spin-off series Vanderpump Rules. However, SUR was not always owned by Lisa and husband Ken Todd. In fact, it was actually started by restauranteur Guillermo Zapata and his wife, Nathalie Pouille-Zapata, in 1998, according to WEHOVille.
It wasn’t until 2005 that Lisa stumbled upon the West Hollywood hotspot and immediately wanted to partner with Zapata and Pouille-Zapata. Pouille-Zapata explained to WEHOVille, “Guillermo called me and said, ‘I just met this couple. They are fabulous and they want to be our partners. This lady even told me she has the money inside her purse right here on the patio.'” And thus, SUR was transformed into what is now one of the most iconic and beautiful restaurants and lounges in the city. Zapata and his wife reportedly own 50 percent, and Lisa and Ken own 50 percent.
Lisa Vanderpump joined The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Presumably in 2010, Lisa Vanderpump was approached about potentially being a cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which had no prior seasons at the time. While on the Skinny Confidential Him & Her podcast, Lisa explained that she initially had no interest in being on the show, but her good friend Jennifer Flavin Stallone (wife of actor Sylvester Stallone) convinced her to go in for the audition.
It comes as no surprise that Lisa blew producers away at her audition. In fact, she even said that producer Andy Cohen was one of her biggest supporters in making sure she ended up on the show. She explained, “Andy [Cohen] said, which probably didn’t go down that well with some of the other women, a couple of times in interviews, that he wasn’t sure about doing Beverly Hills, but he said he green-lit it when he saw my tape because he thought it was a different flavor.” And lo and behold, one of the most iconic Real Housewives was born.
Lisa Vanderpump's RHOBH spin-off Vanderpump Rules premiered in 2013
After becoming one of the stand-out stars of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Lisa Vanderpump decided to produce her own spin-off series called Vanderpump Rules. While Lisa is the producer and often appears on the series, the show actually follows a group of friends in their 20s living the Hollywood life. Most of the stars started off as servers at SUR, though their careers eventually changed as the show progressed.
In an interview with Time, Lisa was asked why she thought the show had become so successful. She responded, “One, the casting. I knew and I chose these people. I knew the stakes would be high because their friendships were real. It was an incestuous situation, and to be that honest — or dishonest, as the case may be, or honest about your dishonesty, is unusual.” While the cast of Vanderpump Rules has certainly caused a lot of controversy over the years (via Us Weekly), there is no denying that the stars were — at one time, at least — TV gold.
Lisa Vanderpump joined Dancing With the Stars
The year 2013 was a big one for Lisa Vanderpump, as she not only premiered Vanderpump Rules but was also cast on Dancing With the Stars. According to HuffPost, Lisa was the first Real Housewife to have ever been cast on the celebrity dance competition. When asked how she felt about representing the Housewives franchise on Dancing With the Stars, Lisa, who was paired with professional dancer Gleb Savchenko, said, “I think we’re all individual characters. I don’t think it’s about representing the show. It’s about representing yourself, really, because we’re all so different.”
In a blog post she wrote for Bravo, Lisa addressed the rumors as to why no other Real Housewife had been allowed to be on Dancing With the Stars prior to her casting. She explained, “They had always said they would never have a housewife and it was ABC, the competitive network to NBC, who owns Bravo, so I never gave it a second thought.”
Lisa was ultimately sent home in Week 4, as noted by Us Weekly.
Lisa Vanderpump opened The Vanderpump Dog Foundation
Lisa Vanderpump has always been an animal lover, but in 2017, she decided to truly invest in the mission of saving dogs by opening The Vanderpump Dog Foundation. According to People, when Lisa became aware of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China, she knew she had to do something, and The Vanderpump Dog Foundation came to be. To E! News, Lisa explained, “We started Vanderpump Pets, which was a business, we thought I’d really love to go into the pet business. And through that, I was drawn attention to some of the atrocities and that’s kind of taken over my life.” She noted, “[Until] recently, I was naïve about the atrocities that are being committed against these wonderful creatures.”
Something that Lisa has been very grateful for is the support Bravo has given her to promote this cause, allowing her time on the show to share her foundation with fans. “I hope that will be my legacy,” she said in her interview with People.
Lisa Vanderpump became editor-in-chief of this magazine
In 2017, Lisa Vanderpump became the editor-in-chief of Beverly Hills Lifestyle magazine, a publication she had been writing for since its start ten years prior. According to Bravo’s The Daily Dish, it was a family affair, with Lisa’s daughter, Pandora Vanderpump Sabo, appointed as executive editor of the magazine.
In an official statement, Lisa was beyond thrilled to announce her newest venture, calling it “not only an honor but a delight.” She went on, “The magazine has always been the epitome of luxury and I cannot wait for all the exciting things we have planned for its 10-year anniversary re-launch.” And, of course, she noted that she was excited about working alongside her daughter, Pandora, at “what has always been [her] favorite publication.” The magazine’s team seemed just as thrilled at having Lisa join, posting on Instagram that “having Lisa accept the role is a dream come true.”
Lisa Vanderpump coped with the death of her brother Mark Vanderpump
Lisa Vanderpump has always been very open about having a close relationship with her brother Mark, who sadly took his own life in 2018, suffering an apparent overdose at his home in England. This was a devastating loss for Lisa that not only changed her life, but also put her priorities into perspective. In an interview with People, Lisa discussed the great loss and said, “To lose my brother unexpectedly with no closure or conversation is like a relationship ripped out of your arms. Grieving takes time.”
Lisa’s tragic loss then propelled her to work with The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization with a mission of suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth. In 2019, Lisa released an official PSA for The Trevor Project on her Instagram, encouraging fans to get help should they need to.
If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Lisa Vanderpump left the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
After nine years on the hit series The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Lisa Vanderpump decided it was finally time to say her goodbyes in 2019. In an interview with People, Lisa opened up about her reason for leaving the show. “I had a great time on Housewives,” she explained. “But to have negativity during a time in my life when I needed to try to be positive … I decided it was over.”
On top of all of that, things were truly getting nasty between the women, especially with the massive drama between her and Dorit Kemsley over a dog Dorit adopted from Vanderpump Dogs. After being called harsh names by her castmates, she decided it was time to make a change. She told People, “I’ve been in a position where the whole cast has been against me before. But this time, our foundation was taking a bashing from the women, and it didn’t deserve it.” And with how the women acting “screaming and shouting” while they were in the Bahamas, she realized, “What the hell am I doing?” And so she left the series.
Lisa Vanderpump lost her beloved dog Giggy
As we all know, Lisa Vanderpump’s dogs are one of the most important parts of her life, which is why the death of her dog Giggy was extremely painful for both her and her husband, Ken Todd. In December of 2020, Lisa announced Giggy’s devastating passing on her Instagram page and said, “We are devastated to say that our beloved Giggy has passed away this morning. He was truly loved, and we know how many of you loved him too.” She went on to say that Giggy was the inspiration behind The Vanderpump Dogs Foundation, noting that his “legacy will live on” at the organization.
Giggy wasn’t just a dog, he was a member of her family, and he will now be fondly remembered not just by Lisa, but my millions of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fans. With the death of both her brother and mother, her sudden departure from RHOBH, and the death of Giggy, Lisa experienced a very painful few years.
Lisa Vanderpump announced a new television show on E!
After Lisa Vanderpump experienced some challenging years, things soon started looking up. In 2021, she announced her newest venture, a television show on E! called Overserved With Lisa Vanderpump. We’re excited!
According to Entertainment Tonight, the 30-minute episodes will feature Lisa interviewing a variety of celebrities in her own garden in Beverly Hills while they talk, make cocktails, play games, eat delicious food, and more. Lisa explained further in the show’s first teaser, saying, “I’m inviting you to an intimate dinner party, and for it to be perfect, I have a few rules: You’ve got to bust your butt for the decor to be absolutely fabulous, the guests should be naughty, but the hostess must always be naughtier. This dinner party rules.”
This looks like it will be a great new beginning for Lisa! Overserved With Lisa Vanderpump premieres on March 18, 2021.
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