Heidi Montag

Also Credited As:

Heidi Pratt
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Biography

Blonde haired, blue-eyed and willing to go to any length to achieve celebrity status, Heidi Montag was just what reality show producers were looking for in 2005. A complete unknown just one year prior, Montag quickly became a reality star sensation, first as the best friend then arch-rival of series star Lauren Conrad on "The Hills" (MTV, 2006-2010). A guilty pleasure that pushed the boundaries of just what constituted "reality television," it …
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Actor

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Blonde haired, blue-eyed and willing to go to any length to achieve celebrity status, Heidi Montag was just what reality show producers were looking for in 2005. A complete unknown just one year prior, Montag quickly became a reality star sensation, first as the best friend then arch-rival of series star Lauren Conrad on "The Hills" (MTV, 2006-2010). A guilty pleasure that pushed the boundaries of just what constituted "reality television," it also introduced the world to Montag's boyfriend and eventual husband, the mercurial, attention-starved bad boy, Spencer Pratt. As Montag and her beau quickly became the couple audiences loved to hate, she attempted to move beyond "The Hills" with a long-gestating dance album and a clothing line, neither of which proved successful. Of more interest as a tabloid fixture, Montag grabbed headlines for her turbulent relationship with Pratt, a Playboy pictorial, and a self-described obsession with plastic surgery. Still seeking the spotlight and needing a source of income post-"Hills," Montag attempted to keep the reality train rolling - both with and without Pratt - by taking part in such projects as "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!" (ABC, 2003/NBC, 2009), "Famous Food" (VH1, 2011) and the 11th season of Britain's popular "Celebrity Big Brother" (Channel 4, 2001-2010/Channel 5, 2011- ). For better or worse, Montag was the ultimate personification of America's obsession with celebrity culture in the early 21st century.

Heidi Blair Montag was born on Sept. 15, 1986 in Crested Butte, CO, to parents Bill and Darlene Montag. After Montag's parents divorced, she and her sister Holly were raised largely by Darlene and second husband Tim Egelhoff, the proprietor of a popular restaurant in Crested Butte. Upon graduating high school, the pretty blonde made a break from small-town life and relocated to the West Coast, where she enrolled at San Francisco's Academy of Art University. It was there that Montag met Lauren Conrad, soon-to-be star of the reality series "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County" (MTV, 2004-06) during the show's second season. Within months, the new best friends relocated once more to Los Angeles, where they enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. When Conrad was given a spin-off series of her own, her club-hopping gal pal Montag joined the show as her roommate. As the cameras rolled on "The Hills" (MTV, 2006-2010), Conrad began an internship at Teen Vogue magazine, while Montag soon quit the program at FIDM in order take on an internship with Bolthouse Productions, where she eventually rose to the position of event planner.

While the first season of "The Hills" focused primarily on Conrad, it became readily apparent that the spotlight-grabbing Montag would not be content with a mere supporting role for long. Tensions between the two began to escalate throughout the second season of the show, fueled by the appearance of Montag's new equally blond boyfriend, Spencer Pratt, a regular on the Hollywood party scene with a reputation as a bad boy instigator. By the end of season two, Montag and Conrad's friendship was left in tatters as Heidi moved in with her boyfriend, and rumors - supposedly spread by Pratt - of a Conrad sex tape spread like wildfire in the press. In the midst of the awkward scenarios concocted by the show's producers, MTV jumped on the chance of making a third season of "The Hills," with a separate storyline pinned upon Montag and Pratt's tumultuous relationship. Despite the purported reality of the show, viewers remained skeptical about the May 2007 announcement of Montag's engagement to Pratt. As the year progressed, the couple continued to grab headlines with revelations of Montag's breast augmentation and rhinoplasty surgery, as well as a brief breakup in December 2007.

Looking to cash in on her newfound celebrity and move beyond her stint on "The Hills," Montag - who in 2008 was fired from Bolthouse Productions for drinking on the job, an incident that many viewers theorized was, much like the job itself, completely fabricated for the show - began to explore a career as a recording artist. Collaborating with producer David Foster and using her own finances, Montag worked for nearly three years without releasing a full album. Gradually she trickled out singles here and there, on such venues as Ryan Seacrest's radio morning show, debuting pop dance tracks like "Body Language," "Higher," and "No More" - none of which went on to garner substantial airplay. Still attempting to keep one foot in the design world, a month after her TV nemesis Conrad unveiled a new collection at Los Angeles Fashion Week, Montag released her own clothing line for Anchor Blue Clothing Company, dubbed "Heidiwood." Debuted in the spring of 2008, Heidiwood was scrapped by the fall after Anchor Blue announced it would not be renewing its contract with Montag.

Doing what they did best, the couple attracted a modicum of attention when they eloped while on vacation in Cabo San Lucas later that year. And while it was taped for the following season of "The Hills," the union was not legally recognized in the U.S. After making a 2009 cameo as herself in a reality star-studded episode of the long-running sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS, 2005- ), Montag and Pratt were legally married in the spring of 2009 in a ceremony in Pasadena, CA. The newlyweds then joined the cast for the second season of the reality competition "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!" (ABC, 2003/NBC, 2009). Predictably, Montag's run on the show ended amidst controversy and accusations after she and Pratt left the production, for the second time when she became ill with a gastric ulcer. Montag was later replaced by her sister Holly. Still in full self-promotion mode, Montage posed for the cover and the centerfold of the September 2009 issue of Playboy, followed by the release of a Hollywood do-it-yourself guide, co-written with Pratt, titled How to be Famous: Our Guide to Looking the Part, Playing the Press and Becoming a Tabloid Fixture.

The year 2010 began with Montag at last releasing her debut album, Superficial. Reportedly costing the aspiring diva nearly $2 million, it failed to rank prominently on any major chart and sold less than a thousand copies during the first week of its release. The following month, an interview in People magazine found Montage confessing to an obsession with plastic surgery and recounting a harrowing tale of undergoing 10 procedures in a single day. Reportedly growing increasingly distanced from friends and family, the struggling reality star later filed for divorce from the increasingly erratic Pratt, who in interviews admitted to failing her as a husband. By the fall of that year, however, Montag had called off the divorce proceedings and reunited with her Machiavellian mate, who admitted that the marital turbulence had all been fabricated in an effort to boost Montag's flagging career. After six seasons, "The Hills" ended its run in 2010, with Montag and Pratt only participating for the first few episodes before making their final departure from the show.

Making her feature film debut, Montage popped up briefly as the trophy wife of a plastic surgery-obsessed Kevin Nealon in the Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy "Just Go with It" (2011). Once more on the reality TV circuit - this time sans Pratt - Montag appeared as a contestant on the short-lived celebrity restaurateur show "Famous Food" (VH1, 2011), then returned to her musical aspirations by digitally releasing the EP Dreams Come True in April 2012. Barely heard from during the previous year, Montag and Pratt next entered a camera and microphone-rigged house as contestants for the 11th season of the U.K. reality series "Celebrity Big Brother" (Channel 4, 2001-2010/Channel 5, 2011- ). Immediately engendering the disdain of their housemates, the couple - now referred to collectively as "Speidi" - found themselves continually on the verge of eviction. Lowlights of the season included the couple refusing to take part in an assigned task, spying on their fellow housemates after pretending to leave the show in a huff, and being given the power to remotely dump dog food on the head of a fellow contestant - which, of course, they did. By the end of the show Montag and her man had somehow miraculously survived to finish in second place, despite being universally despised by their fellow contestants and the vast majority of the British public.

By Bryce P. Coleman

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