Gabrielle Allyse Reece is an American professional volleyball player, sports announcer, fashion model and actress.
Reece was born in La Jolla, California and raised in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. She returned to the U.S. mainland for the eleventh grade, when she took up sports.
Her father, who was Afro-Trinidadian "a native of Trinidad and Tobago", was killed in a plane crash when Gabrielle was five.
On November 30, 1997, Gabrielle married the Hawaiian big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton. She filed for divorce in January 2001, but reconciled a year later. They have two children together: daughters Reece Viola Hamilton (born in October 2003) and Brody Jo Hamilton (born on January 1, 2008 in Hawaii). She and Hamilton also are raising Izabella, Hamilton's daughter from a previous marriage. The Hamilton-Reece family splits time residing in Hawaii and Malibu, California. In the latter, she is known as a member of the "Malibu Mob", a group of celebrity friends and neighbors that includes actor John Cusack, hockey player Chris Chelios, tennis player John McEnroe, and actor John McGinley.
She accepted a volleyball scholarship from the Florida State University, where she majored in communications, and in volleyball she led the league in kills four times and blocks once.
In 1997, she was selected for induction into the Florida State University Athletic Hall of Fame. Reece set two school volleyball records in solo blocks (240) and total blocks (747), both of which still stand.
In 1989, she moved to New York City to pursue more rigorously a parallel career as a sports fashion model and also continue in her pro volleyball career.
After graduation, Reece played on professional volleyball tours for several years. That year, Reece's 4-man team took first place at the first-ever Beach Volleyball World Championships staged at the UCLA Tennis Center, in her fifth season as a team captain in the 4-person Women's Beach Volleyball League (WBVL), and fourth captaining Team Nike, which shared League Co-Championship.
For four consecutive years, Reece was the WBVL kills leader from 1993-1996.
She competed domestically in the 1999-2000 Olympic Challenge Series, the 1999-2000 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour, and other competitions.
She has appeared on the covers of Outside, Shape, Women's Sports & Fitness, Elle, and Life. She appeared on the cover of Playboy, with an accompanying nude pictorial, in January 2001. Reece had previously made a cameo appearance as herself on the HBO series Arliss in which, ironically, she angrily reprimanded her agent for even suggesting she accept an offer to pose nude for Playboy.
Reece co-wrote a book with Karen Karbo about her life as a pro athlete entitled Big Girl in the Middle, published by Crown (1997). She also wrote a column for Condé Nast's magazine Women's Sports & Fitness, and has been a contributing editor at Elle magazine. For several years, Reece hosted ESPN and NBC's Gravity Games, where she participated in road-luging, white water kayaking, drag racing, surfing, sky diving, and more on MTV Sports (1993–95), and The Extremists with Gabrielle Reece (1995–96). She was also a commentator at the 1998 Goodwill Games.
Reece played the role of a physical trainer in the film Gattaca (1997) and a pro beach volleyball player in Cloud Nine with Burt Reynolds (in 2004). She guest-starred on TV series North Shore (2004) and 8 Simple Rules (2005). She also appeared as a guest on Extreme Makeover Home Edition and America's Next Top Model and The Tyra Banks Show. In 2007, Reece and her husband Laird Hamilton, appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, featuring a dozen celebrities in a stock car racing competition. In the first round of competition, she matched up against the former NFL coach Bill Cowher and the actor William Shatner.
In 2008, she released Gabrielle Reece: Fit & Healthy Prenatal Workouts with exercise guru Mike Monroe. For 2008, Reece was the spokeswoman for Simply Nutrilite, a line developed by Quixtar.