Alicia Machado the 4th woman from Venezuela to capture the Miss Universe crown

Yoseph Alicia Machado Fajardo (born December 6, 1976 in Maracay) is an actress, singer and the fourth woman from Venezuela to capture the Miss Universe crown.

Alicia Machado was born in Venezuela on December 6, 1976. Her full Names is Yoseph Alicia Machado Fajardo. Her father, Arturo Machado, is originally from Spain. He is the owner of a toy store. Her mothers’ name is Martha Fajardo, she is from Cuba and owns a "Subway" franchise restaurant. Her parents are divorced. Alicia describes them as getting along well. They have respect for each other. She has 2 brothers and is the middle child.

At a very young age Alicia discovered her passion for dancing. She started taking dancing lessons at the age of 4. She studied dance for 8 years. When she was 10 she discovered her love for music and joined the school choir. She graduated from High School at the age of 15 and went on to college. She studied Business Administration, then switched to Law. Within 15 months into her studies she decided to quit School in order to pursue her dreams of being in the entertainment industry. She signed up with an agency and did commercials and modeling.

In 1995 she participated in and won the Miss Venezuela pageant. At the age of 18, she went on to compete in the Miss Universe pageant. Alicia was very surprised when she won the Miss Universe title which led her to a very extradordinary year as Miss Universe 1996. The following year after returning her Miss Universe crown she continued the pursue of her dreams to make it into show business. Initially Alicia wanted to record an album but without the knowledge of how to go about it, it became very difficult. She received several tempting acting roles in soap operas which were very hard to refuse.

Alicia accepted a leading role in a Telenovela called Samantha (1998). She quickly polished her acting skills and took some lessons with several different acting coaches in Venezuela, Mexico and the United States. All her hard work was acknowledged when she won the Midia Award in Spain and the Ace award in New York City, as the new Actress of the year. She went on to star in two other Telenovelas. "Infierno en el Paraiso" (1999) filmed in Mexico and "Mambo Y Canela" (2002) filmed in Venezuela.

Although she loved acting her passion to sing grew even more. One of her close friends Ricardo Montanez assisted her in introducing her to the music industry. He introduced her to Jose Miguel who helped her not only with her vocals but also with writing songs. They worked on first album for 3 years. In 1999 her musical career became a reality when she released the album and in 1999 her dream came true when her debut album was released, “Alicia En El Pais De Las Maravillas”. Alicia Machado has continued her great success by starting in other TeleNovelas and movies. She has currently released her second album in November 2007.

She currently lives in Mexico City. On June 25, 2008, Alicia gave birth to her daughter, Dinorah Valentina. She issued a statement that the father of Dinorah was Mexican businessman Rafael Hernandez Linares after Mexican news sources, quoting the Attorney General, reported that the father was Gerardo Álvarez Vázquez, a drug lord.

Machado won the 1996 Miss Venezuela pageant entering Yaracuy and then the Miss Universe 1996 crown in Las Vegas. The runner-up, Jacqueline Aguilera, also won the Miss World 1995 crown, marking the second time that two Venezuelans from the same pageant won two world titles. Machado's reign came as Donald Trump took ownership of the Miss Universe pageant.

During her reign as Miss Universe, Machado made headlines when it was reported that she gained too much weight and the Miss Universe Organization was considering replacing her with her runner-up, Taryn Mansell of Aruba. In the end, Machado managed to shed some of the weight and retained her title. Donald Trump, however, was less magnanimous. While calling in live on the Howard Stern radio show to promote the 1997 Miss Universe pageant, he called her an "eating machine," which earned her more international fame.

In 1998, Alicia made her debut on the popular Venezuelan soap opera Samantha in the titular role. Following the success of Samantha she was called to start in Infierno en el Paraiso, another successful soap opera that made her a well known actress. In 2001, she had a small role on the international successful soap opera Secreto de Amor. During 2004–2005, she pursued a career as a TV commercial model with particular success in promoting a dieting product. In 2005, Machado appeared on a Spanish reality show called La Granja de los famosos ("The Farm") and caused scandal when she was filmed having sex with another show participant. After the film and photos became public, her then-fiance, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim' right fielder Bobby Abreu, broke off their engagement.

On February 19, 2006, Machado debuted on a Mexican reality show named Cantando Por Un Sueño ("Singing For A Dream"), a program in the line of the previous Bailando Por Un Sueño ("Dancing For A Dream"), in which the winner has the chance for a dream to come true. The show is very similar to Dancing with the Stars (U.S.) and ¡Más que baile! (formerly titled ¡Mira Quién Baila!) ("Look Who's Dancing!") (Spain).

Machado appeared in (and on the cover of) the February 2006 issue of Playboy magazine's Mexican edition, thus becoming the only Miss Universe to pose nude for Playboy. She dedicated her photographs to Donald Trump and Shane Filan (former dream lover).

One of her movies was titled I love Miami, sharing credits with Ofelia Medina.

On January 22, 2010, Alicia Machado revealed her fingerprints on Paseo de las Luminarias, in Mexico City, in recognition of her artistic career in Mexico.

On November 24, 2010, BBC Mundo confirmed that Alicia Machado had to close her Twitter account after writing a tweet that called for "peace between the Chinas", referring to North and South Korea. Her gaffe unleashed a rush of insulting posts, prompting her to go offline. "I now have a lot of psychopaths on the account and it's best I start another one, kisses," she signed off, according to Venezuelan media.

2009: Los simuladores (The Pretenders)
2007: El Pantera (The Panther)
2000: Estamos Unidos
1997: The Nanny

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