A rare reality TV star with a career rooted in the real world, Bethenny Frankel was born in New York City in 1970. She became intimately involved in the show business community as a large-scale event planner, helping produce movie premieres and award shows, but a love of food and a need to promote a natural lifestyle led her to change gears. She attended Natural Gourmet Cooking Institute, and soon started a company called Bethennybakes, providing gourmet, holistic, all-natural foods for high-end clientele designed to promote weight loss while enhancing health and adhering to customized restrictions like dairy-free and wheat-free lifestyles.
In 2005, Frankel brought her business to the small screen, joining the cast of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. She made it to the series finale, and though she came in second place, her notoriety increased tremendously. Frankel began writing a column for Hamptons Magazine, authored books on healthy weight loss, and became a well-known advocate for weight loss through healthy and accessible lifestyle choices.
In 2008, Frankel joined the cast of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City, a reality show profiling the lives of high-powered, successful Manhattan women. It was an ironic title for Frankel, who was not married, but the show boosted her celebrity even more, and she took on a number of endorsement deals for companies like Pepperidge Farm and Diets.com.