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The Women Who Brought Lara Croft: Tomb Raider To Life

Updated on January 5, 2017

Featuring Rhona Mitra, Vanessa Demouy, Alison Carroll, Karima Adebibe and ...Sofia Vergara?

Lara Croft is a fictional character and the heroine of Eidos Interactive's Tomb Raider video game series.

Okay, we all know that Lara Croft isn't real, she's a fictional character.
But a lot of real women have gone into making Lara what she is today.
She's almost like a Frankenstein's Monster.

Did you know that when Toby Gard was designing the sets for Tomb Raider during the video game development, he was picturing a man with a whip and a hat?
Very original.
But they decided to go with a woman, and Lara was originally South American.
Her first name was Laura Cruz, but they changed the idea to a British woman and Lara Croft was born.

Originally designed as a South American, then changed to British, Lara was first voiced by an orthodox Jew, Shelly Blond.
Then Judith Gibbins took over for the next two games, English voice actress Jonell Elliott took over for the next three games, then English actress Keeley Hawes took over.

Of course we all are familiar with Angelina Jolie's portrayal of Lara in two films, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.
And they are currently working on a reboot with a younger more in-experienced Lara as the star.

But Angelina is not the only woman to bring Lara physically to life......

Nathalie Cook
Nathalie Cook (born 1976 in Berkshire, England) is generally considered the first "real" Lara Croft.
She was one of the four models that appeared at the European Computer Trade Show (ECTS) in 1996 advertising the video game and right after the release of the first Tomb Raider game, she was featured on the cover of the British magazine PC Zone's December issue.

Rhona Mitra
Rhona Mitra (who I personally think is drop dead gorgeous) was the next "official" Lara Croft.
She was born August 9th, 1976 in Paddington, London, England, UK and you may know her from quite a few action films.
Rhona was in Skinwalkers, Doomsday and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.

Vanessa Demouy
The next Lara Croft was actress and model Vanessa Demouy (born April 5th, 1973 in Moulins, France).
Vanessa has appeared in quite a few French TV shows.

Nell McAndrew
The next Lara was English glamor model Nell McAndrew (born November 6, 1973).
Even though Nell was fired from her role as Lara, she has gone on to have a pretty successful career in modeling and television.

Lara Weller
Dutch model Lara Weller (born April 6th, 1975) became the next Tomb Raider.

Ellen Rocche
Brazilian actress and model Ellen Rocche (born July 19th,1979) was the next Lara Croft.
I did a write up on her on my Brazilian Women Hub.

Lucy Clarkson
English model Lucy Clarkson (born July 6th,1982) became the next Tomb Raider at the age of seventeen.
She portrayed Lara for two and a half years.

Jill de Jong
Jill de Jong (Jildou de Jong), another Dutch model (born February 17th,1982), was the next Lara Croft.

Karima Adebibe
English actress and model Karima Adebibe (born February 14th,1985) took over the Tomb raider role next.
I also did an entry on her on one of my Beautiful Arab Women Hubs.

Alison Carroll
And now we come to the latest Lara Croft incarnation, Alison Carroll (born March 27th,1985) .
Allison may have more Tomb Raider cred than any of the others being not only a model and actress, but a gymnast as well.

The Crofts Reunite

For the tenth anniversary of the Tomb Raider Game, Eidos got almost all of the former models together for a photoshoot (which you can see below).
But instead of Tomb Raider gear, they were all wearing black latex bodysuits.
Not that anyone complained mind you, but I really wish they had all been in gear.
The models present were Lucy Clarkson, Lara Weller, Jill de Jong, Nell McAndrew, and Karima Adebibe.

And besides the actresses playing Lara, another woman contributed to making her a star.
In 2008's Tomb Raider: Underworld, Lara's movements were based on Olympic gymnast and stuntwoman Heidi Moneymaker by using motion capture.
You have probably seen a lot of Heidi but didn't realize it, as she has done stunts for Crank: High Voltage, Star Trek, Hancock and the 2008 Rambo movie.

The Tomb Raiders

Nathalie Cook
Nathalie Cook
Rhona Mitra as Lara Croft
Rhona Mitra as Lara Croft
Vanessa Demouy
Vanessa Demouy
Nell McAndrew
Nell McAndrew
Lara Weller
Lara Weller
Ellen Rocche
Ellen Rocche
Lucy Clarkson
Lucy Clarkson
Jill de Jong
Jill de Jong
Karima Adebibe
Karima Adebibe
Alison Carroll
Alison Carroll
Almost all of the former Lara Croft models, Lucy Clarkson, Lara Weller, Jill de Jong, Nell McAndrew, and Karima Adebibe
Almost all of the former Lara Croft models, Lucy Clarkson, Lara Weller, Jill de Jong, Nell McAndrew, and Karima Adebibe
Another shot of the Tomb Raiders
Another shot of the Tomb Raiders

And let's not forget gorgeous Latin model Sofia Vergara who played Lara in the Visa Monster Chase commercial. I think she made a pretty good Lara.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider at Amazon

Alicia Vikander Cast As Lara Croft In "Tomb Raider"
Alicia Vikander Cast As Lara Croft In "Tomb Raider"

Alicia Vikander Cast As Lara Croft In "Tomb Raider"

Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander will be playing Lara Croft in the next film adaptation.
Can't say that I am really excited about that.
She looks nothing like Lara to me...actually nothing about her reminds me of Lara...but I guess we need to give it time huh?

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