Throwback Photos of a Young Lisa Rinna Before Real Housewives

Lisa Rinna has decades of experience in the spotlight.

These days, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alumna — who turns 61 on July 11, 2024 — is known for her eight-year stint on the Bravo show and her loving 27-year marriage to actor Harry Hamlin. But Rinna got her start more than 40 years ago when she moved to San Francisco to start acting in commercials. 

She later scored her big break as a soap opera darling in Days of Our Lives as Billie Reed, later moving on to Melrose Place. Although she credits RHOBH for making her more famous than ever, her work spans film, television and theater.

“I just wanted to be a star,” Rinna told the Los Angeles Times in 2019. “I didn’t care whether I was a great actor. I just wanted to be famous and was going to do whatever I had to to get there.”

See early photos of the TV personality, from her childhood to her ascent into stardom and her most notable roles.

Baby Lisa

A young Lisa Rinna and dad Frank Rinna.

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Lisa Rinna was born on July 11, 1963, in Newport Beach, California, to Lois and Frank Rinna. When she was 7, the Rinnas left the state to move to Medford, Oregon, for her father’s job.

Teenage Dream

Lisa Rinna as a teenager.

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After graduating from Medford Senior High School, Lisa Rinna briefly attended the University of Oregon but dropped out after being rejected for an acting course. She took off for San Francisco, where she got her foot in the door of the industry through commercials.

“I think I got my SAG card doing a Mervyn’s [department store] commercial,” she recalled to the L.A. Times.

‘Naughty Naughty’

A young Lisa Rinna in the 1984 music video for ‘Naughty Naughty’.

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At age 21, Lisa Rinna starred as a video vixen for British musician John Parr’s 1984 single “Naughty Naughty.” In the music video, she portrayed a woman unimpressed with Parr’s advances, slapping him twice and exiting his car. Reflecting on the experience with Lisa Vanderpump on Andy Cohen’s Then and Now, Rinna admitted, “I hardly remember a thing.” What she didn’t forget, however, was her bad hair day. 

“They did my hair, like, all forward,” she recounted on the show. “It’s awful. It is one of those moments of, ‘What the f— was I thinking?’ Like, why?”

‘Days of Our Lives’

Lisa Rinna as Billie Reed in ‘Days of Our Lives’ in 1993.
Gary Null/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

In 1993, Lisa Rinna landed her star-making role as Billie Reed in the long-running soap opera Days of Our Lives. For her debut season, she won the Soap Opera Digest Award for outstanding female newcomer. The next year, she claimed another accolade for hottest soap couple with costar Robert Kelker-Kelly.

Future Husband

Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin at the 1995 Soap Opera Digest Awards.
Ron Galella/WireImage

Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna met in 1992 but didn’t start dating until the next year. The pair had an eventful first dinner date, as an elderly waiter approached them and said, “You two, you are lovebirds. You are soulmates.”

“This is our first date and the waiter’s telling us all this stuff and we’re looking at each other going, ‘Where is this guy coming from?’ “ Hamlin told PEOPLE. Shortly after their outing, the new couple made their red carpet debut at the American Comedy Awards.

‘Melrose Place’

Lisa Rinna as Taylor McBride in ‘Melrose Place’ in the 1990s.

Aaron Spelling Prod/Everett Collection


Following three years on Days of Our Lives, Lisa Rinna departed the series for a role on the Beverly Hills, 90210 spin-off Melrose Place. She played Taylor McBride for three seasons, up until the show’s finale in 1999.

Full Glam

Lisa Rinna in 1996.

 Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc


Even in the ’90s, Lisa Rinna was serving glamorous looks on the red carpet (which have since been borrowed by her model daughters, Delilah Belle and Amelia Gray). 

Married to Harry

Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin at their March 1997 wedding in Beverly Hills.
Roxanne McCann/Getty

Harry Hamlin popped the question to Lisa Rinna five years into their relationship during a trip to Canada. The two tied the knot in an intimate backyard ceremony on March 29, 1997, attended by 150 of their close friends including Tony Danza, Annie Potts and Jennifer Tilly. 

“Lisa was luminescent,” said one attendee at the wedding, “and Harry was so very taken with her.”

Power Couple

Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin at the American Comedy Awards in 2000.

SGranitz/WireImage


The couple walked the red carpet together at the 14th Annual American Comedy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles in 2000.

‘Soap Talk’

Lisa Rinna hosts ‘Soap Talk’ in 2003.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty


From 2002 to 2006, Lisa Rinna co-hosted SOAPnet’s daytime talk show Soap Talk with Ty Treadway. The gig earned her four Daytime Emmy nominations for outstanding talk show host. It also gave her another valuable gift: the ability to pivot away from acting. Since Soap Talk’s cancellation, Rinna has competed on Dancing with the Stars and Celebrity Apprentice, as well as starred in a reality series with Harry Hamlin, Harry Loves Lisa

“I couldn’t really get an acting job anymore because I had now become a reality star,” the Bravolebrity shared with the L.A. Times. “By the time Housewives came along, I wasn’t afraid of it. I knew it was a direction I had to continue to go on.”

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