Irena Ferris (born Irene Gerasimenko on September 19, 1958 in Los Angeles, CA, now known as Irena Medavoy) is an American Model, Actress, and Businesswoman. She auditioned to be the newest Barker's Beauty on The Price is Right during it's 22nd season.
Early Life & CareerEdit
Born Irene Gerasimenko in Los Angeles, California. Fluent in Russian and English, born to Russian Orthodox immigrant parents, Margaret and Vladimir Gerasimenko. Both of her parents had been in German concentration camps during World War II after which they fled to Morocco and then immigrated to the United States in 1957. While still a student in high school, Irena worked for Tichi Wilkerson Miles, the first female editor of The Hollywood Reporter.
As a young up and coming model and changing her name to Irena Gerasimenko, she worked as a model for Sports Illustrated alongside her roommates Bernadette Leonard (a fellow Sports Illustrated model) and Jennifer Flavin (a model and wife of Sylvester Stallone), she served as Vice Chairman and collaborated to create a charity, C.O.A.C.H. for Kids and their Families which is a community outreach assistance for children's health.
Aside from a blossoming modeling career, Ferris also developed a career in acting. She first landed two small roles in the television movies Once Upon a Spy and Cocaine and Blue Eyes, followed by small roles in other movies which include Looker, Covergirl, and Paternity.
Irena then landed a recurring role on the CBS primetime soap opera Dallas as a girlfriend of Bobby Ewing (played by actor Patrick Duffy) and was also a series regular role on the television series Cover Up. She's also appearing in a number of guest starring roles on various television shows which include Night Court, LA Law, Lou Grant, and The Love Boat.
In 1991, she founded Phoenix Enterprises with Pirie Jones and together with American Telecast produced product marketing television programs including the hair care series 'Beverly Hills Beauty'. Her direct marketing company sold on QVC where Irena invented, manufactured and sold beauty, health, fitness and self-help products for women. Her electronic response firm called High Heels and Loafers with partner Pirie Jones created a company at King World to direct response sales.
Price is Right auditionEdit
During it's 22nd season on the air, The Price is Right ran a nationwide model search to permanently replace ex-model Dian Parkinson, who departed from the show back in June 1993. Irena was one of several participants to audition for the job. She only taped six episodes (in December 1993) as they aired nationwide from January 28th to February 4th, 1994.
Personal Life & Later CareerEdit
Irena has married three times, she was previously married to Arthur Sarkissian from 1981 to 1984 and then to Harris Katleman, married in 1985 but unknown when they divorced. Her current husband is Mike Medavoy, they married on July 7, 1995 and together they have one child, a son named Nicholas and she is also the stepmother to her husband's son Brian, who is a television and movie producer.
Irena is also the Executive Vice Chairman of the charity Coach for Kids, who provide free medical care for inner city kids via a mobile medical unit.
She is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post, on topics including President Barack Obama (for whom she held an election fundraising campaign), legendary talk show hostess and media mogul Oprah Winfrey, female body images in the media which she regards as unrealistic and harmful and even her experiences with botox.
In 2008, actor and philanthropist Sean Penn presented the Medavoy family with the Danny Kaye Humanitarian award from UNICEF and also spoke at husband Mike Medavoy's Hollywood Walk of Fame Star unveiling. In 2015, she was named The Women's Image Network Awards' Woman of the Year Honoree.
Ferris, her husband and son reside in Beverly Hills, California.