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EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Real Housewife of NY Luann de Lesseps -- Before She Was A Countess!


Dec. 10 2010, Published 9:15 a.m. ET

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Before the Countess got her royal title and she became a reality TV star, recording artist and socialite, she was a nurse and a high fashion model -- and only has exclusive photos from her early years.

LuAnn was born in Connecticut on May 17, 1965, and even at a young age the photogenic 6-year-old's school photo showed modeling promise.

Years later, LuAnn was a nurse in 1986. "This was my first professional job as a geriatric nurse and one of the most gratifying times of my life," she told

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And then her life of walking catwalks around the world began when she signed with powerhouse modeling agency Wilhelmina.

"What fun! My first trip to Europe and getting to model in Milan was amazing. Also where I learned to speak fluent Italian," she said.

"This is my favorite shot from my modeling days," LuAnn told of her stunning headshot.

After jet-setting across Europe, LuAnn settled back home where she decided to make a change that would later become her signature look.

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"When I returned to the States from Europe, I decided to chop off my hair," Luann said of the photo of her sitting at the table. "How does it look?" loves it!


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