From IDF officer to Melania Trump
Growing up in Israel, Mira Tzur was an accomplished ballerina who attended the Thelma-Yellin Performing Arts School on a scholarship from the America-Israel Culture Foundation. After graduation, she joined the BatSheva Dance Ensemble in Tel Aviv. But a childhood dream of pursuing a modeling career in New York still tugged at her, and in 1995, after completing a two-year stint as a counter-intelligence officer in the Israel Defense Forces, she made the move.
A world-renowned supermodel and entrepreneur, Tzur was among other professional entertainers and athletes in town last week (March 16-19) for the annual Celebrity Fight Night Founders Dinner and Auction, held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix. The event raises money for the Muhammed Ali Parkinson Center in Phoenix.
Tzur, who became a United States citizen in 1996, has enjoyed a varied career in modeling, acting, business and writing. But her most recent venture is a new twist, she says. She has added “impersonator” to her list of talents. Because she bears a strong resemblance to First Lady Melania Trump, one of Trump’s friends called and asked her to train as a Melania look-alike. The experiment went on YouTube and went viral. Tzur then began working with a male impersonator named John Di Domenico, who poses as a Donald Trump look-alike. The two sometimes perform together, sometimes separately.
Tzur says she met Melania Trump several years ago at Mar-a-Lago, the Trumps’ estate in Palm Beach, Florida. “When we met, [Melania] was very sweet – warm, welcoming and non-standoffish.
“I thought she was a beautiful woman inside and out,” Tzur says. “I think her sometimes-silent presence speaks volumes. Her calm and collected personality is a great sounding board to President Trump, especially now being the president and taking such heat daily. So I can see how they were able to stay compatible the past 18 years (the pair met in late 1998 and married in 2005), no matter what people say.”
Tzur performs at parties and other functions. At one event, a “fake-inauguration” party hosted by a Jewish family, Tzur did the blessing over the bread in Hebrew.
Most of her impersonation events are those supported by the administration and the Republican Party, she says.
Impersonation is only one facet of her career, not the whole focus of it.
When she arrived in New York, she developed a love for musical theater and landed a dancing role in the musical “Cabaret,” performing on and off-Broadway and touring across Europe and the United States. Her modeling career was launched when her performances attracted the attention of Everlast, a fitness-apparel manufacturing company. She modeled the company’s clothing for seven years. Eventually, that job led to other print and commercial modeling contracts.
“Between jobs, I supported myself as a personal trainer and nutritionist,” says Tzur, who became certified in both fields.
Tzur also acts. She’s had roles in several popular television series, including a 1997 dancing role on a Comedy Central variety show and works in films and live theater.
She has performed at Le Sporting Club in Monte Carlo, danced for the king of Morocco and was married to a French count.
Although her family now lives in the United States, Tzur visits Israel several times a year. She is divorced and has an 18-year-old son whose academic and lacrosse skills make her proud.
She’s currently writing a book titled, “Images: The Ultimate Guide to the World of Commercial Print Lifestyle Modeling … and the Art of Being Anonymously Famous,” which she says is for teenage girls and young women who are aspiring models. Tzur hopes it will motivate them to pursue modeling careers. The book includes a section on fitness and nutrition.
A modeling career is a process of evolution, Tzur says, adding that people can continue doing lifestyle and print modeling beyond their 20s because each decade brings a different type of beauty to the job.