Eva Marcille Sterling, known professionally as Eva Marcille, was born on October 30, 1984 in Los Angeles, California, and is an American actress, TV host and fashion model, who most recently played the role of Tyra Hamilton on the soap opera The Young and the Restless. She started her career by winning Cycle 3 of America's Next Top Model.
She was previously credited by her birth name, Eva Pigford, but changed her name for acting purposes.
Eva Marcille Pigford was born in Los Angeles, California to an African-American mother and a Puerto Rican father. Her middle name, Marcille, is an amalgam of "Marjorie" and "Lucille," her grandmothers' names.
She attended Raymond Avenue Elementary School, Marina Del Rey Middle School, and Washington Preparatory High School (2002). She attended Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia; however, she left the school shortly after winning the third cycle of America's Next Top Model.
Marcille was the winner of the third cycle of America's Next Top Model, beating fellow contestants Yaya Da Costa and Amanda Swafford. Her prizes included a CoverGirl cosmetics contract, a spread in Elle, and a modeling contract with Ford Models.
Her speech that closed Cycle 3 of America's Next Top Model was:
"...This little tomboy from L.A. that has never been beautiful. I was not the cute girl in school. I came here the shortest and the one that had the most insecurities inside of them, and now I’m America’s Next Top Model. And I get to represent all the little girls who feel the way I feel... Watch out world here comes Eva. Ha!"
Marcille has appeared on the cover of Brides Noir, Women's Health and Fitness (May 2005), King magazine (June 2005), IONA (November 2005), and Essence magazine. Her other modeling credits include CoverGirl, DKNY, Samsung, Red by Marc Ecko, Jewel magazine, In Touch Weekly magazine (June 2005), King magazine (November 2005), WeTheUrban Magazine, IONA, UNleashed magazine, Star Magazine, Elle, Elle Girl, Applebottoms, Lerner Catalog, Avon Campaign 4 and Rolling Out. Eva's runway shows include the Marc Bouwer Fall 2005, Elle Girl presents Dare To Be You: Wal-Mart Meets America's Next Top Model 2005, Gharani Strok Fall 2005, Deborah Lindquist Spring 2006, Naqada Spring 2006, 8th Annual 'Models of Perfection' Show 2006, and L.A. Fashion Week's Monarchy Collection Fall 2007.
On November 15, 2006, Eva left her managers Benny Medina and Tyra Banks. After leaving Banks and Medina for new management, she officially dropped "Pigford" from her name, now going by Eva Marcille (her middle name). She has stated she did this in order to not use her modeling fame to get into acting but earn her acting roles.
Marcille is now signed to L.A. Models. She has been featured on America's Next Top Model: Exposed on the CW. She has also been featured as one of CoverGirl's Top Models in Action.
Marcille has guest-starred on several series on UPN and The CW Network. Her guest-star credits include two episodes of Kevin Hill, one episode of Smallville, one episode of Everybody Hates Chris, and one episode of The Game as herself. Marcille has also appeared on Tyler Perry's House of Payne.
In addition, Marcille hosted BET J's reality show My Model Looks Better Than Your Model, as well as Rip the Runway on BET. Furthermore, she has appeared in several music videos, including "Baby" by Angie Stone (featuring Betty Wright), 50 Cent's "I Get Money" and Jamie Foxx's "DJ Play a Love Song". She is also mentioned in Lil' Kim's song, "I Know You See Me" and Missy Elliott's "On & On" where the rapper sings, "Top model diva but my name not Eva."
Marcille was cast as a regular on a FOX show called The Wedding Album in 2006, but FOX cancelled it before it aired.
In 2005, Marcille appeared in a first-season episode of the MTV improv show Nick Cannon Presents Wild 'N Out. In December 2007, Marcille played a featured role in an episode of Smallville.
In 2008 she joined the cast of The Young and The Restless as a young mother named Tyra Hamilton. (Contrary to speculation, Eva's character was not named after Tyra Banks, but for The Young and The Restless' head writer Maria Arena Bell's best friend's daughter whose name is Tyra.) After a few months, her character, who was planned to be temporary was made permanent. In 2009, Marcille was nominated for two NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series for her Y&R role but didn't get the awards. She did however win a Young Hollywood award.
In film, her credits include The Walk, Crossover, and, most recently, I Think I Love My Wife.
She appeared in a June 2009 episode of the BET prank show Played by Fame, where contestants have nightmarish dates with celebrities.
She hosted the first season of the Oxygen reality series Hair Battle Spectacular in 2010.
In August 2013, Marcille appeared in the video clip "J'accélère (I accelerate)" by French rapper Rohff.
In July 2006, Marcille started dating Tyler Perry's House of Payne star Lance Gross. They got engaged on December 24, 2008 and split up in March 2010. She also dated rapper Flo Rida from 2010 to 2012.
She dated singer-songwriter Kevin McCall from 2013-2015. They have a daughter, Marley Rae (b. 2014).
She got married to lawyer Michael Sterling in October 2018. They have a son, Michael Jr. (b. 2018). On May 1, 2019, they announced that they are expecting their second child together.