Ursula Yvonne Mayes was born in Seoul, South Korea and raised as a military brat in various parts of the US. Her exotic look comes from a Korean mother and German/Native-American (Cherokee Indian) father. Ursula’s eclectic look is also reflected in her personal style, character and artistic aesthetic.
Ursula emerged into the modeling world by her mother’s close friend, a highly acclaimed portrait photographer in Washington, DC. After the buzz of winning 1st place in prestigious photography awards with Ursula’s photos, and a spread in Maxim magazine, Mayes was signed as a Spokesmodel for a global events company that subsequently led to her move across the country to California.
Mayes realized later that growing up an “army brat” would carry into her adult life and her career would flourish. Mayes subsequently signed multi- year deals with the same company, traveling to 20+ U.S. cities, Asia, Europe and Guam to host headliner performances. Upon signing that initial first contract, the same year, Mayes signed additional contracts with top LA based fashion agency, Otto Models, and as Spokesmodel for Dreamgirl International (and subsequently with Escante) and landed the recurring role of briefcase model #5 on the hit game show, Deal Or No Deal hosted by Howie Mandel.
During Ursula’s entire 4 seasons with the show, DOND’s fame skyrocketed, becoming the #1 game show in the world, reaching over 80 million households while nominated for an Emmy and winning “Favorite Game Show” on GSN. Mayes quickly became a fan favorite and many recognize Ursula as suitcase model #5 today. Currently, Mayes is one of four models selected by Atronic on an exclusive Deal Or No Deal slot machine along with Howie Mandel featured in Las Vegas and major casinos across the nation. Mayes also worked with the same producers from DOND on a special Christmas episodic week on Minute To Win It with host and foodie, Guy Fieri.
Putting her comedic and improvisation skills to the test, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno called upon Ursula for it’s hilarious “Jaywalking” skits. Since then Mayes has filmed various recurring roles on both The Tonight Show and The Jay Leno Show. Mayes is currently pursuing to further her acting career and training with acclaimed acting coach, Jim Gleason.
Alluring and versatile, Ursula is one of the most sought after faces for her ethnically ambiguous look and ability to transform in both print and film. Some of the campaigns she has appeared in include Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Coronet Diamonds, Volkswagon, Amway, Jim Bean, California Milk, Subaru, Evan Williams and Bacardi to name a few. She has appeared in numerous U.S. magazines, Muscle & Fitness, 944, Maxim, Stuff, OC Health, Runway and People Magazine’s, “100 Most Beautiful Issue” to name a few. Internationally, Mayes has been featured in Korean magazines Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, In Style, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Esquire Turkey, Australian FHM and many more. Mayes unique look get her noticed, but it is her down to earth nature and strong work ethic that makes her shine.
Overseas, Ursula has appeared in a multi-international print and commercial campaign for EI Solutions Skincare and Cosmetics. In addition, Ursula filmed a commercial film (CF), for real estate development Hoban Apartments, considered a great achievement in the highly competitive Korean entertainment industry. Global video game powerhouse, THQ, hired Mayes as the cover model and star of Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights, the follow up to its 2 million selling Juiced racing game, available on XBOX 360™, PlaySation2® and Nintendo DS™. Mayes starred in the game’s television commercial, which aired on major networks worldwide. A special edition DVD just for her fans was included in the first set of released games. Mayes also appeared at the Juiced 2 launch event in London.
Ursula was a makeup artist, stylist and photographic assistant before ever becoming a model/actress and moving to California. Her passion for flawless skin, expressive eyes and innate sense of being ‘ahead of the curve’ has put her in high demand among models, actresses, brides and more. Ursula relates to people of all levels, of all ages and cultures…she loves making women look beautiful and feel their absolute best whatever the occasion may be…photoshoot, engagement session, wedding day or family portraits. Her resources are vast for photographers, studios, makeup artists, fellow stylists, accessory and clothing labels.
No stranger to charity, Ursula is a strong believer in helping others, and an ambassador for the Pearl S. Buck Foundation of Korea, an organization committed to improving the quality of life, expanding opportunities for children ad promoting an understanding of the values and attributes of other cultures, the injustice of prejudice, and the need for humanitarianism throughout the world.
In Ursula’s spare time, she still enjoys photography, contemporary art, interior design, traveling, cooking and spending time with her beautiful daughter, Mia and her rescued terrier, Barney.
Model, actress, makeup artist/stylist, business owner and humanitarian…Ursula seeks ventures that involve creative self-expression, traveling, helping others and learning.
Ursula is currently a working model under contract with CESD Talent Agency (LA) as well as Brand Model & Talent Agency (Orange County) and, as an actress with Abstract Talent Agency.