Dorothy Hamill is an American figure skater who was born on July 26, 1956, in Chicago, Illinois. Her family moved to Greenwich, Connecticut, shortly after she was born, and she spent the rest of her childhood there. She had a brother and a sister.
She first started ice skating when she was eight. She began skating in her grandparent's backyard on the pond. Her ice skates were too big, so her grandmother put stuffing in the toes to make them fit. She asked her mother if she could have lessons so she could learn to skate backwards. Her mother said yes, and Dorothy learned to be a professional. When she was older she won an Olympic gold medal and the world championship in 1976.
The U.S. champion from 1974 through 1976, Hamill developed a new move, a camel spin that turns into a sit-spin, which became known as the "Hamill camel." The bobbed hairstyle that she wore during her Olympic performance started a brief fad.
Hamill made her first big breakthrough at the World Championships in 1974 in Munich, Germany. Hamill was in 3rd place after the compulsory figures and the short program. She was set to skate after the German skater whose marks were booed mercilessly while Hamill was already on the ice. Visibly upset, she left the ice and burst into tears. After the crowd calmed down, she returned to the ice and skated a perfect and inspiring program, almost winning the gold medal, but settling for silver behind Christine Errath of East Germany. Hamill again won silver at the World Championships in 1975 at Colorado Springs, Colorado behind Diane Deleeuw of the Netherlands but ahead of Errath. In 1976, Hamill switched boots to be able to skate the compulsory figures better (she had been wearing special boots created by Carlo Fassi that did not seem to be helping her). At the Olympics, Hamill came in second in the figures and then easily won the short and long programs taking the gold medal ahead of Deleeuw and Errath who came in second and third. She also won the world championships that year and then turned professional.
She was an Ice Capades headliner from 1977-1984; she bought the financially-strapped Ice Capades in 1993 but sold it to Pat Robertson soon after.
A doll was made of her in 1977. She has written her own book, On and Off the Ice. She was married and divorced twice. She was married to Dean Paul Martin (1982 - 1984). Then she was married to Kenneth Forsythe (1987 - 1995). Dorothy had one daughter with Kenneth Forsythe named Alexandra.
She is a judge on the 2006 Fox television show Skating With Celebrities.