She became a beauty queen by accident. 1
She was discovered walking around her hometown and was encouraged to represent Villalba in the Miss Puerto Rico pageant. She won that title and went on to represent Puerto Rico in the Miss Universe pageant in 1993.
She became Miss Universe in 1993. 2
She headed to the competition, which took place in 1993, and was crowned that year's winner. And the rest is history!
She then became a huge star in the Philippines. 3
After winning the crown, she headed to the Philippines, where she lived for five years. Her acting career took off, and she was a well-known and beloved actress there at the time, starring in several movies, including Hataw Na, and TV shows.
She even has her own Barbie-like doll! 5
During the 1990s, many celebrities released doll versions of themselves, and Dayanara was one of them! The dolls were a big hit in both Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
Dayanara began dating singer Marc Anthony. 6
The couple became engaged, and they tied the knot in a quickie wedding on May 9, 2000, in Las Vegas.
The couple separated in 2002, but later that year they renewed their vows in Puerto Rico. 7
The couple had issues in their marriage, which led to their separation. They got back together and celebrated with a formal wedding ceremony at San Juan's Cathedral in Puerto Rico on December 7, 2002.
The pair welcomed two beautiful kids together. 8
The former couple have two sons together. They welcomed Cristian Anthony Muñiz in February 2001 and Ryan Anthony Muñiz in August 2003.
Dayanara and Marc called it quits a year after welcoming their second child. 9
The couple separated for a while in 2002 but eventually got back together. Their final separation was in October 2003, and she was the one to file for divorce in January 2004 after four years of marriage. The divorce was finalized June 1, 2004, and Marc married Jennifer Lopez that same month.
Dayanara headed to court to ask for an increase in child support in 2013. 11
The mom of two demanded thousands more in child support from Marc Anthony after their divorce, claiming that she had to sell her Los Angeles home and move the family into a modest apartment at the time. The salsa singer had been paying $13,000 a month in child support and $3,500 in spousal support.
Marc was ordered to pay Dayanara $26,000 a month in child support. 12
According to papers filed at Los Angeles Superior Court on June 11, 2014, Marc Anthony was ordered to give his ex-wife $26,800 a month in child support for their two sons. She also received an increase in their yearly vacation allowance.
Dayanara released a book following her divorce. 13
The former Miss Universe released the self-help book Married to Me: How Committing to Myself Led to Triumph After Divorce in 2008 as a guide for other divorcées.
Dayanara has been using her platform to raise awareness. 14
She shared a lot posts about donating to and helping Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in 2017, and she also participated in fund-raising initiatives after the earthquake in Mexico that year.
She made her return to television, but for a different kind of competition. 15
She joined the Univision dancing competition Mira Quién Baila in 2017, representing Puerto Rico.
She ended up winning the season. 16
She was crowned the winner of season five of Mira Quién Baila, which premiered on Univision on September 17, 2017, and ended on November 19, 2017.
Her dad died in December 2017. 18
She revealed on Instagram on December 13, 2017, that her dad Jose Torres had died. She was destroyed by the news and flew out to Puerto Rico to lay him to rest. "Rest in Peace. My hero, my strength, my friend... My Dad. I LOVE YOU PAPI," she wrote on Instagram at the time.
She's now a judge on the dance competition show. 19
She joined the judges' table in 2018 for season six along with professional dancer Casper Smart and singer Yuri.
She made her relationship with Louis D'Esposito public in 2018. 20
After teasing her new man on social media, Dayanara revealed in October 2018 that she was dating movie executive Louis D'Esposito.
The pair announced their surprise engagement just a month after going public! 21
Dayanara shared this adorable photo of their engagement--and showed off her massive rock--on Instagram in November 2018. "He asked & I said YES!!!" she captioned it.
She shared a tearful video in February 2019 to reveal her skin cancer diagnosis. 22
The actress-model shared a heartfelt Instagram video that she had been diagnosed with melanoma. In the tearful clip, she urged women to take better care of themselves and said she felt strong and ready to battle the illness.
Dayanara shared another video and shared some good news with her fans. 23
She thanked everyone for their prayers and support and said how encouraging her fans' support has been. She also shared positive news amid her skin cancer diagnosis. "I'm so happy to give you some good news," she shared in the Instagram clip. "Last week's tests show that my cancer is not spreading & is not reaching any of my organs!!!"
Her fiancé, Louis D'Esposito, called off their engagement. 25
It was reported in March 2019 that the copresident of Marvel Studios called things off with the beauty queen amid her cancer battle. It was reported that the movie executive felt that her health issues were "too much" for him due to his already busy schedule.
She seemed to address the breakup in an Instagram post. 26
The day the news broke, on March 5, she posted a photo of herself on Instagram and captioned it: "Notice the people who make an effort to stay in your Life." She later shared another post saying that she was "focusing on the good."