Christiane Martel, born Christiane Magnani in Paris, France in 1932, won the 1953 Miss Universe pageant representing France. However, she was not a titleholder from the "official" Miss France pageant.
Shortly after her reign, Martel embarked on a successful career in international films, appearing in movies such as Yankee Pasha, So This Is Paris, the 1956 version of Corazón salvaje (playing the villain Aimée), Viva el Amor!, Rosa Blanca and her last film to date, 1961's Leoni al Sole.
Martel was married briefly to Ronnie Marengo, a department store heir, whom she divorced in 1955. She later married Miguel Alemán Velasco, who would become Governor of Veracruz and is the son of Miguel Alemán Valdés, former president of Mexico. She presently resides in Mexico in the state of Veracruz. They have three daughters and one son. Their son, Miguel Alemán Magnani is a stakeholder of Televisa and the owner of low-cost airline, Interjet.
She made her last television appearance at the Miss Universe pageants in 1993 and 2007 that were held in Mexico.