Christiane Martel, born Christiane Magnani, is from Piennes, France, located in the Meurthe-et-Moselle region of Northeastern France.
Martel won the title of Miss Châtellerault in 1952. She went on to compete for the title of Miss Cinémonde. She won and went on to represent the country of France at the second annual Miss Universe Pageant.
Martel traveled to the United States to compete against 25 other contestants for the crown. On July 17, 1953, a then 21-year-old Martel won the title of Miss Universe at the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium in Long Beach, California. Since the previous Miss Universe, Armi Kuusela of Finland, had resigned her title to marry, Martel was crowned by actress Julie Adams.
After crowning her successor, Martel pursued a successful career in international film. She appeared in Yankee Pasha, So This Is Paris, Abajo el Telón, the 1956 version of Corazón salvaje, Viva el Amor!, Rosa Blanca and Leoni al Sole.
Martel married department heir, Ronnie Marengo, in 1954. The marriage was brief and the couple divorced in 1955.
In 1961, she remarried Miguel Alemán Velasco, Governor of Veracruz, Mexico and the son of Miguel Alemán Valdés, former president of Mexico. Together the couple has four children, three daughters and one son.