Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect: Karen Alexander In Color

I have a few retrospectives with which to close out the month, starting with this one. :-) 

Back in June 2009, I featured a headshot of the superbly gorgeous Karen Alexander, but it was in sepia form. Here is that same photo, in full color.

The photo is from a cosmetics ad, I believe. :-)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Barbara Summers - 1944-2014

It is with great sorrow that I report the death of yet another one of the many women whom I have featured here.  Barbara Summers, a black college instructor who became a top model and a trailblazer for black women in the modeling trade, and whom I featured here in January 2010, died at the age of 70.  She had returned to academia, having been a professor at Hostos Community College in the Bronx, and she was also a writer and editor whose work included a novel and a chronicling black women in modeling.  I don't know the cause of death, and I haven't found any details about it in the news.  But I did see a mention of her  passing in social media, and, not coincidentally, my post depicting pictures of Ms. Summers has gotten 162 views today alone.

I never knew or met Barbara Summers, but she actually discovered my post of her modeling photos on my blog, and left me the following comment:  "What a wonderful surprise to see this, Steve. Thank you!"  Needless to say, I was touched by her comment and her interest in my blog, and I replied that I hoped to find more pictures of her to post, but I never did find any more pictures of her to show here . . . much to my great regret.  I regret even more that I will not be posting any more pictures of her going forward even if I do find any, owing to my rule against showing deceased women here, though my original entry of Ms. Summers from January 2010, posted when she was very much alive, will remain.

I feel lousy right now . . . :-(  R.I.P.      

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Model Belinda Wilson

Belinda Wilson is a model from the 1980s.

Based in London, she was represented by both the Laraine Ashton and Nevs agencies.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Actress Milana Vayntrub

Say, you're thinking to yourself, isn't this the young woman from the AT&T Mobile commercials?

Yup! :-D

This is the actress who plays Lily, the perky saleswoman who explains the benefits of the AT&T Mobile plan to prospective customers in those commercials.  And while a lot of people may be ticked off at AT&T - or whatever their cell phone company is - they love Milana Vayntrub. 

Ms . Vayntrub was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, approximately at the time that country went from being a Soviet republic to an independent nation.  She came to America and pursued a career in acting.  And while she's only known for commercials now, she's done numerous one-shot roles in TV shows and short films.  I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of her in the future, long after Lily disappears.    

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Actress Tamara Taylor

Canadian actress Tamara Taylor has been a major presence on the Fox television network since 2006.

She appears on the forensic-investigation crime show "Bones" as Dr. Camille Saryoan, a pathologist and the head of the forensic division of Jeffersonian Institute Medico-Legal Lab, a fictional federal institution that collaborates with the FBI.

In the nineties, she gained notoriety on another Fox show, "Party of Five," about a quintet of siblings trying to keep themselves together as a family after their parents are killed in a car crash.  Ms. Taylor played Grace Wilcox, a social worker who became the girlfriend one of the family's brothers, in a then-rare example of interracial romance on American television.  She played Grace in sixteen episodes.

Ironically, Ms. Taylor herself is the offspring of an interracial union, having a black father and a white mother.  Originally from Toronto,  Ms. Taylor is a second cousin of "Party of Five" star Neve Campbell.        

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Model Donna Sexton

Donna Sexton is yet another top model from the early 1980s.

As a Ford model, she appeared in ads for numerous department stores (all of which are likely Macy's locations now),  did ads for Clairol and L'Oreal, and was also a spokesmodel for the Maybelline cosmetics brand.

Like eighties models Yasmine Guenancia and Kim Charlton (two previous honorees on this blog), Donna Sexton became a real estate agent, but she is now a freelance photographer who specializes in children's portraits. She obviously learned a lot from being behind the camera. :-)  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

TV personality Shaun Robinson

Shaun Robinson has been on both sides of the line separating hard news from entertainment news.

She's been a reporter on local newscasts and she is currently a correspondent for and the weekend host of "Access Hollywood," one of those glitzy shows about TV and movie stars that have a tendency to focus on their personal lives as much as their professional ones.

Her local TV news credits include stints as a reporter and an anchor on  KEYE-TV in Austin, Texas and for WSVN-TV in Miami.  As a medical reporter and weekend anchor for WISN-TV in Milwaukee, Ms. Robinson did a  series on women and cancer, which got her an Associated Press award, and she received an American Women in Radio and Television award for her profiles on important women in the Austin area for KEYE-TV. 

Ms. Robinson got her start on WGPR-TV in her native Detroit, which was the first black-owned television station in America.  She is a alumna of Cass Technical High School, the Motor City's famed magnet school for creative students.  (Other Cass alumni include Diana Ross and Kenya Moore, two earlier honorees on this blog.) 

Monday, October 13, 2014

German model Frauke Quast

I never heard of Frauke Quast before yesterday (October 12), but when I saw these pictures of her, I just had to include her here, in this A-Z round. :-)

Active in the 1970s and 1980s, Frauke Quast worked through numerous agencies in both Paris and New York.

She modeled through Elite in both cities.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Actress Paula Patton

Hey. Paula! :-D

Paula Patton is a movie actress whose first break came relatively late in her career.  She had a small role in the 2005 comedy movie Hitch, which starred Eva Mendes (an earlier honoree on this blog) and Will Smith.   Her most widely noted roles have been as Claire Kuchever, a woman whom a federal agent tries to save from being killed after she's been killed by going back in time, in the 2006 science-fiction thriller Déjà Vu, and as a teacher at an alternative high school in Harlem who works with disadvantaged students in 2009's Precious.  

For nearly nine years, Paula Patton was comedian Alan Thicke's daughter-in-law, having been married to his son, pop singer Robin Thicke, whom she'd been dating since 1991.  The couple separated early in 2014.  They sired a son, Julian, in 2010.

Paula Patton owes her exotic looks to her black father and white mother.   

Thursday, October 9, 2014

TV newswoman Sofia Ojeda

Sofia Ojeda isn't just your average TV newswoman in a minor TV market (Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) on an ABC-affiliated UHF station (WNEP-TV, Channel 16).

She was born in Peru but came to America as a little girl, and she was raised in New Jersey.

Sofia Ojeda worked in upstate New York before making it to northeastern Pennsylvania, having been a morning anchor and reporter at WETM-TV in Elmira and having worked at WIVT/WBGH in Binghamton as an anchor and reporter for three years. She started out even earlier in New York City, first as a desk assistant at WABC-TV and then as freelance reporter for the cable news channel News 12 the Bronx.  So, she has the unique distinction of starting out in the Big Apple before making it big upstate.

If her reporting at WNEP-TV is any indication - she interviewed a five-year-old boy at a fair who almost stole the show, displaying chops as a TV reporter himself - Sofia Ojeda can handle whatever comes to her, and she should be be back in New York soon, on her way to a career in nationwide newscasting.

That would be a great American success story for this immigrant reporter. :-) 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fashion model Linda Morand

Linda Morand is a major figure among fashion and beauty models.  In the 1960s  and 1970s, she was one of the models most in demand for commercials, print ads, magazine covers, fashion editorials, and catalogs.

Originally from the Long Island suburb of Lindenhurst, Linda Morand went into New York City to study art and was discovered by legendary modeling agent Eileen Ford in 1965.  While she went on to appear in many American magazines, such as Glamour, Mademoiselle, and Teen, she would quickly go international, walking the runways in Paris, Munich, and Milan.  She also became famous for her resemblance to former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and she even did some photo shoots as her doppelganger.


Linda Morand set a trend with her asymmetrically short hairstyle in the late sixties, and she also became a muse to fashion designer Pierre Cardin.  She was known as "SuperChick," so ubiquitous was she in the fashion and beauty world.  Linda Morand was a "supermodel" before the term was even coined.

Today, Linda Morand, who retired from modeling in 1975, is a fashion and beauty photography archivist, and she diligently preserves the modeling work of the great models of her generation (along with her own work).  And as the above photo from 2010 shows, she retired way too soon. :-)

I met Linda Morand at an art reception in Manhattan in 2012; the photo above, from a 2013 event in New York, is my own.  She is still one of the most beautiful women to have ever graced a catwalk or a magazine cover.  

That's why I'm featuring her here, folks! :-) 

She preserves the work of famous models online at, and she has her own official site; the links to both are in the right-hand margin of this blog.   

Friday, October 3, 2014

Online journalist Jen Markham

Jen Markham is a practitioner of what might be called the "new journalism."

She does online reports for AOL.  Among the stories she's covered are a diver who's taken video of the inside of a giant ray's mouth, the possible use of drones at Disney theme parks, and an ad campaign featuring a Pizza Hut in Japan . . . run entirely by cats!

She's clearly into human interest stories, offering some relief from the daily bad news.  You can catch her reports on her Facebook page.     

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Actress/singer Jana Kramer

Jana Kramer is an actress who can also sing country and western songs.  As an actress, she's as well known for TV commercials as for a TV show.


You know the stealthy, leather-clad woman in the Nationwide ads who breaks into homes and sets everything right - sort of like a cat burglar in reverse?  This is she.  But Jana Kramer is also known for playing Alex Dupre, a failed actress who becomes a clothing store model, in the TV drama "One Tree Hill."  She appeared in 38 episodes of that show.

Among the other shows Ms. Kramer has appeared in are "Friday Night Lights" and "Grey's Anatomy."

Oh yes, her country music career.  Ms. Kramer released her self-titled debut in 2012, and she broke out big with her single "Why You Wanna," which reached number three on the Billboard country singles chart.   

Ms. Kramer won the Top New Female Artist prize at the 2013 American Country Music Awards.  As of this writing, she is at work on her second album.     

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Model Elle Joslyn

Elle Joslyn is a British fashion model who has gotten attention for her part in an American commercial.

The comely Ms. Joslyn appears in an ad for the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. She dances in the commercial that uses Mos Def's "Twilite Speedball" as the music. 

Yeah, we should be seeing more of her in the future . . .. :-D

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

TV newswoman Cindy Hsu

Cindy Hsu is a long-time fixture in New York TV news.

She joined WCBS-TV, CBS's New York home station, as a reporter in 1993; a year later she became a weekend co-anchor.  By 1996, she had been promoted twice - first to morning co-anchor, then to the co-anchor for the 12:00 report.

Her morning duties behind her as of March 2014 (allowing her to sleep in!), Ms. Hsu (pronounced like "shoe") is now the solo anchorwoman for the weekend evening newscasts - 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays, 6:30 p.m. on Sundays and 11:00 p.m. both days.

Although Cindy Hsu is very much a New Yorker these days, she was born as far away from New York as is possible in America - Honolulu.  Her broadcast work before coming to the Big Apple included stints as a reporter and anchor at WFRV-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin and for WTOV-TV in Steubenville, Ohio. She started at WTVR-TV in Richmond, Virginia as an associate producer.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Model Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins is a model who was known for her cool beauty in the 1970s.

She did editorials for Vogue and covers for Cosmopolitan in the mid-seventies, as well as many ads.  
Her career took her into the eighties, when she was represented by the prestigious Wilhelmina agency.   

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Model Helena Gibbons

Helena Gibbons is a model from that golden age of modeling known as the 1980s. :-)

She was active in London for much of the decade, being represented by the Models1 Elite agency.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Home designer Hilary Farr

Hilary Farr is a familiar face to viewers of cable television in North America.

She co-hosts "Love It or List It," the home renovation documentary series based in Canada. Ms. Farr competes with realtor David Visentin to get families to decide whether to keep their houses after she's redone them or to put them on the market in favor of one of the houses Mr. Visentin has shown them. My mother is a big fan of this show, which airs on the Home and Garden Television (HGTV) channel in the U.S and on the W Network in Canada, and, judging from the episodes I've seen, I'd say that Hilary wins about 50 percent of the time. :-)

Hilary Farr was born in Canada but grew up in England, accounting for her posh British accent.  She lived in LA, where she renovated houses and designed television show film sets, and she got the job on "Love It or List It" by pouring into her audition the energy she felt out of frustration after her divorce.  No, she is not and never has been married to David Visentin.

She's also  designed the houses of a few celebrities in her travels, and she contributes to the American and Canadian editions of The Huffington Post.

Fun fact:  Hilary Farr, credited as Hilary Labow, actually made an appearance in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.   

Friday, September 12, 2014

TV newswoman Jessica Dean

Jessica Dean is a 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 news anchor on KYW-TV, the CBS-affiliated station in Philadelphia. 

One of the City of Brotherly Love's most visible TV news personalities, Ms. Dean was born and raised in Arkansas and developed her broadcasting skills in the Natural State.  She worked at KATV-TV in Little Rock and KNWA-TV in Fort Smith before joining KARK-TV, the NBC affiliate in Little Rock, in 2011. 

A graduate of the University of Southern California at Los Angeles, where she interned at "Dateline NBC" and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcast journalism, Ms. Dean joined KYW-TV (ironically, a former NBC affiliate) in August 2013.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Model Roberta Chirko

Roberta Chirko has had an interesting journey from suburbia to the city to the country.

Having grown up in the Chicago suburbs, she became of the world's top models, appearing on covers of Vogue, Mademoiselle, and Elle, among other publications.  She lived in New York City and Paris.

So who'd have thought she's put roots down in rural Brown County, Indiana?  But that's where she moved after she got married.  There, she became a pre-school assistant and, later, the manager of the Brown County Arts Guild's gallery in Nashville, the county seat.

Like fellow Midwesterner Wanakee Pugh, Roberta Chirko has found art and happiness in the laid-back rural Midwest. :-)         

Friday, September 5, 2014

Actress Sophia Bush

Sophia Bush is a familiar face to fans of teenager-friendly network television.

For nine seasons, she played Brooke Davis in the CW series "One Tree Hill," set in a small town in North Carolina.  The show chronicled Brooke's development from a typical teenage girl into a self-assured young woman.

After "One Tree Hill," Sophia Bush starred in "Partners," a CBS sitcom based on the professional partnership of "Will & Grace" creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan, but it only lasted for thirteen episodes.  Her role as Erin Lindsay on the NBC drama "Chicago Fire," however, led to her reprising the part on the spinoff "Chicago P.D.", which premiered in early 2014.    

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Model Kim Acee

I begin my new A-Z round with Kim Acee, a fashion model from the 1980s.

In addition to catalog work, she also appeared in ads for Revlon "Flex" shampoo.

She was represented by the Wilhelmina agency.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect: Elisabeth Moss

I wasn't happy with the picture of actress Elisabeth Moss that I showed here when I first featured her in September 2009.  Here's a much better one.

This photo, from People magazine, beautifully captures her wholesome, gentle look, adding just a touch of innocence. 

The former "The West Wing" actress rose to greater fame as Peggy Olsen in the 1960s period drama "Mad Men."  As of this writing, there are only seven unaired "Mad Men" episodes left, to be shown in the spring of 2015.  We've seen Peggy grow from a young, inexperienced ad girl into a shrewd, sharp, creative businesswoman who can handle any assignment she's given. That's one of the show's many virtues - that women could thrive in a then-male-dominated business such as advertising.

Another A-Z round of new subjects begins soon. :-) 

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect: A Different Side of Margrit Ramme

Her left side, actually. :-)

The above photo of German model Margrit Ramme peeking out from behind a carnival mask is possibly one of the most provocative photos in modeling history, and for one of the most mundane products in the beauty business.  The picture is from an ad for Revlon's Moon Drops facial "masques," and if it startled you into getting your attention, well, that was the idea, apparently.  With her softly pursed lips and her mischievously playful expression, Margrit Ramme is doing what all great models do so well - making love to the camera.

The color photo of Margrit Ramme also focuses on the left side of her lovely face . . . by showing her in profile. No props, no playful provocations, just  a very elegant, straightforward pose.  With her stately expression, Margrit Ramme easily resembles a heroine from a Wagner opera.

Sexy, serious . . . There's no image that Margrit Ramme couldn't present during her long and varied modeling career.  And, given that these photos concentrate on just her left side, imagine what she could project with her full face.  :-)       

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect: Karen Graham . . . and Karen Graham

Here's Karen Graham appreciating her own work . . . admiring one of her ads for Estée Lauder's "Resilience Lift" face creme.

Those ads ran in the late 1990s and early two thousand zeroes.  As always, Victor Skrebneski was the photographer. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect: Karen Graham, 1972

The last time I showed photos of modeling legend Karen Graham on this blog, they were in black and white.  Here are three of them in color . . . all from the October 1, 1972 issue of the U.S. edition of Vogue.  (Vogue was published twice a month back then.)  

Karen Graham, then 27, was just beginning to build her reputation as a model, doing occasional ads for the Estée Lauder cosmetics company.  By the following year, she would become their full-time spokesmodel.

And as glamorous as she looks in the two pictures above, she looks just plain gorgeous in the makeup tutorial photo below.   

Karen Graham now lives in Tryon, North Carolina, in the heart of that state's horse farm country.    

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Latest Numbers and Statistics

I have now posted pictures of 835 different women since I began this blog in September 2006.  And I have one change to report on my statistics for the ten most popular posts.

Nothing has changed in positions one through nine - those posts are the same as before, with my July 2011 post of NBC and MSNBC newswoman Kristen Welker, as always, on top.  But my March 2011 post of British actress Lesley-Anne Down has displaced my April 2011 post of German model Margrit Ramme for number ten.  This change means that an actress primarily known for movies is represented in the top ten once again, but it leaves Sheila Johnson - my September 2009 post of whom is still at number two - the only woman primarily known for modeling who is represented here.  But who knows? My other posts paying tribute to Margrit Ramme could work their way up to this chart, and I have more pictures of her to come going forward. :-)

Another statistic I'd like to throw out:  As I noted earlier, I posted two blog entries in March 2014 that proved to be very popular, one of Italian fashion model Alda Balestra, the other of American on-camera meteorologist Stef Davis, who appears online on  Who do you think would be more popular?  I would have guessed Alda Balestra for her iconic Christian Dior ads alone.  But Stef Davis continues to be much more popular with viewers.  In fact, her post has, as of today, gotten more than triple the number of pageviews that my first post devoted to Alda Balestra (I added two more after that) has gotten - 936 to 305. Which only goes to show you, again, that you never know who's going to click with your audience - you only think you know.  Also, while I can control who appears on this blog, I can't control who's more popular.

Right.  I have a few retrospectives I plan to close out the month with, then a new A-Z round begins in September.  I'll be back soon. :-)  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Beauty of Anonymity: Adrien Arpel Model

Makeup mogul Adrien Arpel is known for her makeover regimens, and her company has made them a cornerstone of its advertisements.  This model is from one such "makeover" ad, taken from a newspaper ad for Adrien Arpel's department store counters.

This, of course, would be the "after-makeover" picture. :-D

Adrien Arpel's company has promised that women only need thirty minutes to "put on a great new face," and whether or not it takes that long, this model's face certainly proves the latter claim. :-)

This woman's striking beauty is the sort that burns into your memory; you could never forget a face like hers.  The only trouble is, I don't know the identity of this model, and I have no way of finding out.  I include her here because she looks both striking and softly sexy at the same time.  

The Arpel ad this particular photo was taken from was from the late seventies.  If anyone can identify this gorgeous model, please do so by leaving a comment on this post.  Naturally, because this photo is so obscure, I don't expect any replies.     

Monday, August 18, 2014

Model Kriss Ziemer

Recognize this ad?

It's an ad for Bain de Soleil (French "for sun bath"), a suntan lotion promising the type of tan all the women of St.-Tropez on the French Riviera have.  The deeply tanned, exotic "Frenchwoman" in the ad is actually Kriss Siemer, an American model.  Below is a black-and-white photo showing her . . . not so tanned.

Kriss Ziemer was an enthusiastic Bain de Soleil spokeswoman, as this 1988 article form the Chicago Tribune attests, but she was hardly a foolish sunbather. She made it a point to keep her skin healthy and her tanning in moderation.

After all, she needed to tone it down a bit for photos like this:

She didn't need a bronzing tan to look like a goddess. :-) 

Oh yes, her agency history.  Kriss Ziemer was associated with the Zoli modeling agency in New York and the Atlanta-Miami agency L'Agence before moving to Wilhelmina in the mid-eighties . . . with a brief intermezzo at the Reinhard agency in Philadelphia.

No Paris agencies, though . . . 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Actress Olivia Wilde

Wilde about Olivia? :-)

Olivia Wilde became a breakout sensation on American television when starred in the hit medical drama "House."  She played Dr. Remy Hadley, a member of the diagnostics team of Dr. Gregory House (played by Hugh Laurie) at a New Jersey teaching hospital.  She joined the series in 2007 and stayed for the final five of the show's eight seasons.

Though she's done a few movies, television remains the medium she's associated most with.  She played a bisexual character, Alex Kelly, on the second season of the Orange County, California-based drama "The O.C.," and she played Jenny Reilly in the short-lived series "The Black Donnellys," about Irish-American gangsters.

Oh, and I understand that she did a very interesting photo shoot for Glamour!

Fun fact: Olivia Wilde's real last name is Cockburn. She got her celebrated surname from writer Oscar Wilde.