Friday, November 27, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Margrit Ramme

Margrit Ramme remains a model I never get tired of showing here.

But, then, how could I ever tire of her, with  her wavy blonde hair, her Teutonic coolness, and her ability to shine in any photograph, be it color or black-and-white?

She always looks beautiful, in any modeling assignment, be it editorial or commercial.  And her come-hither quality never fails to come thrtough, whether she's striking a coy pose in a photo like the picture above, from a 1977 ad for (psst!) ladies' undergarments . . .  

. . . or whether she's turning on the seductiveness in this ad for Chloé perfume. :-)

She's still, after all this time, one of my favorite models ever. :-)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Beverly Johnson, Close Up

And personal. :-)

I am always happy to revisit Beverly Johnson, one of my all-time favorite models.  Her closeups are probably her best shots, because the camera loves her perfect face and high cheekbones.

Sigihing yet, boys? :-)

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Kenya Moore

I first featured Kenya Moore in March 2009.

Since then, she's continued to appear in movies, and she's also produced a few movies as the owner of the company Moore Vision Media.

Oh, she's also appearing in a reality show, I'm led to understand.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Alva Chinn

Alva Chinn is a model I love to revisit on this blog, given her formidable portfolio. :-)

For all of the exciting glamour she projects in the many stunning dresses and gowns she models, she looks just as stunning in a simpler ensemble like the one above, as well as in a Calvin Klein outfit as seen below (photographed by Rico Puhlmann)..

For Alva Chinn, it's hard not to look beautiful;. :-)

Full disclosure: She's a friend of mine. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect, Special Post: Kate Winslet!

When I posted a retrospective of Kate Winslet in September 2015, I mentioned some of her current and most recent movie projects, but one such project somehow escaped my notice.

She stars in Steve Jobs, a movie about the computer genius of that name, which opened in the U.S. in October 2015.  Ms. Winslet plays Joanna Hoffman, the marketing executive who worked with jobs on the tea m behind the Apple Macintosh PC.

From what I understand, she's gotten very good reviews.  But, of course!  :-) 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Beauty of Anonymity: Clairol Model

I found this picture of a model for Clairol on an ad (from 2015) featuring coupons for the product being advertised - conditioner, or something like that.

She has a striking look, which, despite the fact that I don't know her name, was enough reason for me to feature her here, as my 930th subject.

So who is she?  What's her background?  What is, in fact, her name?  If you know the answers to these questions, please feel free to leave a comment on this post. :-)

Back soon - I'm finishing out the month of November with more retrospectives.    

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Model Jennifer Woods

Jennifer Woods is a model from the 1980s with platinum-blonde hair and platinum-blonde looks. :-) 

Based in England, she was represented by the Freddie's agency in London for much of the decade.  She appeared in different sorts of ads in Europe in the eighties, including a print ad for the Nissan Silvia coupe (called the 200SX in the U.S.) 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Actress Allison Williams

Allison Williams is a young actress who's making a name for herself in both cable and broadcast television.

She plays Marnie Michaels on the HBO series "Girls," one of the many supportive friends of aspiring Brooklyn writer Hannah Horvath (played by Lena Dunham).  Marnie starts out as an art gallery assistant who pursues her own dream of making it in music.

Allison Williams made it in music on broadcast television when she played the title role in a live production of the musical Peter Pan (with Christopher Walken as Captain Hook) in December 2014, the second of NBC's first-Thursday-in-December live stage shows, which the network hopes will become a holiday tradition.

Fun fact:  Allison Williams is the daughter of NBC News anchorman Brian Williams.  After seeing her dad as a guest on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" knows, I'm willing to bet that she gets her performing smarts from him. :-)     

Monday, November 9, 2015

Model Valerie Robinson

Valerie Robinson is model from the 1980s, and she appeared in both editorials and ads.

She was represented by the prestigious Zoli agency in New York.

One of her editorial assignments was for an article titled "The Healthy Hair Regimen."  But you probably figured as much. :-)  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect, Special Birthday Post: Famke Janssen!

Famke Janssen, a model who made the successful transition to acting, and whom I've featured here before, celebrates her fiftieth birthday today.

And so do I! :-D

I know some sites say she was born in 1964, but her birth year is listed elsewhere as 1965, so I'm obviously going with that. ;-)   

Happy birthday to my astrological twin!

She recently joined the cast of the American TV series "How To Get Away With Murder."  

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Kait Parker of The Weather Channel

Kait Parker is one of the lovely female meteorologists on the Weather Channel who's warm and sunny even when the forecast isn't.

The Texas native served as a morning on-camera weather forecaster at both WAKA-TV in Montgomery, Alabama and WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Fun fact:  Ms. Parker earned a bachelor's degree in atmospheric science from the University of Missouri and then went back to her alma mater to teach a course on storm chasing.  

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Model Linda Miller

Linda Miller is a model from the late seventies.

She was represented by Elite Model Management in New York.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Weatherwoman Marja Martinez

Marja Martinez is yet another bright young star among on-camera meteorologists.

A former weatherperson at, she joined NBC News in October 2014.  According to her LinkedIn page - yes, she has one! - she would love to be part of a team of reporters, broadcasters and producers with a passion to keep viewers informed.  As a weatherwoman in a time of climate change - which is producing a lot of strong storms - she's certainly in the right place at the right time.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Maureen O'Hara: 1920-2015

It is great sorrow that I must report the death of one of my subjects on this blog. Maureen O'Hara, the Irish-born American actress who starred in films such as Miracle On 34th Street and The Quiet Man, and whom I featured on St. Patrick's Day 2010, dies on October 24, 2015.  My original post of Ms. O'Hara will remain online, but as always, I will not post any pictures of her going forward in keeping with my role against showing women who have since died.

And to acknowledge her memory  I honor her with this shamrock.  May the road to heaven rise to meet you, Maureen O'Hara. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Model Kirsty Hume

Great Scot!

As far as models go, Kirsty Hume is, indeed, a great Scot. :-) 

The platinum-blonde British beauty is originally from Scotland, and she made her biggest splash as a model in the 1990s.  Here are Ms. Hume's credits, courtesy of Wikipedia:  Dior, Givenchy, Chanel, Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Lacroix, Gianfranco Ferr√©, Claude Montana, Alexander McQueen, Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Prada, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Oscar de la Renta.  And that's just a partial list, folks.

She doesn't live in the Highlands anymore, but she is known to be a resident of Woodstock, New York.

Fun fact: Remember another Scottish celebrity, the singer Donovan?  Kirsty Hume was married to actor/musician Donovan Leitch, the singer's namesake son, for fourteen years beginning in 1997.  In other words, she was Donovan's daughter-in-law (though clearly never a mellow-yellow blonde).   

Monday, October 19, 2015

Catherine Dyer, Again

As stunning as those earlier color photos of Catherine Dyer are . . .

. . .she looks equally stunning in black-and-white photos.

Both of the photos, from the mid-eighties, were taken by her husband David Bailey. :-)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

British model Catherine Dyer

Catherine Dyer has been a force in British fashion since the eighties.

She began as a model with the Models1 Elite agency in London, then moved on to the Askew Team agency.  Ms. Dyer has been one of the more sought-after models in London, and these pictures - all from 1984, showing her in Pino Lancetti dresses - clearly shows why.   

And what's her fashion philosophy?  "At the end of the day it’s not just about fashion, it’s about style and what you’re comfortable in," she says.

Oh yeah, she's been married to British photographer David Bailey - she's his fourth wife - since 1986, and she's the mother of two sons and a daughter.  Bailey, of course, is known for having been married to another woman named Catherine, an actress from France, and her surname also began with the letter D.  Know whom I'm talking about? ;-) 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Actress Blythe Danner

Blythe Danner is a legend, but until recently she'd never been a a big star.

Her memorable performances in movies such as 1776 (she played Thomas Jefferson's wife Martha) and The Great Santini (as the wife of a tough-guy Marine pilot, played by Robert Duvall) were countered by roles in movies that weren't so successful, though not because of her.  Perhaps she was typecast to easily as a wife; she played the wife role (Dina Byrnes) in the 2000 comedy Meet the Parents and its sequels.

In 2015, though, Blythe Danner distinguished herself in I'll See You In My Dreams, about a widowed singer who pursues new friendships and a new relationship and lives live to the fullest. It's gotten her good reviews, and it's been seen as a positive response to ageism, particularly ageism against women. 

Blythe Danner has also made several television movies and appeared in numerous stage productions.  Her daughter is also an actress, I understand.  :-p

Fun fact.  Blythe Danner has actually played Martha Jefferson twice.  She reprised the role in a 1997 TV biography of the third President of the United States.    

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Actress Jamie Chung

Jamie Chung started out as a reality star on MTV's "The Real World."  I don't like to include reality stars on this blog, but in the case of Ms. Chung, a daughter of Korean immigrants to the U.S., I'm happy to make an exception.  Because it turns out she can act! :-D

Although she's done some fluff (I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry), Ms. Chung has shone in more serious roles like in the satirical film Burning Palms, as well as the 2012 independent film Eden, in which she played a girl abducted and forced into prostitution by human traffickers.  On TV, she also plays the warrior Mulan in the ABC fairy-tale series "Once Upon a Time." 

She's also engaged to actor Bryan Greenberg.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Model/actress Laetitia Casta

Don't let the name fool you. She's French. :-D

Laetitia Casta grew up on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, which is Italian culturally but French politically; her father is Corsican, while her mother is from Normandy.  She emerged as a model in the early nineties and did numerous ads for many different clothing brands - as also did a lot of Victoria's Secret catalogs - and appeared in several magazines (including, inevitably, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue).

She made the transition to acting by first apeparing in Asterix & Obelix Take On Caesar, a live-action film of a popular French comic book, "Asterix & Obelix."  But it was her portrayal of Brigitte Bardot in the Gainsbourg (Vie heroique) that got her taken seriously as an actress, earning her a Cesar award (France's equivalent of an Oscar).

Fun fact:  Ms. Casta was made the model for the statue of the allegorical female figure Marianne, the symbol of France which is duplicated all over France in front of public buildings.  It is an honor few French female icons have received.  Catherine Deneuve was one of them (but then, you probably figured as much). 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Model Karen Bjornson

Karen Bjornson was one of the most visible models of the seventies, thanks largely to the late designer Halston.

Ms. Bjornson, who is from Cincinnati, met Halston after only a month in New York and immediately became his muse.  And fashion buffs? They were all impressed with her Halston dress - the dress she's wearing in the Francesco Scavullo photo above - and they didn't really care about the people that she knew at Elaine's. ;-)

"He was my teacher, my employer, and a great friend," Ms. Bjornson said in 2010.  "I was so green when I started and he really took care of me. He was a funny, kind, and exceptionally talented man."

Karen Bjornson took time off from modeling to raise her daughters, but she re-emerged in the two thousand zeroes to appear in a couple of fashion shows, as well as do a J. Crew assignment.

The photo of Ms. Bjornson below is from 2010, taken by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Actress Cynthia Addai-Robinson

Cynthia Addai-Robinson is a British-born American actress known for her roles in limited-run cable TV series.    

She is best known for her role as the loyal slave Naevia in the Starz television series "Spartacus," set in the days of Roman Republic - before the Empire, before Caesar - about a slave revolt against the Roman government.  But history buffs who concentrate on more recent history know her from her role in the History Channel miniseries "Texas Rising."

In that television production, about the Texan War for Independence against Mexico, she played Emily West, a mixed-race folk heroine believed to have been the lover of Sam Houston, played in this miniseries by Bill Paxton.  West is believed to have been the inspiration of the traditional song :"The Yellow Rose of Texas." 

I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of this English-born rose in times to come.   Maybe even in another TV series about a revolution. :-)    

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Latest Numbers . . . and An Announcement

Here are the latest statistics showing the top ten posts for this blog, based on statistics kept since May 2010.  Feel free to click on the image.

No real change, but AccuWeather forecaster Stef Davis is still rising.  Possibly with good reason.

As I write this, a hurricane may be headed to New Jersey in a repeat of Sandy in 2012.  That could mean that I spend all of next week in the dark, unable to post here.  I might get in a couple of posts to start the month of October before Monday, October 5, when the storm would likely hit, but if I'm not around for a week and change after that, well, know you know the reason.

Back soon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect, September Actress Edition: Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon has remained active in the movies since I last featured her on this blog in December 2011.

In fact, she made one of the most rewarding and demanding movies of her career in 2014.  Wild, based on writer Cheryl Strayed's 2012 memoir "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," featured Ms. Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed, documenting the author's hike up the Pacific Crest Trail  from southern California to the Columbia River an effort to find herself and achieve inner peace in the aftermath of her mother's death and her own divorce, as well as to get away from her personal self-destructive behavior.

The film was a success with critics, and it is easily one of Reese Witherspoon's best movies.  This movie is not to be confused with the 2007 survivalist film Into the Wild.

That's it for my retrospectives of famous actresses.  Coming in October - more new subjects. :-) 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect, September Actress Edition: Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet has remained active since I last featured her on this blog in June 2010.

The actress, who turns forty in October 2015, is a star of the science-fiction Divergent movie series. She plays Jeanine Matthews, the leader of a superior faction of human beings in a dystopian, futuristic Chicago.  She played the role in the original 2014 Divergent movie and reprised it in Divergent Series: Insurgent, released in 2015.

She also played Adele Wheeler in 2013's Labor Day, where her character is forced to take care of of an escaped convict who fought in Vietnam. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect, September Actress Edition: Hunter Tylo

Hunter Tylo is no longer on the daytime serial "The Bold and the Beautiful," but she's still very much around.

She stars as herself on "Queens of Drama," a scripted reality show following Ms. Tylo and other former soap opera stars as they establish a production company to develop a pilot for a new drama series. The show, which also features "Knots Landing"'s Donna Mills, debuted on the Pop cable channel in the spring of 2015.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect, September Actress Edition: Meryl Streep

So what has Meryl Streep been doing since I originally featured her in July 2012?

Plenty, actually, though it would be foolish of me to go into detail about everything she's done in the three years or so between my earlier post and this one.

She played Violet Weston, a feisty Oklahoma matriarch dying of cancer, in the family drama August: Osage County, and in August 2015, she caught people's attention in Ricki and the Flash, a Jonathan Demme film in which Ricki, her character, revisits her family after having abandoned them to pursue her dream of becoming a famous rock singer. At the urging of her former husband, Pete (played by Kevin Kline), she returns home to help their daughter through a bad time, and she tries to reconnect with her two sons as well as her daughter.

Meryl Streep shows no signs of slowing down. :-)

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect, September Actress Edition: Elizabeth McGovern

As "Downton Abbey," the British early-twentieth-century-period drama that Americans can't get enough of, approaches its final season, I thought I'd revisit its American star.

The actress, whom I first featured in February 2012, plays the American wife of Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham.  Her Jewish heritage and her nouveau riche background causes conflicts with her mother-in-law. 

Elizabeth McGovern's work on "Downton Abbey" has largely taken her away from the movies, but she's had two notable roles this past year.  She plays the mother of an inner-city teacher who unintentionally gets pregnant (played by Cobie Smulders, an earlier honoree on this blog); the teacher bonds with a student who's in the same situation.  Ms. McGovern also played a judge in the drama Woman In Gold, starring Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, an Austrian Jewish immigrant in Los Angeles who seeks to recover a rare Klimt painting of her aunt stolen by the Nazis in 1938.  It was not much of a coincidence that Woman In Gold was directed by Ms. McGovern's husband, British filmmaker Simon Curtis, but it's still nice to see her still working in the movies.

If you get a chance, be sure to catch Elizabeth McGovern with her band Sadie and the Hotheads, which she leads as the acoustic guitarist, singer and songwriter.  That maxim that actors can't be rock stars?  Don't believe it. :-) 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect, September Actress Edition: Diane Keaton

Diane Keaton has continued her career since I originally featured her in January 2011.

Among the movies she's made since then is 2014's 5 Flights Up, in which she and Morgan Freeman play a couple who have a weekend full of activity while having to consider selling their condo apartment in Brooklyn. 

It's a comedy.

She's also, at this writing, voicing the role of Jenny, the mother of amnesiac clownfish Dory in Finding Dory, the upcoming sequel to Disney/Pixar's Finding Nemo.  

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect, September Actress Edition: Mariel Hemingway, Again

So what has Mariel Hemingway been doing since I last featured her in November 2009?

She played the mother of an American girl who marries a Turk completing his education in the States in the 2010 film Ay Lav Yu, and she narrated Running From Crazy, a sobering documentary about her family's history with mental illness and suicide.  (Her sister Margaux died of an overdose in 1996; their grandfather, the great writer Ernest Hemingway, shot himself in 1961.)  She continues to be active in trying to break the stigma of mental illness.

Sadly, her marriage to writer/director Stephen Crisman ended after 35 years.