Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Beauty of Dance, Part Six: Ana Calderon, Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia, PA

Ana Calderon is an up-and-coming ballet star who's made her way to Philadelphia by way of Spain.

Ms. Calderon was trained at the Royal Conservatory of Professional Dance of Madrid and started her career with the Zurich Ballet in Switzerland.  She eventually made her way back to Spain and became a soloist in the Barcelona Ballet before coming to America. Ms. Calderon danced with the Houston Ballet before ultimately joining Pennsylvania Ballet in 2015.

Among Ms. Calderon's credits are roles in Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Coppélia, and In the Upper Room.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Beauty of Dance, Part Six: Isabella Boylston, American Ballet Theatre, New York, NY

Isabella Boylston is a recently minted star of the American Ballet Theatre.

She joined the troupe's studio company in 2005, joining the main company's corps de ballet in March 2007. She was promoted to principal dancer in August 2014.

Among the roles Ms. Boylston has dance at the American Ballet Theatre are Gamzatti in La Bayadère, Aurora in Coppélia, the Princess in The Nutcracker, and Lescaut's Mistress in Manon.

Ms. Boylston is the 2009 recipient of the Princess Grace Award, and she won the Clive Barnes Award in 2011.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Beauty of Dance, Part Six: Diana Albrecht, Boston Ballet, Boston, MA

Diana Albrecht is a second soloist with the Boston Ballet.

Originally from Paraguay, Ms. Albrecht began her dance studies in Brazil and came to the United States on a scholarship to train in the United States.continued her training.  Having danced with the Washington Ballet, she joined the Boston Ballet in 2011.

Her credits include productions of George Balanchine's The Four Temperaments, Twyla Tharp's Baker's Dozen, and as both the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Dew Drop Fairy in The Nutcracker.     

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Beauty of Dance: Part Six!

If it's December in an even-numbered year, than it must be time for a series of dancers on this blog,.  And dance is usually one of the first places you look for beautiful women.   

Again, I'm mostly focusing on ballet dancers here, but this time it's not really intentional; finding modern dancers has been hard, mainly because the modern dance companies I have sought out either are hard to find online or have somewhat user-unfriendly Web sites.

Last time I featured sixteen dancers, quite possibly to make sure I made it to one thousand women by the time of this blog's tenth anniversary.  I'm taking it a little easier this time, choosing to feature only twelve.  Quality over quantity. :-)

Right -  why am I wasting time like this?  I start tomorrow! :-)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Beauty of Retrospect: Catherine Deneuve in Black and White

I'm staying with the French for the time being . . . :-)

Black and white photography, we are told, has a purity all its own.  Maybe that's why Catherine Deneuve, France's greatest living actress, is more stunning in black and white than many of the color photos she's posed for.  (Not that she isn't stunning in living color, of course.)

The photo above is from 1965, in which our heroine looks wonderfully ethereal.  Then there's the picture below from 1966, where she looks downright sexy in a black-and-white body suit. :-D

No, I don't know what a picture of the Shah of Iran and his wife is doing in the background. 

Of course, Catherine Deneuve will always look great in monochromatic tones, even when she looks pensive and quiet . . . as depicted below.

The actress, who turned 73 in October 2016, remains, as always, a living legend. :-D :-)  

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Beauty of Retrospect: Anne Bezamat

I'm biased when I say that Anne Bezamat is the greatest model to come of France in recent memory - after all, I know her - but when you look at her cool, classy pose on the cover of this February 1983 edition of the New York Times' "Fashions of the The Times" supplement, why would you argue with me on that point? 

The cover shows Ms. Bezamat's quiet understatement in striking a pose. The contrast of white and black with her confident expression creates a mystique all her own.

Even when Anne Bezamat shows a hint of vulnerability, she's still in control, as the head shot below indicates.  

And how many models - French or otherwise - can pull off something like that? :-)

Of course, Anne Bezamat has also been skillful in projecting pure innocence, as evidenced below in a 1982 photo. :-)

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Model Alek Wek

There are idiots out there who will tell that a woman of African origin who has extremely dark skin and spectacularly short hair can never be considered attractive.  In presenting an argument against that belief, I offer one name and one name only . . . Alek Wek.

Originally from what is now the independent nation of South Sudan, Alek Wek took the modeling world by storm in the 1990s with her unconventional, exotic look - a look that the Daily Mail in Britain called "savage beauty."   That raw, honest, and yes, gorgeous look - sometimes accentuated in fashion shows with wild makeup and colorful wigs (she's known for throwing off her wigs in the middle of the runway) - has gotten Alek Wek runway work with numerous fashion houses: Chanel, Moschino, Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld,  Christian Lacroix, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent,  the all-American Ralph Lauren . . ..  This is only a partial list.

Fashion magazine covers? Yes - several!  She's appeared in the covers Elle in numerous countries,a and has also appeared on the covers of Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Ebony.

A former refugee, Ms. Wek has lent her time to advancing for refugee rights and for UNICEF, as well as involving herself in the fight against AIDS. 

Alek Wek can't be categorized along with other models.  Her beauty puts her in a category by herself. :-) 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Minor Link Change: Louise Vyent Site

One of the Web sites I have posted a link to is on the right side of this blog's main page.  Former model Louise Vyent, a Dutchwoman living in New Jersey, has changed the focus of her site and her service from offering advice on presentations to "life transition coaching."  She now coaches women fifty years of age and over going through personal midlife changes.  So I've reworded the link.    

If you fit the description of the clientele Ms. Vyent is focusing on, you should give her site a look.  Although I don't know Ms. Vyent personally, despite having several indirect connections with her, I know about her well enough to know that she's effective at whatever she sets her mind to. :-)

Back with one more new subject before closing out the month with a few retrospectives.  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Model Janet Washburn

Janet Washburn is a model from the late eighties.

Based in Miami, she was represented by the Michele Pommier agency.  This light-sepia-tinted photo is from 1988.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Swedish actress Alicia Vikander

Is Alicia Vikander Sweden's hottest actress since Ingrid Bergman?

You tell me!

A former dancer who had acted in the movies since she was eighteen, Ms. Vikander broke through in her role as the Danish artist Gerda Wegener in The Danish Girl, about the desire of Wegener's husband, played by Eddie Redmayne, to become a woman. The 2015 film, based on a novel about the real-life couple, got Ms. Vikander the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.   

As of this writing, Alicia Vikander is only 28 years old.  She has a career with many accolades still ahead of her.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Gwen Ifill: 1955-2016

It is with sadness that I must acknowledge a one-time honoree on this blog - journalist Gwen Ifill, whom I featured here in May 2007.  She was a pioneering print reporter and news broadcaster, having written for the New York Times and hosted to public-television news programs, "The PBS Newshour" and "Washington Week In Review."  I have written a more proper eulogy for her on my other blog.  While the post featuring Ms. Ifill on this blog will remain, I, in accordance with my self-imposed rule against showing deceased women here, will not feature Ms. Ifill going forward. RIP. :-(    

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Actress Gabrielle Union

Look for the Union label. :-) 

Gabrielle Union is an actress who has distinguished herself in many romantic comedy movies, but her best known role as a movie star may be as the competitive cheerleader Isis in the teen comedy movie Bring It On.  The film, released in 2000, got positive reviews and established Ms.Union as a bankable box office draw. 

Two of her most distinguished roles since then have included Deliver Us from Eva, which required her to brush up her Shakespeare and play the title character in a modern retelling of The Taming of The Shrew, and as Geneva Wade in Cadillac Records.  She has a role in the controversial Nat Turner bio movie The Birth of a Nation, made by the controversial director Nate Parker.

In the 1990s, Ms. Union had honed her acting skills in numerous sitcoms.  Look for her in a walk-on role in a 1993 episode of "Family Matters."  ( A lead role in a TV hospital drama, 2000's "City of Angels," didn't turn out so well for her.)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

TV newswoman Perrise Thomas

Out in the heartland, away from the major metropolitan areas, you'll find national networks broadcasting through many old-fashioned UHF stations.  And if you watch the local news on WHTM-TV, the ABC affiliate in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, you'll find Perrise Thomas.  

Ms. Thomas, who joined WHTM in May 2015, got her start at WJTV-TV's news department in Jackson, Mississippi, where she covered stories about missing children and uncovering corruption in local prisons. 

 WHTM's Web site says that Ms. Thomas enjoys "meeting new people and telling stories," which are "her real passions." Sounds like what a good reporter should be to me! :-)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Model Janice Soukup

Janice Soukup is a model from the 1980s.

A model who worked in both print ads and fashion shows, she was represented by both the Legends Collections and Zoli agencies in New York.  

Monday, November 7, 2016

Actress Julia Roberts

It was impossible for me to continue this blog any further without featuring one of the most celebrated American actresses of the past thirty years. :-)  

Although Julia Roberts - sister of Eric, aunt of Emma - first made favorable impressions with the critics in the 1988 movie Mystic Pizza, playing a Portuguese-American pizzeria waitress in the Connecticut town of Mystic,  it was her performance in the title role of 1990's Pretty Woman, as a prostitute named Vivian who becomes a rich man's date at social events, that made her a star.  Richard Gere, her co-star, joked that he need only have sent his empty suit to the set and let Ms. Roberts carry the film herself - she was that good. 

In between those two movies, she played Shelby, the brave, dying woman in Steel Magnolias.

Ms. Roberts made more incredible movies, such as My Best Friend's Wedding, a 1997 comedy about seeing her secret crush about to wed someone else (the bride played by Cameron Diaz, an earlier honoree on this blog), 1999's Notting Hill, about a famous actress in love with an ordinary English bloke (played by the not-so-ordinary Hugh Grant), and 2000's Erin Brockovich, the Steven Soderbergh true-story film about the plucky California working-class heroine who fought the public utility Pacific Gas and Electric in a groundwater pollution case . . . and won.   (The real-life Erin Brockovich has a cameo appearance as a waitress named . . . Julia. :-D)

She also played another real-life character - conservative Texas socialite Joanne Herring, who was instrumental in getting U.S. support for the Mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan in 2007's Charlie Wilson's War (Tom Hanks played the title-character congressman), a role as far from Erin Brockovich as you can get.

Julia Roberts, who just turned 49 in October 2016, is not done yet, but she already has a record of achievement that any actress would want to retire with. :-)  

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Actress Adrianne Palicki

Adrianne Palicki is an actress who has worked primarily in television and has been active since the early two thousand zeroes.

She has played many one-shot and recurring roles, but her best-known role is as Tyra Collette, in the TV series "Friday Night Lights," based on the 2004 movie of the same title, about a high school football team in a fictional small town in Texas. Though initially a girlfriend of one of the team members, she grew to hate football and the small town she lived in.   The series ran from 2006 to 2011.   

She had a recruiting role in "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Barbara Morse, who operates under the code name "Mockingbird."  

At this writing, Adrianne Palicki has made a TV pilot for her Marvel character.  It's a safe bet that she'll continue to be a ubiquitous presence in television. :-) 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Actress Yvonne Orji

Yvonne Orji is a young comic actress with a bright future.

Ms. Orji, who was born in Nigeria and came to the U.S. as a little girl with her parents, stars in the new HBO series "Insecure," about  twentysomething  black women trying to deal with strife in their personal and professional lives from what is desceribed as "an accessible seriocomic perspective."  Comedy Central alumnus Larry Wilmore created the show with Issa Rae, who stars in the show.  Mrs. Orji plays Molly.

Yvonne Orji also did a sitcom pilot called "First Gen," a semi-autobiographical show about an immigrant daughter who like its star, forsakes a career in medicine for one in comic acting.   

Monday, October 31, 2016

Model Linda Newton

Linda Newton is a model from the early 1980s.

A model who was mostly active in France, she was represented in Paris by the Paris Planning and Pauline's agencies. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

New York radio personality Carol Miller

Carol Miller is a legend of the fast-disappearing institution known as New York rock radio.

In the late seventies and early eighties, Carol Miller's smooth, sultry voice drew many teenage boys in the greater New York City area to WPLJ-FM, one of the Big Apple's most popular rock stations, as one of its most popular DJs.  She played all the records of all the great rockers of the day - the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young - and she even got to meet some of them!  You can read all about it in her 2012 memoir "Up All Night."

In 1983, however, WPLJ-FM dropped its rock format and became a  Top 40 station, which it remains today.  No one could have known it then, but that was the beginning of the end.  Although Carol Miller moved to New York's other rock station, WNEW-FM, the cultural trends toward pop and, later, rap were evident, and rock radio, like rock itself, started to decline.  Nowhere was that decline felt more acutely then New York.  Ms. Miller would stay at WNEW-FM until that station dropped its format in 1999.  Since then, two other New York rock stations have gone off the air - one after only three years in existence - but one "classic" rock station holds on . . . WAXQ-FM.

Who's one of WAXQ's most popular DJs?  Carol Miller. :-) 

Carol Miller has not only survived changing musical tastes, she's also survived breast cancer, which she's had to deal with more than once.  As a native New Yorker, she's not one to give up.

Here are some other facts you may not know about Carol Miller:

In addition to her DJ work, she did reports on music on "Entertainment Tonight" back in the eighties.

She has a law degree from Hofstra University, but she discovered her calling at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a DJ on the campus radio station.  One of the first songs she played on that station was Jethro Tull's "A New Day Yesterday." 

She was married for a time to MTV host Mark Goodman, a Philadelphia native who, by coincidence, had been a DJ on Philadelphia's rock station WMMR-FM - which, thankfully, is still a rock station.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Fashion model Isa Lorenz

Isa Lorenz is a model whose work in the late seventies and early eighties took her to two different cities in two different countries.

She worked in Paris through the L'Agence agency, then in 1978 she went to New York, where she continued her career through Model Management.  Almost immediately, she switched to Elite, and she divided her time between that agency's New York and Paris offices.     

By the mid-eighties, she had joined the Wilhelmina agency in New York.  No matter what the modeling agency or city, Isa Lorenz still complied an impressive portfolio. :-) 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Television personality Jameela Jamil

Americans may not have heard of Jameela Jamil before, unless they lived in Great Britain in the early 2010s and watched a lot of the BBC's Channel 4. But by the time many of them read this, they will likely have heard of her for her role on the American TV sitcom "The Good Place," starring Kristen Bell (an earlier honoree on this blog) and Ted Danson.  

Jameela Jamil was a weekend TV presenter on Channel 4 and its sister digital channel E4, hosting music and fashion shows and interviewing American celebrities such as Denzel Washington and Johnny Depp.  She was also a presenter on the BBC's Radio 1 network, where she hosted "The Official Chart Update," a spinoff of Radio 1's long-running program "The Official Chart." As you can gather, that show counts down the most popular and bestselling singles in Britain.

A breast cancer scare caused her to walk away from her career and take some time off, and when the opportunity to star in an American sitcom came along, she took it, wanting to take a risk and try something new.  On "The Good Place," Ms. Jamil plays a deceased wealthy philanthropist in the afterlife, an afterlife in which Kristen Bell's character doesn't quit feel she belongs in.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Model Cindy Harrell

Cindy Harrell is yet another model from the profession's golden age in the 1980s.

In addition to doing print ads for Tab diet cola, as shown above, she also appeared in a TV commercial for Cover Girl mascara.  I remember it well.  How could I remember it?  Because she actually got a credit in it - that's how I learned her name - and she even had a line in it! :-) 

Ms. Harrell was represented by the Wilhelmina agency back in the 1980s.  Today, she's retired from modeling, and she's married to Alan Horn, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios.  They have two daughters, one of whom, Cody, is an actress.   

Friday, October 14, 2016

Actress Isabel Glasser

Isabel Glasser is an actress who was at her most active in the early 1990s.

She had roles in movies such as the Mel Gibson film Forever Young and the country-and-western flick Pure Country, but she also was prominently featured in the "Law & Order" TV franchise.   

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Reporter Susan Davis

Susan Davis is more likely to be heard than seen. She is a congressional reporter for National Public Radio. She does, however, appear as a panelist on PBS' "Washington Week," hosted by Gwen Ifill (an earlier honoree on this blog). Sometimes Ms. Davis appears as the substitute host.

She has reported on politics for many years, and not just in broadcasting. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, National Journal, and Roll Call. Originally from Philadelphia, she graduated from American University in Washington.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Eighties model Deborah Carney

Deborah Carney is a model from the 1980s who had what's commonly known as that "all-American" look.

It was a look she perfected with her smile, whether it was an ear-to-ear grin . . .

. . . or a softer expression.

She was represented by the Wilhelmina agency in New York between 1983 and 1986. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Model Susan Brainard

Susan Brainard was one of the top models of the swinging sixties.

A model with the esteemed Ford agency, she worked both in New York and Paris and appeared in many ads and editorials that are pretty indicative of what late-sixties fashion not in vogue with the hippies was like.  Susan Brainard herself was pretty . . . pretty. :-D 

And she still is, as seen in this more recent color picture.

Today Susan Brainard is involved with animal welfare activism. She remains as vital as she is beautiful. :- ) 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Actress Samaire Armstrong

Samaire Armstrong is an actress known primarily for her TV roles.

She's best known for her role as Anna Stern in "Th O.C.," a teen drama set in Orange County, California.  Anna was invented as a one-shot character and became a semi-regular for fifteen episodes when it became apparent that the show's audience wanted to see more of her.

Ms. Armstrong has been in various movies, including Not Another Teen Movie, Just My Luck, and Concrete Blondes.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Into The Second Decade!

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has followed "Pictures of Beautiful Women" in the past ten years and made this blog so successful. This blog has had 1,307,559 views so far, an astonishing achievement.

Here's yet another look at my ten most popular posts of all time, going back to May 2010 when started keeping records for that sort of thing.  Apart from a surge in popularity for my March 2014 post of on-camera meteorologist Stef Davis, there's not much new here from before, but there you go.   

As always, you can click on the image to see it better.

I'll be starting my first A-Z round of new subjects of this blog's second decade soon, but don't be surprised if, after a couple of posts, you don't hear from me for awhile.  As I type this, Hurricane Matthew is going berserk down in the Caribbean and the U.S. East Coast - all of it - could be affected within in the coming week. As I live in New Jersey, that would mean a likely electrical and/or cable blackout for my area if Matthew did have an impact here.  Maybe I'll be spared, but I have to be frank; at thisd point, it does not look good. :-(

One other thing: Congratulations to everyone who had the stamina to go through my lists of my subjects on this blog - five hundred per list - to see whom I've featured.  I am seriously thinking of having a list once a year, rather than once every five years, so it will be easier to peruse.  The first list was done on the spur of the moment - as of 2011, I hadn't considered having a list of women featured on this blog before then, so I decided to make a list of the first five hundred women I featured and make another list of five hundred women as I went along.  But an annual list is probably a better idea.

Right, enough of my banter.  I'll be back soon with my one thousand and first woman to be featured on this blog. :-)   

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Beauty of Retrospect: Margrit Ramme

Once again, the lovely Margrit Ramme, looking very pensive and thoughtful. :-)

You want soft focus?  It doesn't get any softer than this.

The photographer behind her seems to suggest that there is no way you can take a bad picture of Margrit Ramme because she doesn't have one bad angle. :-) 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Beauty of Retrospect: Beverly Lee

When Beverly Lee was a top model, she was associated with the Ford modeling agency.  This photo is a head shot from a Ford comp card from the late seventies.  Comp cards tend to feature one model or a whole roster of models, for the consideration of advertisers and fashion editors.

This photo is a thumbnail from a Ford roster card.  Clearly, a larger photo would do Ms. Lee more justice.

Fortunately, I have one. :-)

This ethereal photo is from the same time frame as the thumbnail.

Beverly Lee looks alluring in any photo, no matter how big or small. :-)