Friday, April 18, 2014

Actress Mae Whitman

Mae Whitman is the only adult actress on the acclaimed NBC series "Parenthood" who plays a third-generation character, i.e., a grandchild of Zeek and Camille Braverman.  That is, since Sarah Ramos left the regular cast and thus cut back on her role as Haddie.

As for Mae Whitman, we've watched her character Amber Holt grow up and evolve from a troubled teen to a devoted cousin and daughter and to an independent young woman.  And, as Amber's kid brother Drew has already found out, she's the kind of sister you want standing by you. 

Mae Whitman started acting when she was six, appearing as the daughter of Meg Ryan's character in the 1994 alcoholism drama When a Man Loves a Woman; later, in 1996, she played the daughter of the President of the United States in the sci-fi war film Independence Day.  She's since appeared in many films, racking up a list of titles too numerous to include here, but she also played recurring characters in TV roles, such as Sara Wilmette in "Chicago Hope" and Ann Veal in "Arrested Development."

Mae Whitman also followed in the footsteps of her mother, voice artist Pat Musick, by doing voices or animated movies and TV shows.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Model Valerie Vidal

Valerie Vidal is yet another model from the late seventies and early eighties (the best period in modeling!).

And I get to show pictures from her portfolio in both black and white and in color! :-)

She modeled through the FAM agency in Paris in 1979.  by 1983 she was with Zoli in New York.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Actress Tamlyn Tomita

Tamlyn Tomita first came to people's attention as a love interest for Daniel LaRusso (played by Ralph Macchio) in the 1986 sequel to The Karate Kid.

Since then, she has appeared in other movies, such as  the 1993 adaptation of Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club (in which she played the American-born daughter of a Chinese immigrant) and the 2004 climate-change sci-fi disaster flick The Day After Tomorrow (as a meteorologist), but she has also been a ubiquitous presence on various TV shows, playing various one-shot and passing roles in series such as "Quantum Leap" and "The Mentalist."

Fun fact:  Tamlyn Tomita was born on the Japanese island of Okinawa to a Japanese-American father and a part-Filipino mother.  Ironically, Okinawa is where her breakthrough movie The Karate Kid - Part II was set. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

German actress Hanna Schygulla

Hanna Schygulla is an actress whose beauty is as edgy as many of the movies she's made.  

Her most famous role may be the title role in 1978's The Marriage of Maria Braun, about a German woman who marries a Wehrmacht soldier during World War II and who remains devoted to her husband through a twisted series of affairs after the war.  Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, it's one of those movies that can never be adequately described.  You have to see it for yourself.

She's done other high-art movies in Germany, such as 1974's Effi Briest (also directed by Fassbinder), based on a novel about a young woman married off to an aristocrat, and she's even done Hollywood fare like The Delta Force, as a stewardess on a hijacked plane. 

A resident of Paris since 1981, Hanna Schygulla has pursued a second career as a chansons singer.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Model Melonee Rodgers

Melonee Rodgers is a model from the late 1980s.

She started out at the L'Agence modeling agency, which has offices in Atlanta and Miami, before joining Elite.  She was represented by both the Model Management and Runway divisions of the Elite agency, both in the New York offices.  :-)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Phoenix TV newswoman Katie Raml

Katie Raml is an anchorwoman for the newscast of KNXV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona.

She started out as a general assignment reporter at KNDU-TV in Kennewick, Washington, eventually becoming a morning anchor there.  Having grown up in Phoenix, she returned to her hometown in 2001 to become a reporter at KNXV-TV.  She's been an anchorwoman on that station since 2002. 

She anchors the news at four different times - 4:00 PM, 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM. So she's obviously very busy!

Fun fact: Ms. Raml earned a real estate license to better understand the housing market better.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Model Pam Piper

Pam Piper is a fashion model from the 1980s.

She was represented by three different agencies between two cities.  In New York, she was with Zoli from 1983 to 1984 and with Name from 1987 to the end of the decade.  In between, she worked in Paris, where she was with the Crystal agency.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

German model Tatjana Patitz

The long line of German beauties in the modeling trade that began with Margrit Ramme (a favorite subject on this blog) and Evelyn Kuhn in the sixties and seventies continued into the eighties and nineties, thanks in part to Hamburg native Tatjana Patitz. :-)

After beginning her modeling career at the age of seventeen (as of this writing, she's 48, for the record), Tatjana Patitz went on to grace over two hundred magazine covers worldwide.  She appeared on the cover of U.S. Vogue seven times and the cover of British Vogue eleven times. She's also done fashion and beauty TV commercials for L'Oréal, Revlon, Dockers and Ralph Lauren, but she's also done TV ads for utilitarian products such as DuPont carpets and the Opel Corsa, a General Motors car made and sold in Europe.

Since 2009, Tatjana Patitz has represented the Italian fashion brand Marina Rinaldi; the picture immediately above is taken from a Rinaldi ad.

Fun fact: Although she was born in Germany, she was raised in Skanör, Sweden.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Actress Lupita Nyong'o

Well, we should all know who this is by now, shouldn't we? :-D

Lupita Nyong'o became an overnight sensation for her portrayal of the slave Patsey in 12 Years a Slave, based on Solomon Northup, a black freeman from upstate New York kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841.  Yes, she won the 2014 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work, but she was nominated for 31 other acting awards for the same role - too many to list here - and won all but nine of them.  (Curiously, the Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe award was one of the nine she didn't win.)

Born to a Kenyan college professor and his wife in Mexico City, Lupita Nyong'o grew up in both Kenya and Mexico.  She began acting at the age fourteen, playing Juliet in a Nairobi production of Romeo and Juliet.  Before she broke into movies, though, she was a production assistant in films like The Constant Gardener and The Namesake, and she wrote, produced and directed In My Genes, a documentary about how a a white person in a predominantly black society.

Following 12 Years a Slave, Lupita Nyong'o went on to star as Gwen Lloyd in the Liam Neeson airplane action thriller Non-Stop.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Actress Melinda McGraw

Melinda McGraw is an actress who has done a lot of TV work and some movie work as well.

Her best-known TV roles are police detective Cyd Madison in "The Commish" and as Dana Scully's sister in a few episodes of "The X-Files."  She also had a leading role in "The Pursuit of Happiness," a sitcom about an idealistic lawyer going through a mid-life crisis early in life while having to deal with his unemployed wife. It was not a hit.

More recently, after long since having played a police detective working under a commissioner, she played the wife of a police commissioner - Commissioner Gordon's wife in the Batman movie The Dark Knight.

Fun fact: Although Melinda McGraw calls Massachusetts her home state, she was in fact born in Cyprus, where her American parents were at the time.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Television actress Caity Lotz

Caity Lotz is a young actress who has appeared in numerous TV shows.

She currently has a recurring role in the young-adult superhero series "Arrow," in which she plays a vigilante superheroine to complement the Green Arrow, the show's title character.  Ms. Lotz's character, Sara Lance, is believed to have drowned, but she returns as the Black Canary.  The Green Arrow and the Black Canary both first appeared in DC Comics in the forties.

So, Caity Lotz has a good deal of tradition to live up to.  She has a good chance of doing it in style.

Friday, March 28, 2014

TV anchorwoman Angie Koehle

Angie Koehle is the morning and afternoon news co-anchor at WTAJ-TV, a CBS-affiliated station in Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Ms. Koehle has been in journalism since her college days, working as an intern at KDKA-TV in her senior year and working as a news writer and an assignment desk assistant at WTAE-TV - both Pittsburgh stations - before becoming a TV reporter.  She worked as a reporter all across Pennsylvania before joining WTAJ-TV's reporting staff in 2009.  She becme an anchorwoman in 2012. 

Ms. Koehle's reporting of the news has made its own news.  She broke one story of how a former death row inmate had moved into a homeless shelter. As a result, the law now that now requires shelters to report to local authorities whenever a convicted murderer moves in.

Does Angie Koehle have a bright future?  I think so. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Actress Felicity Jones

Felicity Jones is a young actress from Great Britain.  She turned thirty in October 2013.

She has appeared in many movies, both televised and theatrically released, but she's probably best known for one movie so far - 2011's Like Crazy. She played Anna, a British college exchange student in Los Angeles who falls for an American student.  She decides to stay with him in LA for the summer, after graduation . . . unaware that her visa expires as soon as she gets her degree.

Ms. Jones' performance in this movie earned her Empire Award for Best Female Newcomer, a National Board of Review Award for Breakthrough Performance, and a Sundance Film Festival U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Breakout Performance.  The Detroit Film Critics Society Award nominated her for both a Best Actress award and a Brekathrough Performance award.

More recently, she played Charles Dickens' secret mistress, Nelly Ternan, in The Invisible Woman.  Ralph Fiennes, who directed, also played Dickens. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Actress Michelle Hurd

Michelle Hurd has been a reliable presence in both movies and television.

The daughter of actor Hugh L. Hurd, she first came to the attention of audiences as Dana Kramer in the soap opera "Another World" from 1991 to 1994 and again from 1995 to 1997.  Since then, she's played one-shot characters in numerous TV shows, such as "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," "Bones," and "Charmed," as well as recurring roles in "ER" and "Gossip Girl."  She also played Athena Barnes in the 2001 Showtime series "Leap Years."

Michelle Hurd's film work includes roles in the theatrical release Girl Most Likely and the cable Christmas TV movie Naughty or Nice.    

Friday, March 21, 2014

Actress Melissa George

Melissa George is a young starlet from Australia.

While she's done a few television shows in the United States, Americans probably best know her for her performance of Kathy Lutz in the 2005 remake of The Amityville Horror. But she's also done notable television work, such as her role as anesthesiologist Laura Hill in the HBO series "In Treatment," and she had a recurring role as Dr. Sadie Harris in the ABC series "Grey's Anatomy."        

It was a television role in her native Australia that first got her notoriety.  She played a troubled teenager in the Australian serial "Home and Away."   

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Actress Anna Faris

Anna Faris is an actress who's been very ubiquitous lately.

She's done movies ranging from the sublime (Lost In Translation, Brokeback Mountain) to the ridiculous (the Scary Movie franchise, playing Cindy Campbell), and she's also voiced the role of Sam Sparks in the animated Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs movies. 

Not everything Anna Faris touches turns to gold, however.  She starred in the universally hated, all-star mess that was Movie 43.  It's clear that 43 is not her lucky number, nor is Movie 43 a credit she's likely to include on her résumé.

She currently stars as Christy Plunkett in the CBS sitcom "Mom" with Allison Janney (a previous honoree on this blog).

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Model/actress Angie Everhart

Angie Everhart was probably the redhead model of the 1990s.

She appeared on the covers of different women's magazines, becoming an object of emulation for women and an object of desire for men.

She made the transition to acting, a field in which she's made mostly small films, such as Denial and Payback.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Weatherwoman Stef Davis

Stef Davis joined AccuWeather in September 2013.

As of this writing, there isn't much information about her. But you can catch her reports at

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Actress/dancer Betsy Chang

Betsy Chang is a journeywoman of a performer who has appeared in many Broadway shows since she debuted in the long-running production of 42nd Street as an ensemble performer in 1988.

The California native and UC-Berkeley graduate went on to have roles in Shogun: The Musical and A Christmas Carol, and she played the role of Gad's Wife in the 1993-94 production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  She's also had small roles in movies such as the Andy Kaufman biopic Man On the Moon (as a Radio City Rockette!) and The First $20 Million Is Always The Hardest.

I apologize, by the way, for the size of this picture; it's the only one of Ms. Chang that I could find.  Hopefully I'll find a better picture of her for a future retrospective. :-) 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Fashion model Gloria Burgess

American model Gloria Burgess is proof that European models don't have a monopoly on mystique.

With her statuesque physique, perfectly sculpted face, her piercing eyes, and her dark complexion, she became a catwalk queen for her commanding presence at fashion shows. 

The Washington, D.C.-born and raised Ms. Burgess, who studied political science in Islamabad, became a model when, while working as a dancer in Tokyo, she was discovered by designer Issey Miyake. Soon she was modeling in the fashion shows of Paris.  So, she's seen a lot of national capitals. :-)

She became a black modeling icon, which was fine by her.  But when I look at her, I don't just see a beautiful black woman.  And I see more than just a beautiful woman.

I see Gloria Burgess. :-)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Alda Balestra, Then and Now

Two more pictures of the wonderful Alda Balestra . . .

The picture blow shows Ms. Balestra from her modeling career . . . backstage at a fashion show, with a sweet expression on her face.  (Backstage fashion show photos of models are the best kind of fashion photos, because they capture the models as themselves. :-) )

The more recent picture of Ms. Balestra below, taken by Maxime Ballesteros, is from the opening of an exhibition honoring fashion designer Alexander McQueen in Berlin . . . her face still displaying the same sweetness.

It should be clear by now that time hasn't reduced her stature or diminished her beauty one iota.  She's still one of the most important people in the fashion world.  :-)   

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Alda Balestra for André Laug

Because I know you couldn't get enough of Alda Balestra . . .here's another post for her! With not one, but two more photos!  

Both of these photos capture her essence perfectly. :-)

They both happen to be from ads for the André Laug fashion house, both taken from the February 1981 issue of the U.S. edition of Vogue.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Italian fashion model Alda Balestra

In 1970, when she was a mere sixteen years of age, Alda Balestra won the Miss Italy beauty pageant. It wouldn't be long before folks in the modeling trade would recognize her incredible looks. :-)

She could strike any pose ranging from sophisticated . . .

. . . to sensuous.

The black-white photo at the top is from a 1981 Rodier Paris clothing ad, while the photo immediately above is from a Chrsitian Dior ad from about the same time.  While Christian Dior has used models in similar poses with the same exotic look, none of them could pull it all off like Alda Balestra could. :-)

These two photos from separate L'Oreal ads from 1983, demonstrate her unique combination of elegance and beauty.  It's a very European look, with a touch of playfulness thrown in.  Who else could make lavender eye shadow and lipstick look so alluring? :-)

Alda Balestra married Franz Graf Stauffenberg, a German Catholic aristocrat whose family's peerage dates back to the seventeenth century.  Incidentally, the most famous member of the Stauffenberg family was Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, who in 1944 was one of the leaders of the failed plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler and overthrow the Third Reich.

Today, Alda Balestra von Stauffenberg (as she's now widely known), who turns sixty in August 2014, lives in Berlin.  She is a public relations consultant and is the mother of two, a son and daughter who were both born in the United States. Still looking as lovely as ever, Alda Balestra spoke about her career in 2013 for, a Web site exploring feminine beauty and age. Ms. Balestra certainly proves that the two don't have to contradict each other. :-)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Actress and model Suzy Amis

Suzy Amis started out as a model with the Ford agency and made the transition to acting in the mid-1980s. In 2000, she made the transition to being film director James Cameron's wife, and she retired from acting. 

But in the twentieth century, when she was acting, she made numerous movies, including Rocket Gibraltar, The Ballad of Little Jo (where she starred as an unwed mother who poses as a man on the American frontier), and the terrorist action movie Blown Away.  And yes, she did appear in one of James Cameron's movies - she played Lizzy Calvert in her future husband's 1997 epic Titanic.   

James Cameron is actually her second husband. Suzy Amis was previously married to Sam Robards, son of Lauren Bacall (an earlier honoree on this blog) and Jason Robards. They had a son together, and she and Cameron have sired three children.

Friday, February 28, 2014

One Million Pageviews!

Yesterday, February 27, 2014, the number of views of this blog surpassed the one-million mark.  My humble little blog, which began with absolutely no fanfare in September 2006, has officially hit the big time. :-)
To give you a better idea of just how significant that is for me, my regular blog, Miscellaneous Musings, in which I mouth off about anything that's on my mind, has been around since September 2002 and has gotten only a little more than 50,000 pageviews, which means that it's been getting one view for approximately every twenty views my beautiful women picture blog gets.  And, if you do the math, my regular blog has only gotten about 370 pageviews a month for 137 months so far, compared to 11,236 pageviews a month for 89 months for this blog!

So how do I intend to celebrate this blog's one millionth pageview?  Simple - I'm going to keep posting on it.  I have a new A-Z round starting tomorrow for March and April, with plenty of interesting women to be honored.  I already have the posts done as drafts on; I just need to publish them at the appointed times.  When this new round is done, I'll have posted - wait for it - pictures of eight hundred different women, proving that while beauty may only be skin deep, it's certainly widespread.  After that, I hope to take a break from two-month-long A-Z rounds.  For May, I hope to do another special month devoted to female athletes - the recently completed Winter Olympics have given me ideas, and there are several female non-winter athletes I hope to include - and then I'll probably devote the entirety of June to new pictures of previously featured women . . . i.e., retrospectives.  That it will be back to A-Z rounds for the start of the second half of the year, another all-retrospective month, and, in December, my fifth month-long edition of beautiful dancers.  (Every December, every even-numbered year. :-) )      

So be sure to check back me tomorrow as I come in like a lion for March with my 777th subject.  Thanks for all of your support. :-)  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect: Nancy Dutiel

Another eighties beauty named Nancy! :-) 

In her relatively short tenure as the Lancôme cosmetics company's U.S. spokesmodel, Nancy Dutiel left behind a a plethora of lovely pictures from that ad campaign, more than some models have in their entire portfolios.  In some of them, she looks rather regal, as in the photo above.  In others, as in the one below, she almost looks somewhat mischievous.    

Although her misfortune of preceding Isabella Rossellini (who's also been honored here) meant that she was forgotten almost as soon as she was replaced in 1983 - preceding Isabella Rossellini is even tougher than following her - Nancy Dutiel hasn't been forgotten here.  She's been a regular feature of this blog since it debuted in September 2006. 

And if there are any doubts as to whether she was a great model, the color photo below should erase all of those doubts.  

Don't you think? :-)

She was so great that, even when she was modeling for Lancôme, she found time to model for other clients, such as Neiman Marcus.  The photo below (the gentleman with her is male model Conrad Bell, for those who want to know) is from a 1980 ad for that store.

The fur department, of course. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect: Nancy Donahue, 1982

Attentive followers of this blog are aware that I connected with eighties supermodel Nancy Donahue through social media and met her in person after having originally featured her here in early 2010.  Thus, she's now someone I know personally, and so I now normally refrain from featuring her on this blog per my own ground rules. But when I find a picture of her that's too good not to share here, I make an exception. Well, here are two exceptions. :-) 

The above photo, from 1982, features Ms. Donahue in one of the most intense poses she's ever struck, captured magnificently by the Italian fashion photographer Renato Grignaschi, and brilliantly bringing out the color in her eyes.

The second photo is from the same time, in which she offers a pose that is less intense but no less captivating.  

So, there are in fact pictures that violate my own rules that are worth making exceptions for. :-) 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect: Dianne DeWitt

Dianne DeWitt is one of those legendary models for whom the term "model" doesn't go far enough to describe her.  Like Pat Cleveland, she's a force of nature all her own.

Don't believe me? Well, take a look at this!

I ask you, how many models can you think of who could strike such a pose? :-)    

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect: Catherine Deneuve, In Vibrant Color!

And it doesn't get better than that. :-D 

This picture really beings out the platinum-like sheen of Catherine Deneuve's hair. It's almost like . . . an aura. :-)

I forget where I found this picture, but I presume it was taken sometime during the seventies. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Beauty of Retrospect: Kathy Davis in Color!

My original entry for California model Kathy Davis, posted in May 2011, featured a black-and-white photo of Ms. Davis with her left hand to her head and her hair brushed to her left.  Here's a color version of that same photo.

The photo, it turns out, is from an ad for Climatress, a brand of - you guessed it - hair care products.  And Kathy Davis certainly has the right hair to advertise such products.  Maybe that's why she did so many hair care ads. :-)