Friday, May 29, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect, Weather Edition: Michele Powers

Michele Powers is still doing the weather for New Jersey TV viewers on the News 12 New Jersey cable channel, just as she was when I first featured her here in December 2013.

So why am I featuring her again now?  Three words - new promo headshot!

Beautiful, huh?

Well, that's my blog, folks! :-) 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect, Weather Edition: Stef Davis

My March 2014 post of AccuWeather's Stef Davis has proven to be more popular than I could have imagined,  leaping into my list of the top ten posts of all time on this blog and having gotten 4,897 views as of this writing.

Since she's so popular, I thought I'd treat you to another picture of her. :-)   

This picture is courtesy of one of my Internet buddies on a message board we both post photos on. :-)

Let's see how many views this post gets! :-D 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect, Weather Edition: Vivian Brown

Numerous female on-camera meteorologists at The Weather Channel - some of whom have been featured on this blog - have come and gone, but Vivian Brown remains.

Ms. Brown, who is the second woman to have ever been featured on this blog, has been at The Weather Channel since 1986 - longer than my cable service has carried The Weather Channel - and she has a multitude of adoring fans, including myself. Why would I be a member of an online Vivian Brown fan club otherwise? :-D

I hope she doesn't follow the lead of weatherwomen past like Betty Davis, Jeanetta Jones or Kristina Abernathy, who have all left The Weather Channel over the years. Because I can't think of anyone else I'd rather have get me through a snowstorm.  Because The Weather Channel without Vivian Brown is Paris without the Eiffel Tower. :-) 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Latest Numbers and Statistics

I have now posted pictures of 902 different women on this blog.

Meanwhile, the list of the top ten posts remains mostly the same as before . . . with one big exception.  The March 2014 post of AccuWeather personality Stef Davis has jumped up two positions, from number six to number four, with 4,873 views.  It has a long way to go before it overtakes my most popular post of all, my July 2011 post of TV newswoman Kristen Welker (38,906 posts as of today).  Feel free to click on the chart below to enlarge it.    

Stef Davis is so popular here that I'll be be posting another picture of her - along with more pictures of two other on-camera weather forecasters I've featured here - in the coming week.  June will be devoted to looks back at different fashion and beauty models I've already featured.

A caveat about these numbers:  These figures go back to May 2010.  Sometimes's numbers have gone back even farther, so I can't say that these chart positions are dead-accurate like a Billboard record chart.  But I think they come close enough to accuracy for my purposes.       

Thursday, May 21, 2015

New Link: Louise Vyent's New Web Site

Dutch fashion model Louise Vyent, who now lives in New Jersey, has been a favorite model of mine for a long time.  I was a huge fan of hers in the late eighties and the early nineties, and I have followed her post-modeling career as well.  She has previously worked as a photographer, but now she has an entirely new  business . . . as a developer of professional skills.  Her new business is simply called "Louise Vyent: Effective  Presentations." 

Ms. Vyent, a recent graduate of Montclair State University, helps clients such as people in the media and related fields develop their abilities to present their ideas, use media effectively and properly, and develop social media strategies and a personal brand.   Her site explains her services in grater detail, and she also includes a blog with videos from well-known people who demonstrates an ability to communicate effectively.   Is this sounds like something you';d like to investigate for yourself, you should definitely check it out.  

The link to Ms. Vyent's site, like all links to modeling and photography sites on this blog, is just below the members list and the blog archive field in the upper right hand corner of the screen - the link to her site is three spaces up from the bottom of the list.  I wish her luck with her new endeavor.  :-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Model Julie Wolfe

Julie Wolfe is another famous model from the 1980s, her profession's golden age.

Starting at L'Agence in Paris, Ms. Wolfe was represented by Elite throughout the decade, working through Elite's New York, Paris and Los Angeles offices.

Now a mother of two, Julie Wolfe lives out on the east end Long Island and works as a real estate broker.   

And if you thought this was '80s model Esmé Marshall when you first clicked on this blog, you're not the first person to make that mistake.  I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Wolfe at a party in New York, and when I spoke to her, the first thing I said was, "You look like . . ."

She finished my sentence.  She knew I was going to say "Esmé Marshall," because she's gotten that a lot over the years. 

And yes, we connected on social media later, in the interest of full disclosure.  I find her to be a very engaging woman.   

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Model/actress Talisa Soto

Talisa Soto is another model who successfully made the move to acting.

Born in Brooklyn to parents from Puerto Rico, she modeled through the Click agency.  She began her acting career with a role in Spike of Bensonhurst, about an aspiring boxer from Brooklyn, and she followed that up by becoming a Bond girl in the 1989 James Bond movie License To Kill (the second - and last - James Bond movie to feature Timothy Dalton as Bond). 

Ms. Soto went on to bigger roles in movies such as 1992's The Mambo Kings (as Maria Rivera, the love interest of mambo singer Nestor Castillo, played by Antonio Banderas)  the 1994 romantic comedy Don Juan DeMarco, and the 1995 martial arts-fantasy film Mortal Kombat (as Princess Kitana).

Talisa Soto has been married to actor Benjamin Bratt since 2002.   

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Stage actress Kristen Smith Davis

Kristen Smith Davis is another stage actress who's active in regional and national-tour theater. :-)

She's performed in Sacramento, Portland, Maine, and more than a few places in between. Her credits include Alice in Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Chava in Fiddler On the Roof, and Chloe in An American Paris.  Plus too many others to list. :-D

For more about Kristen Smith Davis, go here.   :-)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Actress/comedienne Maya Rudolph

Maya Rudolph rose to prominence as a cast member of NBC's long-running comedy sketch show "Saturday Night Live" from 2000 to 2007.

The daughter of songwriter Richard Rudolph and soul singer Minnie Riperton (whose high voice undoubtedly inspired Mariah Carey), Ms. Rudolph played numerous characters on "Saturday Night Live," such as "Bronx Beat" host Jodie Deitz and attorney Glenda Goodwin, in addition to celebrity impersonations too numerous to list here (though Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Gayle King, and Michelle Obama are among them).

In addition to playing roles in the TV series "City of Angels" and "Up All Night," she has appeared in movies such as Away We Go (about a struggling mom-to-be) and Bridesmaids.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Model/actress Patty Owen

Patty Owen has had an incredible career as a model and as an actress.

As the headshot above demonstrates, she started out as a conventional fashion model.  But she soon staked out an identity as being one or the edgier cover girls in the modeling trade.

Her work was regularly included in magazines, such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, and Marie Claire, and she appeared on several covers as well. As an actress, she played the tough-cookie type in shows such as "Miami Vice."

Alas, her lifestyle became as edgy and as her portfolio, as she fell into the hardened, fast-paced life associated with living in New York in the 1980s.  Ms. Owen went through many experiences that left her empty and unfulfilled until she found inner peace. 

Because in spite of her tough exterior . . .

. . .she's really a sweetheart. (Full disclosure: I know Ms. Owen.)

Now known as Shanti Owen or Shanti Patty Owen, she works as a relationship coach. She's overcome her past, having realized that she was addicted to relationships in a way not talked about in  mainstream society.  Since I try to be discreet on this blog, I'll simply post this link to her Web site. that explains her addiction in greater detail.  There you will learn about, among other things, the memoir she's working on. :-)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

TV weatherwoman Vanessa Murdock

Vanessa Murdock, one of the meteorologists at WCBS-TV in New York, grew up in Long Island but made it to New York City television by way of Virginia.

After earning a master's degree in meteorology at Pennsylvania State University, she became an on-camera weather forecaster at various stations in the Old Dominion, eventually settling in at CBS affiliate WTKR-TV in Norfolk.  She eventually made it back to New York and joined WCBS-TV, the CBS network's home station on the East Coast, where she handles the weekend news broadcasts.

She joined the station in the middle of October 2011.  Less than three weeks after she started at WCBS-TV, the "October Surprise" autumn snowstorm hit New York and caused numerous blackouts and other problems throughout the metropolitan area.  Talk about baptism by fire. 

Vanessa Murdock has remained unflappable through Hurricane Sandy, numerous nor'easters, and record cold during her tenure at WCBS-TV.  

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Jamaican model Jaunel McKenzie

When she was growing up in Kingston,  Jamaica, Jaunel McKenzie found herself in modeling school at her mother's urging - not to be a model, but to learn how to be more ladylike. She was enrolled in the school's grooming class to learn how to be less of the tomboy that she was.

She ended up becoming a model when an agent discovered her, and by all accounts, she's been a success at it.

Well, what do you think? :-D

Jaunel McKenzie has numerous credits in her portfolio,  She's done eleven spreads for the U.S. edition of Vogue, and with one spread each for the German, French, and Italian editions of that magazine. She's also done ads for Victoria's Secret, Tommy Hilfiger, Nordstrom, and Banana Republic, and she's strutted on many a catwalk in fashion shows for numerous clients - too many to list here. :-) 

She's also started FACE, a model development company, whose mission is to educate women entering the modeling trade on how to manage their finances and to provide them with all kinds of support - as well as the knowledge of how modeling works as a business. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Media personality Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi is a woman of many trades.

The Indian-born Ms. Lakshmi has been a model, and actress, and a cookbook author, as well as a host of cooking shows and magazine shows on Italian and American television. Her movie roles include parts in Boom (an Indian "Bollywood" film) and The Mistress of Spices, as well as roles in the TV shows "Star Trek: Enterprise" and "Sharpe" (an historical drama about the Napoleonic Wars).

She was also married to controversial British author Salman Rushdie from 2004 to 2007.   

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Actress Stana Katic

Stana Katic has been a staple on American television since 2009.

The Canadian-born actress, whose Serbian ethnic parents emigrated to Ontario from Croatia, plays New York police detective Kate Beckett in the ABC-TV series "Castle," whose title character is a frustrated mystery writer who helps the police with murder cases.  Richard Castle and Kate Beckett eventually fall in love and marry, after Kate has quit the force.  She was inspired to become a detective, sadly, by her mother's unsolved murder, and she has a penchant for investigating unusual cases.

In addition to her work on "Castle," Stana Katic has appeared in movies such as Feast of Love and Quantum of Solace, and she also played Hana Gitelman, a two-shot character on the TV series "Heroes."  She holds dual Canadian and American citizenship.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Teklevision newswoman Judy Hsu

If you live in the Chicago area and you turn on WLS-TV, the city's ABC affiliate, when you wake up in the morning, Judy Hsu is likely the first person you see on the small screen.

Judy Hsu is the co-anchor of WLS-TV's "ABC7 News This Morning," the top-rated morning news  show in the Chicago area. A native of Taiwan who grew up in Chicago, she joined WLS-TV in April 2001 after having anchored the four o'clock report at CBS affiliate KFMB-TV in San Diego.

Ms. Hsu's child-rearing segment on WLS-TV's morning report, "For Your Family," is considered one of the most distinctive news segments in Chicago broadcast journalism.  She and her husband live in the Chicago suburbs with their four children. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Model Karen Howard

Karen Howard is another top model from the late seventies and early eighties.

She worked in both New York and Paris through the Elite agency at the time, and she was also represented by L'Agence in Paris earlier in her career.

Today, Karen Howard is involved with the Winston-Salem Alliance, a local business organization in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, that promotes economic and entrepreneurial development.  Which makes sense; as made obvious by the photo immediately above, Ms. Howard knows how to dress for success. :-)   

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Model Deborah Frazier

Deborah Frazier is a model who was active in the late seventies and the eighties.

Represented by Model Management in New York and then later by Elite Model Management in Los Angeles, she moved to Germany in the latter part of the decade and found representation with Parker-Sed in Hamburg.   

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Actress Carmen Ejogo

Carmen Ejogo is a British actress who has steadily appeared in movies since 1997.

If the name sounds familiar to you, that's because her most recent film, as of this posting, has been - and has made - news.  She plays Coretta Scott King in Selma, the historical drama of the 1965 voting rights march in Alabama. The movie, of course, caused a stir for depicting President Lyndon Johnson as somewhat reluctant on voting rights issues and called his credibility on civil rights at least partially into question.  As for Ms. Ejogo, her performance as Mrs. King earned her an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.


There's no question, though, that Carmen Ejogo - who gets her exotic looks from her Nigerian father and Scottish mother - is an actress to continue watching. She got her first break at the age of thirteen with a role in the 1986 rock musical movie Absolute Beginners, which also included Sade (an earlier honoree on this blog) and David Bowie.  She played Maria in the 2000 present-day film adaptation of Shakespeare's  Love's Labour's Lost and she was also in the 2008 crime drama Pride and Glory (starring Edward Norton and Colin Farrell), among other movies.

She was married to American actor Jeffrey Wright, and she now lives in Brooklyn with her two children.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

French singer/actress Cécilia Cara

Cécilia Cara is a chanteuse who has also made a name for herself in her native France as an actrice. :-)

She played Alice in the movie Le Carton and Jasmine in Droit au cœur, but her biggest role to date has been as Juliet in Roméo et Juliette, de la Haine à l'Amour, a French musical version of Shakespeare's famous tragedy Romeo and Juliet.  (The second clause of the title means "from hate to love.")   And she also has recorded several albums and singles in between all that.  

Having turned only thirty in June 2014, Ms. Cara still has a long career ahead of her, and we in the States might be hearing of her soon.  After all, she speaks English as well as French . . . not to mention Spanish and Italian also. :-)  

Friday, April 3, 2015

Actress Leslie Bibb

Leslie Bibb has been in the public eye since the turn of the millennium.

For two years beginning in 1999, she played Brooke McQueen on the TV teen drama "Popular," about two teenagers who are at different ends of the popularity spectrum at school. Brooke was a popular cheerleader, and another girl, Samantha, was a smart, geeky type who isn't popular.  The two girls became stepsisters when their single parents married each other.

Since then, the North Dakota-born Ms. Bibb has done several movies, with roles in films such as Miss Nobody (in which she played Sarah Jane McKinney, an ambitious secretary at a pharmaceutical company, earning herself a Best Actress award for it at the Boston Film Festival) and Confessions of a Shopaholic.  She has also had recurring roles in TV shows such as "About a Boy" and the 2015 version of "The Odd Couple." 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Another Model Trio

I couldn't resist the temptation or pass up the opportunity to throw in another look back at women I've featured before on this blog before starting a new A-Z round.  And once again, I'm looking back at models, two of whom I did week-long features for in the month just gone by; the third model appeared in a retrospective post from this past February. :-)

Pictured above, from a catalog photo, are Sheila Johnson at top, and Nancy Donahue at lower right.  They are joined here by another Nancy - Nancy DeWeir, who has worked with both women at other times.

Catalog photos, as I mentioned before, are bread-and-butter assignments for top models, and - as I'm sure I've also said before - imagine how they look in high-class fashion editorials if they look this gorgeous in a catalog! :-D 

Back soon with new subjects. :-)   

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Latest Statistics

Here are the latest data (it's a plural word, look it up) on the ten most popular posts on this blog.  Feel free, as always, to click on the chart to enlarge it.  As you can see, there's one big change.

A lot of people are clearly into AccuWeather's Stef Davis; my post of her from March 2014 surged from eighth place into sixth, with 4,085 views, and its popularity shows no sign of cooling.  My July 2011 post of television reporter Kristen Welker remains the most popular post on this blog by a wide margin, though, with 38,630 views compared to 13,407 for the runner-up, my September 2009 post of model Sheila Johnson, whose portfolio I delved into to provide a whole week of posts in the month just ending.  But my first look at Ms. Johnson remains the most popular of all posts devoted to her.

In January 2015, posts of actress Kaley Cuoco, actress Erin Gray, model and photographer Barbara Minty, and television reporter Atia Abawi were in sixth, seventh, ninth, and tenth, respectively; though their positions have obviously shifted, their order of positioning remains the same.

I'll leave you to ponder all that while I prepare for a new A-Z round of previously unfeatured women for April and May.  And, to avoid the implication of an April Fool's joke, let me get this out of the way: My post for April 1 will be another retrospective, as I wanted to publish it before I started on new subjects.  So here we go, into a new month and new posts.  :-)          

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Margrit Ramme Week, Part Five

I'm . . . I'm speechless.

This is the last photo of Margrit Ramme for my week-long look back at her modeling career, and for once, I can't find the words to describe this photo.  But I think it encapsulates everything that makes Margrit Ramme the exotically beautiful woman she's always been.  One picture really is worth a thousand words.  

That's it for my retrospective looks at famous models I've featured here before, one woman per week. After one more post this month to look at the latest statistics, I'm going out of March like a lamb.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Margrit Ramme Week, Part Four

An invitation to dinner? :-)

These two pictures of one of Germany's most beautiful women going Italian were meant not to sell the food but the clothes.   These two photos of Margrit Ramme posing in Italian-designed dresses were taken for a fashion editorial for the April 1, 1968 edition of U.K. Vogue, by noted bad-boy fashion photographer Helmut Newton . . . at a time when he was apparently more well-behaved. ;-)    

Another picture from this editorial was featured in an earlier post on this blog devoted to Margrit Ramme, from April 2011.

The editorial photos may have been meant to sell clothes, but Margrit Ramme does a pretty good job promoting herself as the ultimate dinner date. :-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Margrit Ramme Week, Part Three

These two photos of Margrit Ramme were taken about a decade apart, and while her work may have become more conservative, she obviously lost nothing in the intervening ten years in terms of her appeal.

The above photo is from 1979, taken by fashion photographer Winnie Decker, when Margrit Ramme was represented by the Elite modeling agency in New York.  The one below, from 1989, shows her in a more straightforward pose.  By then, she was represented by Elite's Elite Elegance subsidiary. 

She may have become more elegant in time, but she remained just as beautiful.

She was even more beautiful after ten years, in fact. :-)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Margrit Ramme Week, Part Two

Here's Margrit Ramme striking some very serious poses. :-)

The above color photo emphasizes her high glamour, looking like she's ready for night on the town.  The black-and-white photo is less formal, but no less indicative of how seriously our heroine took her poses. :-)   And it this picture, she uses her hair very effectively. 

In love yet, boys? :-) 

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Margrit Ramme Week, Part One

What better way to begin my week-long look back at German model Margrit Ramme than these two photos, both showing a side of her as soft as the camera's focus? :-)

The above color photo shows Margrit Ramme in an apparently  favorite pose of hers - staring directly at the camera with the right side of her face partially obscured!  This time, it's her wavy golden locks flowing over her perfectly lovely face.

Did you happen to notice her bare shoulders and glistening jewelry? :-D 

The photo below, in light sepia, shows her in a pensive, dreamy mood, her lips gently parted, reminding us why she is one of those models who has been so uniquely skilled at making men sigh like schoolboys. :-)   

Both pictures were taken by British photographer Tom Murray.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Sheila Johnson Week, Part Five

It makes sense that Sheila Johnson would model for Royal Silk, a New Jersey-based company selling silk-fabric clothes of every persuasion, because her beauty is as smooth and as inviting as silk itself. 

So, for my last two pictures for this week-long look back at Ms. Johnson, I present photos from two of her Royal Silk ads.  Both of them show her wearing blouses.

The photo above, from a Royal Silk ad in the March 1983 issue of U.S. Vogue, shows the Sheila Johnson I fell in love with back in the eighties . . . sweet, alluring, and sensual, with her soft smile and her warm, inviting eyes.  The reclining pose complements her come-hither look quite nicely.

In the photo below, she strikes a different pose.    

This photo, from a Royal Silk ad in the February 1984 issue of U.S. Vogue, shows the confident, determined Sheila Johnson that reminds us why we love the woman.  Her strong, tall-standing pose and her assured, assertive expression reveal her as a model who knows how to survive in the the tough business that the modeling trade is.  And those of us who love Sheila Johnson are glad she's had what it takes to thrive and prosper.

Next up, for the last full week of March - Margrit Ramme! :-)    

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Sheila Johnson Week, Part Four

As always, I view this fashion-model picture with less of an eye toward the fashion and more toward the model. :-) 

Yes, the purple top is stylish, especially with the rope belt around it, but what caught my eye was the confident look in Sheila Johnson's face . . . a look that says she can take on the world and do it with class.

And we know she can.    

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect: Sheila Johnson Week, Part Three

Here I have three pictures of Sheila Johnson posing in different sorts of dresses, from a soft, sensible outfit . . .

 . . . to a more business-like and professional dress (note that our heroine is posing alongside a filing cabinet, with books behind her) . . .

. . . to a gorgeous, black romantic evening-wear number. :-)

It's not remarkable that Sheila Johnson can wear three different dresses with such flair.  But it's worth noting that all three of these pictures are from the same issue of Vogue Patterns (July-August 1982).  The fact that these photos all appeared in the same issue only underlines how highly versatile she is as a model. :-)