Friday, August 17, 2018

Model Yasmeen Ghauri

Part Pakistani, part German, and all Canadian, the Montreal-born-and-raised Yasmeen Ghauri was one of the top models of the early 1990s.

And that was a big deal at the time, as the modeling profession began to produce more divas than stars.  Yasmeen Ghauri was a star, by all means, as the above photo from Cosmopolitan's October 1992 issue demonstrates.

She was a spokesmodel for Chanel, Christian Dior, Valentino, and Anne Klein at about the same time, and she appeared on the cover of Elle and in editorials for the British and Italian editions of Vogue.  

And by 1996, after about six years in the spotlight, it was all over.  She retired to raise a family . . . at the ripe old age of 25.  Like Marciano - Rocky, not Georges - she knew when to quit and she went out on top.

Fun fact: Yasmeen Ghauri's first major appearance anywhere was in the promotional video for Elton John's single "Sacrifice," where she was paired with singer Chris Isaak.  She was not yet twenty.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Model and designer Zohre Esmaeli

Zohre Esmaeli is a model from Afghanistan who is based in Germany.  Her story is so awesome and inspiring that I can't do it justice by merely going over the highlights here.

Her family fled Afghanistan during the Taliban regime in the late nineties by crossing the border  and traveling overland over 6,200 miles to Germany.  Ms. Esmaeli was barely a teenager then, and she almost didn't survive the trip.

Once settled in Germany, she resumed her school studies, but she began modeling at sixteen years of age when she was discovered in Frankfurt.  Her career took off after she moved to Stuttgart.  She has appreaed in numerous fashion magazine, sich as Elle, Cosmopolitan, Madame, and Marie Claire.

Zohre Esmaeli also designs clothes, under the brand name "Zoraya."  She debuted her first line in November 2015 for a charity fashion show in Berlin.

It's quite obvious that, despite her Afghan background, the German fashion world has accepted her as its own. :-)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Stage actress Jennifer DiNoia

If you've only seen Jennifer DiNoia as she looks below, you haven't seen her in her best-known role as a stage actress.

That's because she has played the green-skinned Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, in various productions of the musical Wicked.  

She has played Elphaba in various touring companies and in at least four different countries, but she has also performed the role where it matters most - London's West End and New York's Broadway.  Ms. DiNoia played Elphaba in the West End in late 2014 and 2015 and also played her on Broadway from March 2015 to May 2015 and again from August 2016 to July 2017.  In many instances she was a standby for an actress playing Elphaba in different productions.

Jennifer DiNoia maybe more associated with this role than any other actress except Idina Menzel.  

Fun fact: She was in the original American production of the Queen jukebox musical We Will Rock You in Las Vegas. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

CNN newswoman Kaitlan Collins

Katilan Collins is a recent addition to CNN's on-camera news staff.  Before she joined the Cable News Network in 2017, she'd been an entertainment reporter and a White House correspondent at The Daily Caller for three years.

Why would I feature here a woman who once reported for a conservative news site?  Because of what she did at her current job.  When Donald Trump gave a statement to the press about trade negotiations while seated with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Ms. Collins asked the current White House occupant about everything but that - Michael Cohen, secret tapes involving a possible cover-up, Vladimir Putin - and the White House responded by banning her from the premises . . . for doing what a reporter is supposed to do.   

I'm a freelance reporter when I'm not working on this blog or writing commentary on this blog's sister blog, Miscellaneous Musings.  So I'm doing here what every other reporter and news organization is doing - standing up for Kaitlin Collins.  And, lest you think this is purely political . . . well, aside from the fact that I am aware of Ms. Collins's conservative bona fides despite my own disagreement with political conservatism, I need only share with you what Bret Baier of Fox News - yes, Fox News - read in a statement on behalf of his employer in Ms. Collins's defense and against Trump:

"Just because the White House is uncomfortable with a question regarding the news of the day doesn't mean the question isn't relevant and shouldn't be asked. This decision to bar a member of the press is retaliatory in nature and not indicative of an open and free press. We demand better. As a member of the White House press pool, Fox stands firmly with CNN on this issue of access."

And so do I.

Free speech rocks.  That's why, despite whatever negative thoughts some people might have to a blog celebrating feminine beauty, I continue this blog without apology.  And that goes double for what I write my other blog.    

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Beauty of Anonymity, Model ID Update: Angolan model Maria Borges

I have already featured Maria Borges as an unidentified model from a Target ad, and I have also reported her ID in a subsequent post.  Here is my first proper post dedicated to this beauty from the African country of Angola. :-)

Maria Borges has not only modeled for middlebrow establishments like Target, she's also been a model for high-end cosmetics brands like L'Oreal and Bobbi Brown.  Among the designers she's wlaked the fashion show runways for are Anna Sui, Carolina Herrera, Diane von Fürstenberg, Dior, Gianfranco Ferre, Giorgio Armani, Givenchy,  Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren,  Salvatore Ferragamo, and too many more to list here. :-)

She has done numerous fashion magazine covers and became the first African model to appear on the cover of Elle in twenty years (and only the second African model African model to appear on the cover of Elle ever), after Alek Wek in 1997.

Maria Borges is a muse of Italian designer Riccardo Tisci.  She calls him her "godfather." :-D 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Model Gunilla Bergström

I showed fashion model Gunilla Bergström earlier this year in a photo from a department store ad that also included Margrit Ramme. This is the first time I'm featuring her solo on this blog. :-)

Gunilla Bergström was active in the late seventies and early eighties.  She alternated between Paris and New York, represented by the Viva agency in the former city and the Elite agency in the latter.  

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Actress Malin Åkerman

Malin Åkerman has had an acting career in which she's had roles in all sorts of genres.

She's best known for playing Silk Spectre in the 2009 superhero movie Watchman, about a dystopian world in which an alternate history of the Cold War brings the world to the brink of nuclear war in 1985.

She's had roles in romantic comedies like 27 Dresses and The Proposal, as well as a part in the stoner comedy Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle.  Ms. Åkerman also had a supporting role as a commune resident in the 2012 comedy Wanderlust, about an overworked couple at the commune who try to take it easy. That same year, she also had a role in the hair-band musical movie Rock of Ages.

Ms. Åkerman has done numerous guest-star parts on TV, and she also starred as the title character in "Trophy Wife," an ABC series about a young woman married to a middle-aged lawyer.  It was a one-season wonder, not making it past the 2013-14 season.

Fun fact: Malin Åkerman was born in Sweden, but she grew up in Canada, where her family emigrated.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect, July Actress Edition: Alicia Vikander

Alicia Vikander has remained active as an actress since I first featured her her in November 2016.

She starred in 2017's Submergence, a romantic hostage-thriller movie directed by Wim Wenders, and in the historical romantic drama Tulip Fever, from the same year, as a Dutch noblewoman.

She's also the new Lara Croft in the latest Tomb Raider movie (based on the video game series), coming out this year (2018).

Alicia Vikander can do anything. :-)

That's it for my look back at actresses I've already featured here.  A new round of A-Z subjects begins in August. :-)      

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect, July Actress Edition: Margot Robbie

This is my third post to feature Margot Robbie, and, like with my previous post of Lupita Nyong'o, it's my first post of Ms. Robbie since April 2014.  And she's been really active since.

She did no fewer than four movies in 2015, playing a nuclear holocaust survivor in that year's Z Is for Zachariah, playing a grifter in the Will Smith movie Focus, and appearing in the World War II drama Suite Française - and she found the time to appear in a cameo role as herself in The Big Short.

In 2017 Ms. Robbie played two famous people - the wife of Winnie-the-Pooh creator A.A. Milne in Goodbye Christopher Robin and bad-girl figure skater Tonya Harding in I, Tonya.  That latter role must have been a tough one - the real-life figure-skating drama at the 1994 Winter Olympics wasn't that long ago, and how could any movie on the subject compare to real-life cable-news coverage of it?

Margot Robbie is taking on the role of a long-dead historical figure, England's Queen Elizabeth I, in Mary Queen of Scots, now as of this writing in post-production.  As the role of Elizabeth has been played by Bette Davis and Judi Dench (and Ms. Robbie's fellow Australian Cate Blanchett, an earlier honoree on this blog), she has some big shoes to fill.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Beauty Of Retrospect, July Actress Edition: Lupita Nyong'o

Has it really been since April 2014 that I last (and first) looked at Lupita Nyong'o on this blog?  And what has she been up to since?

Well, for one thing, she's played humanoid alien pirate Maz Kanata in two of the movies in the current Star Wars trilogy, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.  You didn't recognize her?  That's because Maz is a CGI-produced character that was activated by motion-capture technology.  As in all Star War s movies, the special effects don't get in the way of what is still a great story.

She also played Nakia in the explosively successful black-superhero movie The Black Panther.  She herself was likely booed, as Nakia is a villain.

Lupita Nyong'o remains busy as an actress, with a new movie, Little Monsters, still in post-production as of this writing.  Don't except a Bergmanesque turn from Ms. Nyong'o in this one; it's another popcorn movie, this one about zombies.

But there will be more movie starring Lupita Nyong'o going forward, to be sure, so whether she's doing a blockbuster or an art film, either one is a good reason to break out the popcorn. :-)  

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect, July Actress Edition: Janet Montgomery

I first featured British actress Janet Montgomery in July 2013.

She had failed at American TV a year earlier, but she's rebounded nicely since then. She played witch Mary Sibley in "Salem," a retelling of the witch trials in Puritan Massachusetts in the seventeenth century.  In the movies, she played the doomed mother of the first Earthling born on Mars (she would not survive her pregnancy) in 2017's The Space Between Us.  She also had a recurring role as a manipulative actress (!) in the NBC series "This Is Us."

Janet Montgomery has had enough successes to make people forget her past failures.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect, July Actress Edition: Jessica Lange

So what has Jessica Lange been doing since I last featured her in March 2012?

Plenty.  She may be remembered as a young ingenue from the late seventies and the early eighties, but guess what - Jessica Lange is grown up now! 

One of her more notable movie roles in the past six years and change was as the aunt of a sexually repressed girl in Second Empire Paris in 2013's In Secret, and she also played the mother of a college professor addicted to gambling in 2014's The Gambler (a remake of a 1974 movie of the same name).        

Jessica Lange has done more interesting work on TV, however, as she continued to play different roles in FX's "American Horror Stories" . . . and just wrapped a miniseries about the feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford as part of FX's ongoing anthology series "Feud."

Ms. Lange plated Joan Crawford. 

And she's as likely to become as big a legend.   

Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect, July Actress Edition: Isabelle Huppert

Can you believe that I haven't featured France's Isabelle Huppert before now . . .  since July 2011?

Mercy me, where are my manners?

Isabelle Huppert has been very busy in the 2010s.  One of her most notable performances was in 2012's Amour, as the daughter of an elderly couple who struggle to stay together through infirmity.  That same year, in the South Korean comedy In Another Country, she played three different Frenchwomen, all named Anne and all taking the form of a charming French visitor to Korea, in a screenplay written by an aspiring Korean film student's sister.  (Not the screenplay of the movie itself, a screenplay within the movie from one of the movie's characters!)  Both movies were up for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival; Amour won it.  

Mlle. Huppert turned to Australian theater in 2013, as she appeared with Cate Blanchett (another honoree on this blog) in the Sydney Theatre Company's production of Jean Genet's The Maids, with a new English translation; it stopped in New York in 2014 on a world tour.

Mlle.  Huppert's biggest achievements of late, though, have been her performance as a philosophy professor going through numerous separations in Things To Come and her performance in Elle, in which she plays a businesswoman who gets raped by an unknown assailant.  Both movies premiered in 2016.

And she even found time to do American television, with a role on "Law and Order: SVU" in 2010.

Isabelle Huppert, below, at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival) is still active at 65.  Her latest film, Eva, was a highlight of the Berlin Film Festival.

Oh, is today Bastille Day? :-D

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect, July Actress Edition: Terry Farrell

I can't believe I haven't revisited Terry Farrell since October 2006.

Although her role in "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" made her more famous than she already was for her movie roles, Terry Farrell decided to retire from acting to concentrate on raising her family while married to actor Brian Baker.  After they divorced, she began dating and married . . . Adam Nimoy, Leonard Nimoy's son.  And yes, the press called it a "StarTrek-crossed romance."

She made a comeback of sorts in the science fiction TV series "Renegades" in 2017.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect, July Actress Edition: Donna English

Donna English has remained active in the theater since I last featured her here in May 2013.  Not only has she appeared in the original Broadway production of Living On Love, she's done The Unsinkable Molly Brown in Denver and in St. Louis, and she appeared in San Francisco production of Roman Holiday, a musical of Cole Porter songs.  One of her co-stars in the latter production was Georgia Engel (you remember Georgette on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"?  her).  

The picture above is a color version of the black-and-white photo of Donna English that I previously featured.  And about time too. :-)   

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect, July Actress Edition: Catherine Deneuve

And how can I not include Catherine Deneuve, still France's greatest film star (and still my all-time favorite actress) after all these years, in this month-long retrospective?

Exquisite, no? :-D

The first picture is from 1966, and the picture immediately above is from 1982, but since we're in the twenty-teens now, why don't I concentrate in her film work in this decade?

One of her more recent movies is the 2014 film In the Name of My Daughter, a harrowing real-life tale of a young Frenchwoman, Agnès Le Roux, who became estranged from her mother Renée, the owner of a casino on the French Riviera, and ultimately disappeared; Renée (played by Mlle. Deneuve) had Agnès' disappearance investigated, leading to the trail and conviction of Agnès' husband for her murder.  She also starred in Three Hearts, about a pair of sisters who fall in love with the same man at different times, the man not knowing their relation at first.  Mlle. Deneuve played the mother of the two sisters (and her real-life daughter Chiara Mastroianni, an earlier honoree on this blog, played one of the sisters).

Many of Mlle Denevue's films in the 2010s have been comedies,  such as  Potiche, a 2010 comedy about a woman who takes over her husband's umbrella factory (not located in Cherbourg), and what are now called "dramedies,"such as 2013's On My Way, about a restaurateur who faces bankruptcy and one day just decides to drive off and go on an adventure across France.  (It won her Coup de Cœur award at the Cabourg Film Festival in France.)  In her most recent comedy, 2017's Bonne Pomme (Good Apple), she plays an innkeeper smitten with a man who's run away from everything to open an auto repair shop.  Both Potiche and Bonne Pomme co-star Gerard Depardieu; Deneuve and Depardieu are the Hepburn and Tracy of modern French cinema.  

Still thought of as a perfume model in Middle America, Catherine Deneuve (above, in a more recent picture) made headlines in the United States earlier in 2018, but not for a new movie or even a new perfume; she criticized the Me Too movement for criminalizing innocent male flirting.  The criticism she received hasn't slowed down her career, though; approaching 75 years of age this October, she has two movies in post-production at this writing.

This is my first post to honor Catherine Deneuve on this blog since November 2016.    

Monday, July 2, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect, July Actress Edition: Kristen Bell

A lot has happened to Kristen Bell since I first featured here in April 2012.

For one thing, she's been married to actor Dax Shepard (best known for his role as Crosby in the TV series ("Parenthood") since 2013, and she appeared with him in TV commercials for Samsung cell phones.  Of course, she's been more successful for another television project - the sitcom "The Good Place," starring our heroine as Eleanor Shellstrop, an amoral woman who dies and arrives in a paradisaical afterlife in which she doesn't belong; she tires to be on her best behavior do she can stay.  She also did numerous episodes of "Parks and Recreation" as a city councilwoman.  (Like her husband's old series "Parenthood," both of these sitcoms were and are NBC shows.) 

She's also remained active in movies, having voiced the character of Anna in animated Disney movie Frozen, perhaps the the most successful cartoon movie aimed at girls in the twenty-teens, and she revisited her earlier TV series "Veronica Mars" by reprising the title role in a 2014 movie.  Oh, and she 's played one of the lousy mothers in the Bad Moms movies.

I'd better not wait until 2024 to feature Kristen Bell again.  Because if I do, I will clearly miss too much of her incredible career. :-)     

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect: July Actress Edition!

For the longest time, my month-long looks back on women I have featured on this blog before have primarily concerned models, and some of you may have been wondering why  I haven't spent a month looking back at women in other high-profile professions.  I'm sure a lot of you have been wishing that I'd take another look back on actresses instead.

Your wish has been granted.

For the first time since September 2015, I'm doing a month-long look back at actresses I've featured before.  And why not? Many of the actresses I will be looking back on this July of 2018 have merely added to their already impressive CVs since I last featured them here, and there are some I haven't revisited for far too long.  So this retrospective series is long overdue.

Oh yeah, one thing - I will not be revisiting the former Meghan Markle, now the wife of Britain's Prince Harry.  Too easy. :-D   Anyway, I featured her not too long ago, in May 2017, and she's  obviously not going to be making any more movies or TV shows.  I won't close the door on featuring her again, but I'd personally like to take a break from Meghan-mania.

Meanwhile, I have an ID for the model from a Target ad that I recently featured.  She is Maria Borges, an Angolan model who is considered the leading top model from Africa today and who has walked the runways for every designer imaginable.  I'll be revisiting her and have more specific information on her soon enough. :-)  Thanks to "Divalocity" for the ID.  

Right. I'll be back with my first retrospective post for the month tomorrow, concerning an American TV actress who is not married to anyone in the British royal family.   

Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect: Gisele Zelauy

Brazil's Gisele Zelauy is known for being a model of high class and sleek sophistication, and she certainly deserves the reputation, but what if she dropped that highbrow image and went for a more festive look?

Well, she's done that.

She pretty much wears all the colors of the rainbow here, with a nice fluorescent theme.  She may be a little overdressed for Carnival, but she definitely looks like that woman from Rio! :-D 

June may be over, but I have a whole month of more retrospectives for July - this time, actresses instead of models.  Back soon.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect: Tara Shannon

Tara Shannon, whom I last featured here in April 2017, has been called the woman of thousand faces.  But I think I say, without fear of contradiction, that her loveliest face is her own.

She's so confident of her own beauty in this pose that she holds a lipstick canister like she doesn't really need lipstick to be beautiful . . . like she's only modeling lipstick because, hey, that's her job.

No one could ever accuse Tara Shannon of not being confident.  That's why, now in her sixties, she promotes the need for an active life and a positive attitude for people over fifty and continues to model on a regular basis.  

I'm in my fifties now.  She's certainly an inspiration to me. :-) 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect: Catherine Roberts, A Model For All Time

Catherine Roberts may not do ads for Chico's right now, but she's still active as a model.  She remains one of those incredible women who grow more beautiful with time.

Don't believe me?  Well, here's a picture of her from May 2018.

I thought that would quiet you down.  In fact, this image made me speechless. :-) 

Catherine Roberts - who, of course, is a friend of mine - has left me speechless on many an occasion. :-)

You may very well agree when you see this modeling video she has out now . . . and hear her cool, sophisticated voice.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect: Catherine Roberts for Chico's (Again)

Although I last pictured Catherine Roberts in December 2017, these pictures are more of a sequel to my look back at her in June 2016.

Like that earlier post, this blog entry features our heroine in clothes from the women's-clothing retail chain Chico's.  And, like my earlier post, this one provides ample evidence that Catherine Roberts can look great in anything.  

These pictures are also from 2016.  Don't bother looking for more pictures of Ms. Roberts on the Chico's Web site; they've long since been replaced by photos of other models wearing the latest styles from the chain.  Well, those things happen.   That's why I made it a point to save as many Chico's photos of Ms. Roberts as possible for this blog.

My only regret is that I couldn't save any more than I did.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect: Maria Hanson

I'm closing out June with some looks back on models I've featured before, and who should turn up but Swedish model Maria Hanson! :-D

Maria Hanson, also known as the Maidenform Woman, appeared in other guises, as in this intriguing James Moore picture of her applying eye shadow . . .

. . . or in this pensive photographic study.  (Both the picture above and below are from the early eighties.)  

Maria Hanson, whom I last featured here in February 2016, has largely retired from modeling, but she still looks beautiful even today, as evidenced below.   

Some people just know how to age well. :-)  

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Beauty of Anonymity: Unidentified Target model

I found this picture of this young, attractive model in an online ad for the Target discount store chain.

I have no idea who she is or what her name is, but her beauty alone is enough to warrant her inclusion here. Again, if anyone can identify her, please leave a message in the comment section on this blog entry. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Beauty of Anonymity: Unidentified actress in Dewey Stevens commercial

Wine coolers are to alcoholic beverages what the Pontiac Fiero is to cars or what Members Only jackets are to fashion - relics of the 1980s that no one really cares about any more.  But wine coolers, unlike the Pontiac Fiero or Members Only jackets, inspired a lot of clever commercials to give wine-cooler brands, usually given made-up names, some distinction.  There wasn't actually anyone named Dewey Stevens, but ads for the wine cooler of that name played on the idea that Dewey Stevens was a real individual that people knew personally.

One Dewey Stevens ad, which is embedded in this post, in particular was downright hilarious.  A very attractive blonde in a bar (below) claims to know Dewey Stevens and credits him for helping her escape from aliens who took both of them to the planet Ribnok.  "They took me because of my personality," she says.  "They took Dewey too because he's got a great wine cooler - made with passion fruit!"

Her story - and her sound-effects dramatization of it - clear the bar out in a flash, but she saves the best laugh for last - when she informs us how many sisters she has, the bartender's reaction is priceless.

A daring ad - because the last person you normally want to sell an alcoholic beverage is an unhinged woman who may have had a few too many of your wine coolers.  

See the commercial for yourself! :-D

If the Internet had been available for civilian use in the eighties, the "Who's That Hot Ad Girl?" site might have been around to identify this comely comedic actress, but her name has long since been lost to history. Or maybe not.  If anyone can identify this actress by name, after having seen this commercial, please let me know in a comment on this blog entry.  :-)  

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Australian actress Mia Wasikowska

Mia Wasikowska is not yet thirty as of this writing, an she already has a formidable record as an actress.

The daughter of a Polish photographer who immigrated to Australia (her mother - Mia Wasikowska goes by her mother's surname), she gained notoriety as an abused daughter in 2009's That Evening Sun, for which she was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for best supporting actress, and she had already debuted on American television for playing a suicidal gymnast in HBO's series "Treatment."  She thus established herself as actress open to playing difficult roles.

The same year that That Evening Sun was released, Mia Wasikowska also appeared in Amelia, a biodrama about lost airplane pilot Amelia Earhart, as another aviation pioneer - Elinor Smith, who set several endurance and speed records in flying.  (Smith was still alive at the time of Amelia's release, at age 97.)  The next few years were pretty busy for Ms. Wasikowska, playing the title role in Tim Burton's 2010 version of Alice In Wonderland, playing  Joni, a daughter of a lesbian couple who seeks out her biological father, in 2010's The Kids Are Alright, and the title role in a new version of Jane Eyre - a bit of a coincidence for a girl who grew up in the New South Wales town of . . . Bronte. :-D

Mia Wasikowska remains active today, having recently played Alice in 2016's Alice Through The Looking Glass, and at this writing she is set to appear in the psychological thriller Piercing, based on a novel by Japanese author Ryū Murakami.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

British actress Wanda Ventham

Do you think aliens would invade the earth for a glimpse of Earthling feminine beauty?

Definitely, if they knew they would encounter someone who looked like Wanda Ventham.

Wanda Ventham is a British actress best known for her role in science-fiction TV shows.  She's best known for her role in the British series "UFO," as Colonel Virginia Lake, an operative for a military force commissioned to save the world from woman-needing Martians - the force was called Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defence Organisation. Or, as those of us in America would write it, Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defense Organization.  So everyone instead called it by its acronym, SHADO.

Who knows how hot Colonel Lake was ?  The SHADO knows! :-D 

And, if you want to get technical about it, the show's name was pronounced "YOO-foh" in Britain.

Ms. Ventham also played different roles in the long-running "Doctor Who" series.  She had a knack for science fiction in the movies as well; in 1968's The Blood Beast Terror, she had a dual role as a female character and as a the giant moth that terrorizes the populace.

These days.Wanda Ventham is known by another role: actor Benedict Cumberbatch's mother. His father, Ms. Ventham's second husband, is actor Timothy Carlton, whose last name is really Cumberbatch but who goes by just his first name and the first of two middle names.  Now in her eighties, she remains active ans has appeared in TV shows and movies, including the 2016 cinematic adaption of "Absolutely Fabulous," as well as with her husband as Sherlock Holmes' parents in an episode of "Sherlock."  

Sherlock Holmes, of course, was played by . . . Benedict Cumberbatch. :-)  

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Actress Liv Tyler

Liv Tyler is an actress who can claim two links to rock royalty.

Born in 1977 to model Bebe Buell, then the live-in girlfriend of rock star Todd Rundgren, she found out later that Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler was in fact her biological father, a role Rundgren, her adoptive father, assumed for the sake of appearances.  Liv legally changed her surname from Rundgren to Tyler as a result.  Ironically, Tyler was no more her father's original surname than her own; his original surname is Tallarico.      

Anyway, Liv Tyler could have been a singer like her two dads, but she became an actress instead.  She first gained notoriety in 1996's That Thing You Do!, a Tom Hanks-directed movie about a fictional rock band from Pennsylvania in 1964 aiming for stardom. Liv played the girlfriend of one of the band's members. 

Later roles included a part in Robert Altman's 2000 movie  Dr. T & the Women, as one of the girlfriends of the title character (played by Richard Gere) and her role as a therapist in 2007's Reign Over Me, a comedy-drama about the aftermath of 9/11.  Her best known roles are as Grace Stamper in Armageddon, a 1998 disaster movie about a giant meteor about to hit earth, and as Arwen Undómiel in three Lord of the Rings movies.

More recently, Liv Tyler has done smaller films, such as 2017's horror-fantasy film The Wildling.

Fun fact: "Liv" is not short for Olivia; Ms. Tyler was named for Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann  (an earlier honoree on this blog).

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Model Sara Sampaio

Sara Sampaio is one of the most popular models of her generation.

Best known for her Victoria's Secret ads (and that's all I'm going to say about that!), she's also been a spokesmodel for the Italian fashion brand Calzedonia and the Israeli beauty company Moroccanoil.  She's from Portugal, so it seems logical that she would represent fashion and beauty firms from other Mediterranean countries. :-)

She has also appeared in editorials for Elle, Vogue, and Glamour, and in 2014 she was featured in Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue.

And, like all great beauties, Sara Sampaio looks best without makeup.         

See? :-)

Friday, June 8, 2018

Actress Dania Ramirez

Dania Ramirez is best known for her unorthodox character in the unorthodox NBC series "Heroes," about ordinary people with superhuman powers.

Her character, Maya Herrera, had the ability to emit poison and was able to kill the bride at her brother's wedding when it turned out that her bride was having an affair with a former lover who threatened Maya.  She could activate her power through stress or whenever she wanted to.

She also played Rosie Falta on the satirical Lifetime serious "Devious Maids," about Hispanic maids who work for the rich and powerful Hollywood elite, and, more recently, she has played Cinderella in ABC's "Once Upon a Time" series.

In the movies, Ms. Ramirez has played the mutant Callisto in the X-Men series (shades of her "Heroes" role!), and she played a bicycle messenger in Premium Rush.

Fun fact:  Dania Ramirez was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and emigrated to the United States to study acting, originally settling in New York City.