Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Beauty of Sport, Part Four: Abby Johnston

Whoever said of Olympic medals, "You don't win silver, you lose gold" obviously never won silver.  And a silver medal is something for diver Abby Johnston to be proud of. 

Ms. Johnston, born and raised in Ohio, competed at the 2012 London Olympics and won the silver medal in the women's synchronized three-meter springboard event with her partner Kelci Bryant.

She didn't bother to go for the gold in Rio de Janeiro 2016, preferring instead to pursue medical school at Duke University.  In 2018, she will be Abigail Johnston,. M.D. :-)   

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Beauty of Sport, Part Four: Kim Hill

Kim Hill is a rising star in American women's volleyball.

She joined the U.S. women's volleyball team and helped them win the gold medal at the 2014 World Championships in Italy, being named Most Valuable Player. 

Her specialty is as an outside hitter, which earned her the World Grand Prix Best Outside Hitter individual award in 2016.

An Olympian, Ms. Hill as part of the bronze-medal-winning U.S. women's volleyball teram at the Rio Olympics in 2016.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Beauty of Sport, Part Four: Missy Franklin

Missy Franklin was one of the breakout stars of American swimming at the 2012 Olympics in London.

She won the gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke races, ans she was also part of the winning 4×200-meter freestyle and the 4×100-meter medley relay teams. She wasn't as successful in 2016 at the Rio de Janeiro Games, but she did win a gold medal in the 4x200-meter freestyle relay.

In between, she won six gold medals at the 2013 World Championships in various backstroke and freestyle races.  

Ms. Franklin may be too old - at 25! - to compete at the 2020 Games, but she's already left a legacy that will ensure her place among the great swimmers of the United States.

Fin fact: Missy Franklin was born to Canadian parents in Pasadena, California, and she has dual Canadian/American citizenship.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Beauty of Sport, Part Four: Donna de Varona

Donna de Varona was already a swimming legend before she distinguished herself in the 1964 Olympics, in which she competed.

This photo of her is from the October 9, 1964 cover of Life magazine.  The 1964 Olympics in Tokyo began on October 10.

Though Ms. de Varona made the 1960 U.S. Olympic team, the swimming event in which she held the world record, 400-meter individual medley, was not a women's event at the 1960 Rome Games.  However, it debuted as an Olympic event in Tokyo. She won it handily, and she also was on the wining women's 4×100-meter freestyle relay team. In addition to these gold-medal victories, she'd won gold in the same events at the 1963 Pan American Games in Sao Paulo.

Ms. de Varona went on to be a respected sportscaster at ABC.  She regularly covered the swimming events at the Olympics for as long as ABC News and Sports, the house Roone Arledge built, had the broadcasting rights to the Games.  She's also served five terms on the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and has also been a very vocal activist for Title IX, the clause in the education law that gives girls equal access to scholastic sports.

Fun fact:  Television actress and director Joanna Kerns is Donna de Varona's younger sister.  How do you explain the fact that they don't have the same last name?  Simple: Joanna married someone named Kerns and Donna did not. :-D   

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Beauty of Sport, Part Four: Elena Della Donne

Don't let her romantic name fool you.  Elena Della Donne is one tough cookie on the basketball court. 

Originally from Wilmington, Delaware, Ms. Della Donne played for the University of Delaware's women's basketball  and proved to be an ace in scoring.  She distinguished herself  as a top scorer in the Women's National Basketball Association, first on the Chicago Sky team, and now, as of May 2017, with the Washington Mystics.  The photo below shows Ms. Della Donne in action from her Windy City days.

Ms. Della Donne was a member of the gold-medal-winning 2016 U.S. Olympic women's basketball team.   

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Beauty of Sport, Part Four: Emma Coburn

It was a Kenyan Olympic runner, whose name I can't remember, who said, "I do not enjoy running steeplechase, but they do give medals for it, don't they?"

Which would explain why a nice young woman like Emma Coburn would jump over water and fences.  Because she can get medals for it.

And she has gotten medals.  A middle-distance track runner from Colorado, Emma Coburn has made the 3000-meter steeplechase her specialty, having won the event at the 2014 Continental Cup in Marrakesh, Morocco.

When she won the bronze medal in the same event at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, she set an American record of 9:07.63.

Emma Coburn is also a five-time U.S. national champion in the steeplechase.  She might still pull off a surprise at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. :-)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Beauty of Sport, Part Four: Cate Campbell

Cate Campbell has continued the tradition of excellence in Australian swimming.

She showed her mettle in helping Australia win gold in the women's 4 × 100-meter freestyle relay race at the 2012 Olympics in London and at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Ms. Campbell cleaned up at the 2014 Pan Pacific championships in Gold Coast, the second largest city in her home state of Queensland. With the home-pool advantage, she won gold in the 50-meter "splash and dash" freestyle, the 100-meter freestyle, the 4×100-meter freestyle relay, and the 4 × 100-meter medley relay.

Fun fact.  Although a citizen of Australia, Ms. Campbell was born in the African nation of Malawi and lived there until she was nine years old.  

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Beauty of Sport, Part Four: Kristin Armstrong

Her surname is Armstrong, and she's a cyclist, but she's not related to the disgraced Lance Armstrong (and she's not to be confused with his ex-wife, also named Kristin).

Kristin Armstrong is, in fact, one of the greatest time-trial racers in women's cycling, and she has the wins to prove it.

She won the Olympic gold medal in the women's time-trial thrice in a row - in 2008 at Beijing, in 2012 in London , and in 2016 Rio de Janeiro.

Ms. Armstrong also won two UCI Road World Championship gold medals, at Salzburg, Austria in 2006 and at Mendrisio, Switzerland in 2009.  

Saturday, July 1, 2017

New Series: The Beauty of Sport, Part Four

It's been three years and change since I last featured an all-new series of female athletes on this blog,  and that obviously doesn't count my look back in August 2016 at Olympic athletes I had featured once or more before, so I figured now was as good a time as any to have another one.

I've chosen ten athletes for various sports, such as swimming, track basketball and cycling, among others.  All of them are Olympians, of course, so I'll be featuring, as always, the best of the best.

Okay, then - let's play ball!  On your marks! :-D          

Friday, June 30, 2017

Commentary: June 2017

Before I continue, I just want to reiterate something I believe I've said before about the content of this blog.  That is, some posts are subject to be changed.  I don't mean typos, necessarily.  I mean that I might want to change text in a post or two if I feel the situation calls for it (like incomplete information about one of the women I feature that causes me to amend the original text), or I might want to remove a picture or a whole post altogether.

Case in point: This past January I devoted a whole week to model Clotilde.  I was looking at my third Clotilde post from that week and found myself having second thoughts about one of the two pictures in it, mainly because, since it was an editorial picture from a fashion magazine, an accessory photo had been superimposed on a corner of it, which fashion editors like to do for artistic effect.   I looked at it again, and I decided it looked awkward, so I deleted it.

I keep trying to improve this blog just as I keep trying to improve my Miscellaneous Musings blog, and sometimes that means the amending or deleting already-published posts.  I reserve the right to amend or delete posts as I see fit.  I hope you will understand and respect that.

Back soon. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Gail Elliott and Toko

It's been a long time since I've featured either British model Gail Elliott or Japanese model Toko, Ms. Elliott having only appeared once, in January 2013, and Toko having appeared last in October 2012. So - why not feature both of them at once?

This may the loveliest picture showing a pair of models from opposite sides of the world that I've ever found. :-D 

This picture is a lovely combination of red and black.  Whose clothes are they advertising? Right, ask me if I care!

Back soon with another "Beauty of Sport" series. :-)   

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Pam Suthern, 1972

This is probably one of the most provocative pictures that model Pam Suthern, whom I last featured in August 2015, has ever been in.

And of course, it's from an ad for perfume. ;-)

Specifically, Charles of the Ritz perfume.  The ad it came from first ran in the early seventies - 1972 or so.

Charles of the Ritz is gone, but fortunately we have this lovely photo of Pam Suthern as its spokesmodel.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect, Special Post: Catherine Roberts in 'Pearl'

You didn't think I was going to leave it at one post for Catherine Roberts, did you? :-D

My post from yesterday (June 23) was so long, I had to create another post to focus specifically on Ms. Roberts' latest project, which is undoubtedly her most significant endeavor ever . . . a lead role in a movie.  In the independent movie Pearl, she plays Genevieve Berresford, an Auntie Mame-type figure to her granddaughter, the title character.  Genevieve shows Pearl how to look at fashion and beauty through her own eyes.  (Pearl is played by four different actresses in different stages of her life.) 

The above photo of Ms. Roberts is a still from the film.

Written and directed by Brandon Jameson, Pearl debuts at the 2017 International Fashion Film Festival in La Jolla (pronounced "la-HOY-ya"), California, which runs from July 20 to July 22.  The festival promoters give out awards for best acting, directing and the like at the end of the festival, and, yes, our heroine has been nominated for Best Actress. :-) 

So, yes, this is a big deal, for Ms. Roberts and for everyone else involved.  And now you can understand why this big news demanded a separate post.       

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Beauty of Retrospect: Catherine Roberts

Here's a model I can identify without question, the extraordinarily lovely Catherine Roberts. As always, a lot of people recognize her on sight, given all the print ads she's been in over a long career.  But, also as always, not too many of them can identify her by name.  Which is why I'm here once again to correct that situation, with some more photos from her glamour advertising.

The above photo is from an ad for Ciani jewelry, specifically earrings.  As if I'd notice. ;-)  But her face clearly suggests that it could be from a cosmetics ad.  The photo immediately below and the TV-commercial still below that are from cosmetics ads, print and TV, and both for the same cosmetics brand - Helena Rubenstein.

The above photo, taken by Richard Avedon, shows our heroine with an elegant, dignified look, while in the picture below, she displays a little mischievousness. ;-)

Was the commercial this picture was taken from for Helena Rubenstein lipstick?  Blush?  Nail polish?

All of the above, actually. :-)

And there aren't too many models like Catherine Roberts who could sell all three at once. :-)

And she still has that same allure today, as evidenced by the photo below from May 2017.  The photo is my own. :-)

You can see her now (2017) in a commercial for Toyota's new C-HR crossover car, seen below.  She's at the very beginning. :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Beauty of Anonymity: Buf-Puf Model

The caption in the ad below, for Buf-Puf facial sponges, reads, "Inside every skin there's a beautiful skin waiting to get out!"  And in every beauty ad there's a beautiful model waiting to be identified!

Too bad I can't identify this model.

This ad is from the mid-1980s, and when I saw this woman, I thought that it just had to be Maria Johnson, whom I've featured here before.  However, I have since been told by friends of mine who know a thing or two about the fashion/beauty profession that this is definitely not Maria Johnson.  None of them know who this is; they only know who it isn't.

So, if any of you out there can identify this brunette model, please leave a comment on this post.

Here's the same picture of the model above in isolation, without the cumbersome ad copy.  Hopefully this will strike a chord of familiarity in someone. :-)    

It sure does look like Maria Johnson.

The rest of this month will be devoted to looks back at previously featured women, then for July . . . another new series of beautiful athletes.  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Model Kim Williams

Kim Williams is a model from the 1980s and 1990s who was quite ubiquitous.

She appeared in numerous fashion-magazine editorials, and according to the Fashion Model Directory Web site, she appeared in editorials in every U.S. edition of Vogue that came out in 1985.

In addition to appearances in international editions of Glamour and Elle, Ms. Williams has appeared in ads for Christian Dior, Jil Sander, and Karl Lagerfeld, and she's also modeled for Gianfranco Ferré (as seen in the photo above) and Yves Saint Laurent (below).

Nice glove. :-) 

Kim Williams was clearly one of the hardest-working women in modeling in the 1980s, even if she wasn't a household name.    

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Model Susan Smith

Susan Smith is another model from the 1980s, distinguished by her short, vibrantly auburn hair.

And the spectacularly stunning dress in the above photo certainly complements her look.

Susan Smith was mostly a jewelry model, being a spokesmodel for the Louis Bartholomew brand. In the photo below, taken from a Louis Bartholomew ad, she looks positively divine.

Biographical data on her is scant.  She is not to be confused with the Playboy model of the same name. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Model/actress Von Gretchen Shepard

Despite the civil rights movement of the 1960s, beauty pageants remained racially segregated in the United States, even after virtually every other facet of life had been integrated.  So the Miss Black America pageant was created in 1968 in response to the lily-white "mainstream" version held every September in Atlantic City (and the first one was even held in the same city as the Miss America contest).  And Von Gretchen Shepard, the seventh Black Miss America, is one of the best-known winners.    

Von Gretchen Shepard, Miss Black America 1975, defied the myth that beauty queens only go on to become former beauty queens.  She quickly became a top model and soon thereafter became an actress, appearing in musicals. and in shows as different as "Baywatch" and "A Different World." 

As for the Miss Black America pageant, that's still going on, despite Vanessa Williams having broken the color barrier at the so-called mainstream Miss America contest by becoming the first black Miss America.  Neither the diversity of the Miss America contest nor the smaller profile of the Miss Black America contest, though, has hurt Von Gretchen Shepard's status as an impeccable role model.

Oh yeah, she also went to Harvard.   

Friday, June 16, 2017

Business TV reporter Courtney Reagan

If you want to know how the retail business is doing, watch for Courtney Reagan on CNBC.

Courtney Reagan reports on retail for the consumer/business cable channel.  She's been a general assignment reporter for CNBC since 2011, after having been on the NBC news-desk staff. She also contributes to other programs on the National Broadcasting Company's broadcast-network news programs, as well as to PBSs "Nightly Business Report." 

Courtney Reagan is all business . . . and all broadcasting.  She has  bachelor's degrees in finance and mass communication from Miami University in Ohio.  Her work experience in the former field comes from haivng worked at Merrill Lynch, and her mass-communication CV includes a stint at ESPN.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Actress Deirdre Quinn

Deirdre Quinn is an actress whose breakthrough role in the movies was more than a consolation prize. 

She played Miss Texas (although she's originally from the Philadelphia area)  in the 2000 comedy Miss Congeniality, which starred Sandra Bullock as an undercover FBI agent posing as a beauty contest entrant to thwart a terrorist plot at the pageant.

Deirdre Quinn also played Tina, a friend of Ali Larter's character Niki Sanders, on the sci-fi television series "Heroes," a series about people with superhuman powers.

Having married in 2004, Ms. Quinn has not been active as an actress since 2008.  But here's hoping we see her again soon. :-)    

Monday, June 12, 2017

Model Melissa Peterson

Melissa Peterson is a model who could have won an Elizabeth McGovern lookalike contest. :-)

In fact, Ms. Peterson, a face of the eighties, was most active at the time Elizabeth McGovern was making some of her best-known movies, so the "short-hair cute look" was definitely popular back in the 1980s. 

Specifically, Ms. Peterson was at her highest profile during the middle of the decade, when she was a client of the Prestige Promotion agency in New York. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Model Michele Parker

There don't seem to be too many places where Michele Parker wasn't working as a model.

Ms. Parker, who was active in the mid-eighties, was represented by no fewer than four agencies in five different cities - New York, London Paris, Chicago and even Dallas - in a four-year time frame.

She was mostly with Elite through its London and Chicago offices, but she was also represented by the Prestige and Wilhelmina agencies. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

TV newswoman Sheree Paolello

Originally from Cincinnati, Sheree Paolello envisioned herself as a big-time television reporter in a major TV market such as New York or Chicago.  But on her way there through TV reporting stints in South Bend, Dayton, and Charlotte - mostly covering crime stories - she didn't realize that the road to success would take her back home.

In 2002, she got a job as a general assignment reporter for WLWT-TV in the Queen City, as Cincinnati is sometimes called, and  eventually worked her way up to weekend anchor, then to anchoring the 5:00 PM weekday report job.  Ms. Paolello is now regularly seen in the Greater Cincinnati Tri-State area at 5:30 PM,  6:00 PM and 11:00 PM. And she doesn't regret missing the big time of a Big Apple or Windy City gig.

"I feel very lucky to be doing what I love in the city that I grew up in," she says on her WLWT page.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

TV newswoman Wesleigh Ogle

Don't even think that I'm going to write a godawful pun on her name!

In all seriousness, Wesleigh Ogle has been a reporter for Portland, Oregon TV station KATU-TV since April 2016,   Her previous broadcasting experience in the Beaver State was at KVAL-TV in Eugene, where she was the morning anchorwoman and produced and edited the 12:00 noon report, as well as anchoring that, and at CBS affiliate KCBY-TV in North Bend.

Ms. Ogle is an alumna of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and she had a TV news internship with WFAA-TV in that city.   

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Actress Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle is a queen of American TV who could end up being a royal princess.

The actress, whose exotic looks come from her white father and black mother, stars as Rachel Zane in the TV law drama "Suits," on the USA network.  Rachel Zane is a paralegal who aspires to go to law school and makes it into Columbia.  Ms. Markle also played FBI agent Amy Jessup in two episodes of the sci-fi thriller series "Fringe."

These days, she's best known by folks who don't watch a lot of TV as the girlfriend of Britain's Prince Henry of Wales, better known as Prince Harry.  And, from all accounts, the House of Windsor approves.

No sense in getting excited over the prospect of a Queen Meghan - Prince Harry is fifth in line to the British throne, so the odds that he will one day be King Henry IX are pretty long.

Fun fact: Meghan Markle, like her "Suits" character, was named Rachel.  Meghan is actually her middle name.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Model Anni Lings

Anni Lings is a model from the 1980s.

She spent most of that decade being represented by the Wilhelmina agency in New York, though she had worked in London before that.

In the latter part of the decade, she was also represented by Elite Elegance in New York and the Reinhard agency in Philadelphia. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Model/actress Doutzen Kroes

Doutzen Kroes is a top model from the Netherlands, a country known for producing some of the biggest names in modeling.

Not only has she been a regular in the Victoria's Secret lingerie catalog, but she has also appeared on the covers of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire, and even Time, a magazine not known for haute couture. ;)

Her biggest achievement as a model was appearing on the covers of four international editions of Vogue simultaneously, on the September 2013 issues.

Doutzen Kroes has also worked as an actress. She appeared in the 2011 movie Nova Zembla, about Dutch sailors Willem Barentsz and Jacob van Heemskerk, who were looking for the Northwest Passage in the late sixteenth century and ended up stranded on a Russian island in the Arctic. She played Catharina Plancius, an astronomer's daughter who reportedly had an affair with one of the crew members.  She also plays an Amazon warrior in the 2017 Wonder Woman movie. 

Fun fact: Doutzen Kroes is active in promoting and preserving Frisian, an obscure Germanic language spoken in the Netherlands. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

TV newswoman Hallie Jackson

Hallie Jackson has been an NBC/MSNBC correspondent since 2014.

Originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Ms. Jackson started her career at WBOC-TV, a small station in Salisbury, Maryland, before moving to CBS affiliate WFSB-TV in Hartford in 2008, the year Barack Obama was elected President.  She likely had no idea that she'd be at NBC covering the 2016 presidential campaign. 

After a brief stint as a generic reporter for local-news broadcasts for over two dozen stations owned by the Hearst Corporation beginning in 2012, she joined NBC News.  During the 2016 presidential campaign, she covered Ted Cruz's White House bid.  In addition to doing anchoring stints at MSNBC, Ms. Jackson has become NBC's White House correspondent, a job she began in January 2017.  She might want to take advice from Katy Tur (whom I've already featured) on how to handle Donald Trump.

Hallie Jackson is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Johns Hopkins University, holding a bachelor's degree in political science.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Stage actress Emily Hsu

Emily Hsu is another actress who is a common presence on the stage.

Her biggest role to date may be that of reporter Charolotte Dennon in the 2012 production of the Christmas musical Elf.

She's had several theater roles, both on Broadway and on national tours, in plays and musicals such Monty Python's Spamalot, Bells Are Ringing, and Oh! What a Lovely War, as well as the role of Linda Low in a 2003 touring production of Flower Drum Song.  (She's also done a couple of movies, including Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine.)

She even played a snake charmer in the 1997 Broadway musical Side Show, which, alas, not too many people were in a hurry to step right on into.  Too bad . . . they missed one gorgeous snake charmer. :-) 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Stage actress Allison Guinn

Allison Guinn is one of the emerging "funny ladies" of the latest generation of Broadway performers.

She got rave notices for her work in the role of the hapless Lucy Schmeeler in the 2014-15 Broadway revival of On the Town, and she's also performed in several productions of the 1960s counterculture musical Hair.

Born and raised in eastern Tennessee, Ms. Guinn has created a show based on the Appalachian folk music of her upbringing as a tribute to her grandmother, titled The Legacy of Daisy Dean.  It's been described as "an Appalachian Cinderella story, minus the shoes."