Saturday, May 26, 2018

British sportscaster Rebecca Lowe

Rebecca Lowe has left an indelible impression on television viewers as an on-camera host of NBC's Olympic coverage, but she took an interesting career path to get there. 

The British sportscaster originally hoped to become an actress, and she got herself a job on a sports-talk radio station in the U.K. while looking for an agent.  Then in 2002, she entered a BBC talent contest for a reporter to cover "football" that is, soccer - and she ended up winning.

For the next five years, Ms. Lowe did interviews and features on the BBC soccer show "Football Focus" and reported Premier League matches on Saturdays for "Final Score."  She also had her own regular feature, "Football in the Community," on the BBC Sunday soccer program "Match of the Day."  She left the BBC for the Setanta sports channel in 2007, but that channel went off the air two years later.

Ms. Lowe was soon back on her feet, though, as she then joined ESPN's new British channel as a soccer commentator, and she soon divided her time between both ESPN's American and British outlets.  When NBC in the United States began showing British Premier League matches in 2013 in response to a growing American interest in soccer, Ms. Lowe joined the network as a commentator.  Sports Illustrated named Newcomer of the Year in its 2013 Media Awards, even though she was new only to American television.  She had been honing her sportscasting skills back in the mother country for a decade. 

It only made sense that Ms. Lowe would take on the task of hosting coverage of that other great international sporting phenomenon, the Olympics. Her posh accent and her personable charisma have won her fans among Americans who watch both the Olympics and the Premiere League.  She was the Olympic daytime host at the PyeongChang Winter Games in 2018 and will be back for more at Tokyo in 2020. 

Fun fact:  Rebecca Lowe first came to America as a scholarship student at the Mercersburg Academy, a prep boarding school in Pennsylvania.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Japanese actress Meiko Kaji

Meiko Kaji is well-known to movie audiences in her homeland of Japan.

She was first discovered in the late 1960s by Japanese director Masahiro Makino, and she worked with him in a few films before going on to stardom in different film franchises. One of them, Noraneko Rokku (Stray Cat Rock), dealt with young people in trouble with the law.    

Her star-making role was in Lady Snowblood, a 1973 thriller in which she starred as a woman who sought revenge against those who raped her mother and killed her father and brother.  Another notable film was 1976's Yakuza Graveyard, about organized crime in Japan.

Her portrayal of a prostitute in a star-crossed romance film, 1978's The Love Suicides at Sonezaki, was a departure from her usual fare, but it earned her four awards for Best Actress in her home country.  

Meiko Kaji has worked more on Japanese television in recent years, and she's also a singer with twenty-two singles and thirteen albums to her credit, her most recent LP, Aitsu No Suki Sona Burusu (His Favorite Dream Blues), released in 2011.  She turned down offers to appear in Hollywood movies because she is uncomfortable acting in any language other than Japanese.

Fun fact: American director Quentin Tarantino used two of Meiko Kaji's songs in his 2003 martial arts movie Kill Bill: Volume 1.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Actress Veronica Hamel

Ready for another eighties flashback?

Veronica Hamel was considered one of the most beautiful women on American television during that decade.  She played public defender Joyce Davenport on the NBC police drama series "Hill Street Blues."  Joyce the love interest of police captain Frank Furillo (played by Daniel J. Travanti). 

The Philadelphia-born Ms. Hamel started out as a model and even played one in the 1971 movie Klute before making the transition to acting, and almost got the part that went to Jaclyn Smith on "Charlie's Angels."  Joyce Davenport was her biggest role on TV, but it was hardly her only one; she also had recurring roles on "Lost" and the firefighter drama "Third Watch."

Her movie roles include Dr. Kay Hutton in the Alan Alda movie A New Life. She was Alda's character's love interest, repeating the history of her role as Joyce Davenport. :-)  

Fun fact: Veronica Hamel was the last female model to appear in a cigarette TV commercial - for Virginia Slims.  It aired a minute to midnight on New Year's Eve, 1970, as the law banning TV cigarette advertising went into effect on January 1, 1971.    

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Sportscaster Ros Gold-Owunde

If women can play basketball, why can't they cover it as sportscasters?

Rosalyn "Ros" Gold-Owunde covers National Basketball Association games for Turner Network Television, after having been a sideline reporter for the Golden State Warriors in the San Francisco Bay Area.  And when she's not covering the boys, she covers their female counterparts in the Women's National Basketball Association -specifically, the WNBA's New York team, the Liberty.  

So what does a girl who never played professional basketball know about the sport?  Plenty, as Ms. Gold-Owunde played college basketball at Stanford, under the guidance of Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. Tara VanDerveer just happens to know Ros's mom; they were roommates in college.

Ros Gold-Owunde gets her exotic looks - and her exotic name - from her Jewish mother, Pat Gold, and her Nigerian father, Austin Onwude.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Broadway actress Paige Faure

Paige Faure is a rising star on Broadway.

She's had roles in four major musicals in the 2010s: Miss Saigon, Bullets Over Broadway, Cinderella and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. She's been a performer in one role and an understudy for another role in . . . all of them.

So she's certainly been busy.  And with so much devotion to her craft, we can expect to see Paige Faure in a starring role on the Great White Way very soon.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Actress/dancer Emily Dann

Emily Dann is a young entertainer who's already acquired a long résumé.

She's a dancer and actress, as well as a model, and her long list of credit  include a dance sequence with singer Carly Rae Jepsen and actor Harvey Keitel on Comedy Central's "Night of Too Many Stars," a role on the Tom Selleck CBS drama "Blue Bloods," and a music video for British pop singer Nicola Roberts' single "Lucky Day."  She also appeared on "42nd Street" in Spokane and in Reno.  And, like any other actress paying her dues, she's done lots and lots and lots of commercials.

And that's just a small sample of what space will allow me to permit here. :-)   

You can see more - much more - of Emily Dann at her Web site.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Actress/singer Diahann Carroll

Carol Diane Johnson probably never thought she'd be cultural icon when she was studying to be a performing artist while growing up in New York City.

But as Diahann Carroll, she became just that, representing a confident, strong black woman in the many movies and television shows she starred in. She had a lot of support from her parents, although she later told Johnny Carson that her grandmother thought that movies were immoral.  Ha.

She had a role in Carmen Jones, the all-black 1954 contemporary remake of Bizet's Carmen, at the mere age of nineteen, playing a rival to Dorothy Dandridge's title character. That same year, she appeared in the Broadway musical House of Flowers, about neighboring bordellos in a Caribbean setting.

From then on Ms. Carroll became a popular guest on variety TV shows in addition to prominent roles in movies like the 1959 film version of Porgy and Bess, as Clara (although she mimed to another singer's voice), and the 1961 film Paris Blues.    In 1962, she starred as a fashion model in Paris in the musical No Strings and won the Best Actress Tony - the first black woman to win that award.

One of the highlights of Diahann Carroll's career greatest moment was her NBC series "Julia," about Julia Baker, a widowed nurse who works at a doctor's office while raising a son on her own.  It was the first TV series to depict a black female character in a profession other than as a domestic worker.  The series ran for three seasons and 86 episodes beginning in 1968.  Then in 1974, she starred in a movie that, like "Julia," featured her in a first-name title role - Claudine, about a single mom on welfare who falls in love with a garbage man played by James Earl Jones.  The role got her a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

Diahann Carroll has done numerous TV shows and movies over the years, including a star turn on the prime-time soap "Dynasty" that cast her opposite Billy Dee Williams, a classmate of hers from New York's Music and Art High School.  Oh yeah, she's recorded a lot of LPs, mainly of jazz and pop standards.  Is she a cultural icon?  This mere sample of her career should settle that question. :-)

Fun fact: Diahann Carroll was married to singer Vic Damone for nine years beginning in 1987.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Belgian model Sophie Billard

I first noticed - and fell in love with - Sophie Billard when I saw this astonishing profile photo of her on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Magazine's  Fall 1982 fashion supplement.


The photo was for a fashion editorial called "The Seductive Silhouette."  And no model was probably more skilled than Sophie Billard to provide one.

Sophie Billard was a mainstay in the modeling profession in New York for much of the 1980s, working primarily through the Elite modeling agency.  And if you thought she could look hot in a fur coat and hat, she could look downright steamy in a swimsuit!

The photo above is from the New York Times Sunday Magazine's Spring 1983 fashion supplement, taken by Paul Lange.  My only regret in showing it here is that I couldn't feature it in its original color print! 

Her poses ranged from playful . . .

. . . to pensive . . .

. . . to sophisticated . . .

and she excelled with all of them.

These days, she lives in her home country of Belgium, and she hasn't lost the innocent yet seductive look that made her a favorite among New York fashion editors and photographers back in the golden age of modeling.  The photo below is from 2009. 

It's a candid shot, but it could just as easily be part of her portfolio. :-) 

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Actress/singer Candice Accola King

Watch out, she's lethal. :-D

Candice Accola gained fame as a star of "The Vampire Diaries," a series about young vampires living in a town full of lots of things supernatural, based on the young-adult novels of the same title.  Candice Accola played Caroline Forbes, one of the (obviously) prettier bloodsuckers.  The series ran on the CW network for eight years beginning in 2009.  

Her film credits include Juno (starring Ellen Page, an earlier honoree on this blog) and The Truth About Angels, and she's appeared on other TV shows as well, including an episode of "How I Met Your Mother."

She's also a singer, having released an LP of pop tunes, titled It's Always the Innocent Ones, in 2006 (her only album to date). She's now married to Joe King, the guitarist in the rock band the Fray, in 2014, having met him two years earlier. She's now known as Candice Accola King, or just Candice King.  She even appeared on a promotional video for her husband's band's single, "Love Don't Die."

Fun fact: Although her parents are Republicans, Mrs. King is an ardent Democrat.

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Beauty Of Anonymity, Model ID Update: Winnie Hollman and Gunilla Bergström!

Before I get to my new A-Z series of women I haven't featured before, I have an update on the post showing Margrit Ramme with two unidentified models from a 1978 Gimbels department store ad.  My friend Fred DeVito, who made his living in the 1970s taking photos for department stores ads for newspapers, identified Margrit's friends as Winnie Hollman and Gunilla Bergström.

Winnie Hollman, on the left of the photo, is a model from Denmark, while Gunilla Bergström, as you can gather, is from Sweden. 

Of course, just showing them as part of a trio without giving each of them their due is not quite fair, is it?  You can bet that I'll be featuring each of them individually in the not-too-distant future.  Watch for them.  

I'll be back in a couple of days . . .

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect: Eva Voorhees for Royal Silk

I'm always happy to revisit Eva Voorhees, the model who discovered this blog and opened up a new world for me, befriending me and making possible my associations with other models of her generation. :-)

Both of these pictures are from Royal Silk, the one above from an ad, the one below from a catalog.

I can't explain the tweed jacket here either.  I mean, it's from a Royal Silk catalog?

This is my first Eva Voorhees post since June 2015, a time gap that is far too long.  I hope to feature her here again before another thirty-four months pass. 

That's it for retrospectives for now.  An A-Z round of new subjects begins in the merry month of May.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect (and Anonymity): Margrit Ramme With Friends

You all know the ethereally lovely blonde reclining at the bottom of this photo - Margrit Ramme, the evergreen German model who has been a regular subject on this blog (and whom I last featured in December 2017).

But who are her friends?

This photo is from a late-seventies ad for Gimbels Department Store (remember Gimbels?) in New York,  and while Margrit Ramme is instantly recognizable, I have no idea who the other two models are.  Having featured Alison Vietor in July 2011 and then featuring her as an unidentified model in December 2017 without being able recognize her, I am well aware that I might have featured one or both of the other women by name already, and that certainly would be embarrassing, would it?  But then models are so good at projecting different looks, so that sometimes happens.  And need I remind you that Esmé Marshall and Julie Wolfe looked so much like each other that even modeling agents couldn't tell them apart? :-D 

Anyway, I do recognize Margrit Ramme - a dear friend of mine - and that's why I'm featuring this photo here.  If anyone can identify both of or even one of the other two women, please leave a comment in the field below this post. 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Beauty of Retrospect: Esmé Marshall

A few model retrospectives to end the month . . .

First, I'm revisiting Esmé Marshall, someone I haven't featured here since February 2014.  She was one of the most stunning faces of the early eighties, and this photo, with her soft, gentle expression, proves it.   

This picture is from an ad for Lancaster of Monaco skin purifier, a product that the ad says "European women have learned to trust in."  For the record, Esmé Marshall is an American.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Actress Rita Wilson

If being married to a nice man is a matter of luck, than Rita Wilson is the luckiest woman in Hollywood.  She is, after all, married to Tom Hanks.

But Rita Wilson has her own identity as an actress, having appeared in many TV shows in guest roles, as well as movies - mainly romantic comedies.  Among her film credits are Sleepless In Seattle, Runaway Bride, The Story Of Us, and It's Complicated.  She also had a cameo in 1996's That Thing You Do!, a sixties period movie about an aspiring pop band that was directed by . . . Tom Hanks.     

Ms. Wilson is also a movie producer, having produced the surprise 2002 hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  She's also a singer, believe it or not, having released two albums - the first, 2012's AM/FM, being a collection of sixties and seventies pop covers.

No static at all. :-)

Fun fact: Rita Wilson was in an episode of "The Brady Bunch," the one where Greg, as the chairman of a student athletics committee, has to cast the deciding vote on who gets to be the head cheerleader at his high school.  He has to choose between his girlfriend, his sister, or a third girl he doesn't know from Eve.  Rita Wilson played the third girl - and (spoiler alert for those who never saw it!), she got his vote. :-)      

Monday, April 23, 2018

Model Ursula Vincent

Ursula Vincent is a model from the early 1980s.

Biographical data on her is scant, but she was represented in Switzerland by the Fotogen agency in Zurich. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Model Heather Stewart-Whyte

Heather Stewart-Whyte is a British model who can look great in anything from the sexiest black dress like the Rive Gauche number in the photo below . . .

. . . or in a more casual outfit.

Heather Stewart-Whyte was a seventeen-year old governess when got her first modeling job by answering an Elite Model Management ad.  Her first gig was a nice learning experience for her, and she didn't think she was quite ready yet.   She waited to devote herself to being a full-time model when she turned 21, in 1989.

Ms,. Stewart-White - as posh and as British as her double surname suggests - became a runway regular at all of the big fashion shows throughout the nineties, modeling for Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent, among others. Her magazine cover credits include the  Marie Claire and Elle in her native Britain, France, Germany and Italy, Vogue in France, and also Elle and Vogue in Spain.  American covers?  Sorry, I couldn't find any credits for U.S. covers -  I suppose she was just too good for us unwashed Yanks.

She also did ads for Christian Dior, Guy Laroche, and L'Oreal, and she became the first face of Tiffany as well.

You can learn more about Heather Stewart-Whyte - and listen to her incredibly cultured voice - in the video interview with her below.  

She remains active as a model, working through the Models 1 agency.

Fun fact: Her father was a leading member of Britain's Conservative Party.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

MSNBC newswoman Stephanie Ruhle

When it comes to morning news broadcasts, STEPHANIE RUHLES! ;-)

Stephanie Ruhle anchors MSNBC twice on weekday mornings - first the 9 AM Eastern hour solo, then the 11 AM Eastern hour with Ali Velshi.  Originally from Bergen County, New Jersey, Ms. Ruhle started out in banking before switching to broadcast journalism, though she originally covered - you guessed it - finance.  She went to Bloomberg Television in 2011, where she co-hosted the program "Inside Track" (not to be confused with Graham Nash's early-nineties music-based talk show of the similar title) with  Erik Schatzker.  The pair later appeared on Bloomberg's "Market Makers," and she later co-hosted "Bloomberg " with David Westin before making the move to MSNBC in April 2016.

At her current cable news channel, Ms. Ruhle takes a critical eye and a critical voice toward a lot of what's coming out of Washington, and she uses her banking background to expose, in layman's terms anyone can understand, obscenities like financial deregulation and the Republican tax bill.

Her mind and her tongue are equally sharp, and she proves once and for all that acerbic is the new beautiful. :-) 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Special Post: Carol Perkins with Sheila Johnson

Imagine having two of the most prolific fashion models of the 1980s in one astonishing picture.  You don't have to.  Here it is.

Yes, this is Carol Perkins, whom I described as an unsung model of the eighties, with another great model of the decade who wasn't as famous as she should have been - Sheila Johnson, one of my favorite subjects on this blog.  In fact, this was the photo that introduced me to both of them.  It's from the August 1982 Fashions Of the Times supplement of the New York Times Sunday Magazine.  

Photographer Bob Krieger caught these two legendarily beautiful women in this astonishingly glamorous pose.  And the dresses, accentuated by jewelry from Adler of Byzantium, are breathtaking with their large, wide, curved edges.

You'd never guess that they're Calvin Klein dresses.

No matter what sort of dress today's designers come up with today, they're unlikely to find women as classy and as lovely as Carol Perkins and Sheila Johnson to model them. :-)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Model Carol Perkins

Carol Perkins is an unsung figure of 1980s modeling.  While not the household name that another Carol - Carol Alt - was at the time, Ms. Perkins accumulated a very formidable portfolio that made her a major player in her profession.  But it's what she did after her stint as a model and an entertainer that made her a legend.

As one of the biggest stars in the Ford modeling agency, Ms. Perkins appeared in fashion editorials for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, as well as for fashion stories in the New York Times' Sunsay magazine.  She later made her stage debut in a fire-eating segment in Penn and Teller's  Broadway show "The Refrigerator Tour."

Soon after that, in the early nineties, however, Ms. Perkins had a crippling, disfiguring form of brain cancer that almost killed her.  But when came out of surgery to have her tumor removed, she had a great idea for a second act.  Her pet had kept her going through the darkest days of her illness, so she decided to start her own pet-product company.

Her firm Harry Barker sells bedding, leashes, collars and toys for dogs what uses high-quality materials culled from recycled objects.  The Florida-born Ms. Perkins chose to return to the South to set up her company, which is now based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Harry Barker marked its twentieth anniversary in 2017, and Ms. Perkins, who named the business after her own dog, is widely acclaimed for her business acumen and her charitable contributions to the Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital for therapy dogs.  She is a shining example of how someone can start over and find even greater success than the astonishing success that came before. :-)

Here's a clip of Carol Perkins discussing her business with advertising executive and TV personality Donny Deutsch.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Actress Annette O'Toole

With her auburn hair and her light Texas accent, Annette O'Toole has made an indelible impression on the screen, big and small alike.

She first gained notoriety as a jaded beauty pageant contestant in Smile, a satirical film about the pageant world.  Two years later she played Janet Hays, the tutor and girlfriend of an aspiring basketball player, in One On One.  By the time she appeared in a live TV production of Vanities, a play about a trio of women maturing from high school to adulthood, she was quite well-established.

Ms. O'Toole soon found a second home in a fictional place - Smallville, the appropriately named town where Clark Kent grew up before becoming Superman.  She played his old small-town girlfriend Lana Lang in Superman III, and eighteen years later, returned to to that little town to play Martha Clark Kent, Superman's adoptive mother in the "Smallville" TV series.

Ms,. O'Toole is probably best known for playing Beverly Marsh as an adult in the miniseries version of Stephen King's It and as Susan Emerson in "Halt and Catch Fire," a basic-cable period drama series about the beginning of the modern tech industry in the early 1980s.  Her most rewarding role, though. might have been that of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy in  ABC miniseries "The Kennedys of Massachusetts," which got her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress. 

Fun fact: Annette O'Toole is married to comedian Michael McKean, one of the geniuses behind This Is Spinal Tap.  She started singing and writing songs in the early years of her marriage and co-wrote three songs for the folk-music documentary-parody A Mighty Wind, in which McKean, Christopher Guest (who directed) and Harry Shearer reunited as the Folksmen. :-)

And here are the happy couple! 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Model Kathleen Newman

Kathleen Newman is a model from the early 1980s.

Like my previous subject, Nadette, she was active in Germany.  She was represented by a different agency in Munich, though - the Talents-Inge Schuckmann agency.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Fashion model Nadette

Like many models in the 1980s, Nadette only went by one name.

But with that smile, it's obvious that a single name can suffice.  :-)

She was mostly active in Germany, being represented by the Tatjana Lobbes office in Munich.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Reporter and commentator Alexi McCammond

Alexi McCammond is a rising star among young women in journalism.

She started at, a women's news site, before moving to Axios, a news and information site that was founded by Politico alumni Jim VandeHei and Roy Schwartz. Axios describes itself as a site that offers "expertise, voice and smart brevity."

Alexi McCammond has proven her intelligence and incisiveness as a commentator on MSNBC, where she's a regular. :-)  

Monday, April 2, 2018

Model Kathy Massey

Kathy Massey is another model from the late 1980s. 

She was represented by the Reinhard agency in Philadelphia.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Actress/comedian Leslie Mann

Who says that beautiful women can't be funny?

Leslie Mann has been making people laugh since before the turn of the millennium, when she appeared in the dark Jim Carrey comedy The Cable Guy, about an unhinged cable-TV installer.  She met Judd Apatow, one of the movie's producers, and they married soon after.

Other movies Ms. Mann has appeared in are Knocked Up, playing Debbie, the sister of an impregnated woman, and the sequel, This Is 40, which imagines Debbie's own experience with motherhood.  Both movies were made by her husband.  She also had a leading role in Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, based on real-life incidents involving teenagers in Los Angeles who burgled celebrity homes with help from the Internet.  She also appeared in The Change-Up, an adult Freaky Friday involving a family man and a playboy who end up switching bodies.     

Any chance that she'll do a straight high-profile drama?  Oh, no,  Leslie Mann is having too much fun. :-)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Newswoman Carol Lee

Carol Lee is one of the more recent reporters to go from print to television.

Following in the footsteps of the late Gwen Ifill (an earlier honoree on this blog, when she was still alive), Carol Lee joined NBC News (where Ms. Ifill was until she moved to PBS) from a prestigious national newspaper - in Ms. Lee's case, The Wall Street Journal.  She started her NBC gig as a national political reporter in July 2017.

"I have loved working at The Wall Street Journal for six years alongside journalists who are not only as good as it gets at their jobs, but really great colleagues and friends too," Ms. Lee said of her job change.  "I am thrilled to be joining an exceptional team at NBC News and couldn't be more excited to have this opportunity to grow as a journalist in new ways."

Monday, March 26, 2018

Australian theater actress Emily Keane

Emily Keane is a big stage star Down Under.

The Australian actress and dancer has appeared in several musical productions at home and throughout Southeast Asia.

An alumna of the Victoria College of the Arts Secondary School in the Greater Melbourne area, Ms. Keane has appeared in a touring production of Hair and in a production of Aladdin, and she's even performed in a ten-piece pop girl-group in Australia called Dollhouse.

She's also a calisthenics expert. :-)

Friday, March 23, 2018

Model Stephanie Johnson

Stephanie Johnson is another model who was active in the mid-1980s.

She was one of the Elite agency's "New Faces" of 1984 when she joined Elite that year.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Actress Rebecca Hall

Rebecca Hall, an actress of American and British parentage who grew up in England, has something in common with my previous honoree, Gal Gadot: Wonder Woman.

No, Rebecca Hall never played Wonder Woman, but she did play the wife of the man who created that character.  In the 2017 movie Professor Marston & The Wonder Women, Ms. Hall played attorney and psychologist Elizabeth Holloway Marston, whose husband,  psychologist William Moulton Marston, studied both sexes and found women to be more truthful than men overall.  He even invented the systolic blood pressure test, an examination that could tell whether or not a person was being honest. Finding women to be truthful and strong, and surrounded by many women who were both, Dr. Marston created the Wonder Woman character.

I think it's safe to assume how he came up with the idea of her golden lariat and how it forces anyone it's tied around to tell the truth.

Ms. Hall had her first starring role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the 2008 Woody Allen movie about two women vacationing in Spain.  Ms. Hall played Vicky.  Her other roles include Caroline Cushing, David Frost's girlfriend, in Ron Howard's movie about Frost's interviews with Richard Nixon, Frost/Nixon, and a bank manager taken hostage in the 2010 crime thriller The Town.  More recently, in Christine (not to be confused with the movie of the same name based on the Stephen King Novel), she played Christine Chubbuck, a troubled American TV anchorwoman who committed suicide on the air.  Rebecca Hall was nominated for eleven awards for her role in Christine, two of which she won (the Silver Hugo Award for Best Actress the Women Film Critics Circle Award for Courage in Acting).

We can expect Rebecca Hall to be around for awhile. :-) 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Israeli actress Gal Gadot

Not too long ago, Gal Gadot, a former Miss Israel, was associated primarily with action movies that no one - not even action-movie fans - took seriously.  

Ironically, one of those movies - which got a lot of nominations for Razzie Awards, and won most of them - made her a star.

She played Wonder Woman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, a movie that obviously pitted the two title superheroes against each other, and while the movie was not a hit with the press or the public, Gal Gadot herself was still a hit with anyone who saw her.  Someone had the bright idea (and the right idea) to finally - finally - make a Wonder Woman movie, and with Gal Gadot as the star.

Wonder Woman hit the theaters in 2017 and became a huge success.  As of October 2017, the Rotten Tomatoes Web site listed the movie at the top of the list of the fifty best superhero movies ever.  Ever!

She followed that up with another performance as Wonder Woman in the movie Justice League, in which Batman and Superman are on the same side this time, along with Wonder Woman and several other DC Comics superheroes, fighting the bad guys.  A Wonder Woman sequel is slated for release in late 2019.

Gal Gadot is not going to make Baby Boomer and Generation X women forget Lynda Carter, who will always be Wonder Woman to those fans, but she is going to put her own stamp on the role.

As for Lynda Cater . . . no, I haven't included her on this blog yet.  I hope to rectify that soon. :-)