I think I’d be frowning too if I had to endure this:
In other news, Cindy Crawford drives a Bentley. (And premium is $4.399 a gallon in Malibu.)
Let’s try a happier location:
I bet she didn’t drive herself to the Globes, either.
I think I’d be frowning too if I had to endure this:
In other news, Cindy Crawford drives a Bentley. (And premium is $4.399 a gallon in Malibu.)
Let’s try a happier location:
I bet she didn’t drive herself to the Globes, either.
I probably don’t need to remind you of the Eighties classic “99 Luftballons” by Nena, which at the time was the name of a band headed by Gabriele Susanne Kerner, though she’d been using the nickname “Nena” since her teens. In the States, Epic released a single with the 1983 German version on one side and an English-language version on the other; the English lyrics are not a translation, but an interpretation, of the German original, which may or may not have had something to do with this cover.
After 1987, the band split up, and Nena reclaimed her name. Although she makes no chart noise on this side of the pond, she’s still making hits at home. Here’s a shot from a 2010 concert in Potsdam:
From her 2009 album Made in Germany, this is the lead single, “Wir sind wahr” (“We are true”):
As you may have figured, she’s 55 today.
Today we, or at least I, celebrate the birth of Turkish model-turned-actress Aysun Kayacı, who is 34 today. Of late, she’s been a presenter on the NTV television network out of Istanbul, and she does have that not-entirely-scrubbed TV-hostess look:
Why “No Coke”? Because of this Pepsi commercial from 2007:
Try that with your diet soda.
The artist formerly known as Valerie Anne Poxleitner — she’s been simply “Lights” since she turned eighteen, about a decade ago — has been creeping into my playlists since I stumbled across “Second Go” a few years back.
Her 2014 album Little Machines won the Juno for Pop Album of the Year. This was the lead single:
And this is what she wore to pick up that Juno:
While “Up We Go” didn’t chart in the States, Little Machines did make it to #34 in Billboard, the best showing to date of any of her three albums.
With Mallika Sherawat, there’s always something going on besides the fact that, well, she looks like Mallika Sherawat:
Worthy wallpaper, yes. But she’s embroiled in yet another scandal:
In rare consonance, lawmakers in Rajasthan have come together across party lines to demand a ban on a Bollywood film called Dirty Politics. Its poster features actress Mallika Sherawat, in very few clothes, sitting in front of the Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha or assembly building.
On the poster, Ms Sherawat strikes a bold pose atop an ambassador car with a red beacon, much like government vehicles used by politicians and bureaucrats.
The lawmakers say the poster attacks the dignity of the House. Raising the issue in the assembly today, Congress leader Rameshwar Dudi said, “The picture of the Vidhan Sabha behind Mallika Sherawat is wrong and in bad taste.”
The offending image:
The Patna High Court had, in fact, banned the film, though the ban was lifted the next day:
Patna High Court had banned the release of Dirty Politics due to some objectionable scenes in the film. As a government lawyer reported, the court heard a petition that sough a ban on the release of the film. The petitioner had informed the court that the film shows Mallika Sherawat draped in the national flag of India, hence disrespecting the flag. Following this, a division bench at the court then ordered the authorities to stop the release of the movie until the objectionable were removed from it. The court had issued a notice to Central Board of Film Certification on this matter.
Which image was, of course, adapted for the poster. Nonetheless, the film was released Friday with Certificate A, for adults only, including a song titled “Ghaghara,” the video of which looks like this:
No word yet on a Stateside release.
“That ain’t Lake Minnetonka,” said Prince, and didn’t take off on his motorcycle without the dripping-wet Apollonia Kotero, second-billed in Prince’s film Purple Rain back in 1984. She had, shall we say, a certain visual appeal:
And she could sing, kinda sorta. The ad hoc group Apollonia 6 performed a song called “Sex Shooter” in the film; a separate music video was issued to promote both the film and the one and only Apollonia 6 LP.
Apollonia 6, the album, might be more famous for the songs that were left off than for the seven that were included. (“Sex Shooter,” released as a single on Warner Bros. 29182, managed to clamber to #85 in Billboard.) All left on the cutting-room floor: “Manic Monday,” later a Bangles hit; “The Glamorous Life,” subsequently a hit for Sheila E.; and “17 Days,” cut by Prince himself and stuck on the B-side of the “When Doves Cry” single.
After leaving Prince behind, Apollonia appeared in the TV series Falcon Crest, cut a solo album, and set up a production company. She’s 55 now. And apart from a touch of the usual middle-age spread, she doesn’t seem to have changed much:
Oh, and she was nominated for a Razzie for Worst New Star, but lost to Olivia d’Abo.
This would be the logical place to insert a Still Alice reference, inasmuch as Julianne Moore just won an Academy Award for her performance in that film, but I work diligently at being illogical in these matters, and so I’m invoking the series of children’s books launched by Moore in 2007. “Freckleface,” like Moore herself, wanted nothing more as a child than to get rid of those awful marks on her face; eventually she learned to accept them.
You’ll have to try awfully hard to see anything resembling a freckle in these softish-focus fashion photos, first seen in L. A. Confidential this spring:
Then again, you have to figure that this is Standard Operating Procedure when the subject of the photoshoot is a woman of fifty-four.
I own a reproduction of this vintage poster, in need of reframing:
“Paris shining,” kinda sorta. Jeanne Florentine Bourgeois made her debut at the Casino de Paris in 1895; she was just twenty and given to theatrical routines which were somewhat saucy for the times, and she appeared in both silent and sound films, the most recent being Carosello del varietà, from 1955, the year before her death.
You might infer from the posters that the Mistinguett gams were highly regarded, and so they were: in 1919, it is reported, she had them insured for half a million francs. Actual photographs are not quite so easy to stumble across, but it’s possible. First, an extravagant stage appearance:
And away from the footlights:
Le coup de foudre — “Love at first sight” — was the title of a 1912 short film in which she appeared opposite Charles Lorrain.
“What’s a Website,” asks Francis W. Porretto, “without a few cat pictures?” As it happens, while I was reading that passage, Cat Power came up on the shuffle, and, well, I can read an omen as well as the next guy.
“Cat Power” started out as the name of Chan Mitchell’s band; when she and the band went their separate ways, she kept the name for subsequent projects. She’s been recording now for over two decades; her most recent album, Sun, came out in 2012.
At her best, Mitchell redefines “languorous,” and there’s no more languid version of a Rolling Stones classic than this, from Cat Power’s The Covers Record of 2000:
Yet somehow she’s not lethargic. Go figure.
I mention in passing that she used to date Giovanni Ribisi, but when they broke up, she cut off most of her hair.
I had to follow up on that second link, and this is what I found:
— The Atticism (@theatticism) February 18, 2015
The “gshore” business refers to Charlotte’s leading role in MTV UK’s Geordie Shore, which I assume means to compare Newcastle to New Jersey. As a sort-of-manufactured celebrity, she of course makes the rounds:
Her latest accomplishment, though, is shedding 35 pounds, and not sterling either.
Meet Chantal Claret, lead singer of the band Morningwood:
For contrast, an offstage picture:
Morningwood (seriously) released two albums. “Nth Degree” is one of the few songs I can recall in which the name of the band is repeatedly spelled out, in case you didn’t know who they were. The video, however, is wretchedly clever: I actually spent $2 to get a permanent-ish copy.
After the second album, the band split up, though they reunited briefly in 2012 for a tour with Mindless Self Indulgence. (As it happens, Chantal had married MSI’s frontman Jimmy Urine in 2008.) Her debut solo recording, “Pop Pop Bang Bang,” also appeared in 2012. Today she turns 33.
At some time point while I was seriously undergrown, I had an insufficiently mild crush on Doris Day. I have no idea why; I do know, however, that one day I was watching something she was doing on television, and I couldn’t look away to save my life.
It wasn’t this image:
This is the artwork for a Warner Home Video DVD to be released in April. Curiously, there is a second set, due out the same day, with a different set of pictures, released by rival Universal. It contains Pillow Talk, whence cometh this iconic screengrab:
But by the time I’d seen this image for the first time, I’d already been inundated with pre-adolescent hormonal whatever.
Actress Heart Evangelista stands five foot two. I mention this because she played a dwarf on a Filipino TV series titled Dwarfina back in 2011. A promotional photo from the show:
We concede that Heart, born Love Marie Payawal Ongpauco on this very date thirty years ago, is Not Particularly Tall.
Not that this matters, really:
Back in ought-three, she cut an album called, natch, Heart. This is a track therefrom:
Very Eighties-looking video for some reason.
Of all the red-carpet appearances on Sunday night’s Grammy Awards broadcast, it was Meghan Trainor’s that shook me up the most:
This appears to have emerged from Galia Lahav’s MoonStruck collection, about which the designer says:
As the moon is the spotlight amongst the many stars in the night sky, so is the female’s body when reflected within layers of lace and silk. This collection is a black prism of black shades and shimmers of sheer textured fabric representing a midst summer nights dream. Moon Struck elegantly takes you away to a place of serenity where body silhouettes are revealed as a revolutionary era of evening gowns are born.
Rediscovering the mermaid shape as nymphs once roamed the oceans in Greek mythology, this is like a collection like never before, elegant with movement in the night. Each gown holds the shape to a figure of a goddess.
And then suddenly it made sense. Trainor, as she’s mentioned before, ain’t no size 2; but a goddess appears as she damned well pleases. If you have designs on her, so to speak, here are your marching orders. Keep in mind that she brought her dad to the Grammys.
Deborah Ann Woll, thirty today, is best known for her role as Jessica Hamby in HBO’s series True Blood, and this is how she started:
In her human life, Jessica was raised in a strict, devout Christian family in Shreveport, Louisiana. Jessica and her younger sister Eden were homeschooled and only allowed to go to Bible study and clarinet lessons. Her father would often beat Jessica with his belt to punish her for her faults. Jessica’s mother was oblivious to this abuse — in a later episode, Jessica attributed this to her mother’s “stupidness”. Jessica resented the restrictions of her life dearly and secretly developed a rebellious attitude to her father’s dominance. Shortly before her appearance in True Blood, she chooses to sneak out after her bible study to attend a friend’s party. In events off-screen, she was subsequently captured by vampires and brought to the scene of a vampire trial, where the Magister, the enforcer of vampire justice, intended to use her as part of a sentence for a vampire on trial.
Of course, that “human” life was superseded by her existence as a vampire in her own right:
Outside of True Blood, Deborah Ann seems pretty normal:
In the unlikely event that she tries to put the bite on you, tell her that you’re just totally full of gluten.
Next up: as Karen Page, secretary to Daredevil, The Man Without Fear.
We begin with a word of wisdom:
To be a good model isn’t really about good looks. It’s about work ethic. A lot of people aren’t really that pretty, but they’ve got something, maybe a good personality — an indefinable something.
Daphne Selfe, born in 1928, wasn’t overly impressed with herself as a model when she started in the 1950s: “I wasn’t anything very special — I was a big, horsey girl — but I managed to earn my living modelling.”
She went into semi-retirement shortly thereafter, to raise her three children. After her husband died in 1997, she took an assignment from trendy British label Red or Dead. This led to an appearance in Vogue, in a feature on older models, and the offer of a contract with major London modeling agency Models 1. She’s scarcely slowed down since.
Still working the cleavage at eighty-six. She can’t wear heels anymore, though. And she can’t abide the thought of facelifts: “I haven’t had anything done,” she says, “because your entire history is in your face.”
So says James Bond (Sean Connery) to Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi) in a bed scene in From Russia With Love, the second and last of the purely dramatic Bond films. (From Goldfinger apparently until infinity, you could always see the finger pressing the Irony button.) Says Tatiana: “I will tell you … in the morning.” Pretty shrewd for an ingenue.
Bianchi, first runner-up to Miss Universe in 1960, was born in Rome on this day in 1942; at 21, she was, and is, the youngest actress ever to play a leading Bond girl. And if it seems odd that an Italian woman should be playing a clerk at the Soviet consulate in Istanbul, well, consider that Bond’s contact in Turkey, Ali Kerim Bey, is played by, um, Pedro Armendáriz — or was, until his death during production. (In the last few scenes to be shot, he was doubled by director Terence Young.)
Her career didn’t exactly take off, though she did get steady work in Europe (and three episodes of the US television series Dr. Kildare) through the 1960s. In this shot, Bianchi is an heiress with the wealthy-sounding name Mercedes, in a film with several titles: for the US, The Balearic Caper, which sounded ever so much more cerebral than the original Italian title Zarabanda Bing Bing.
In 1970, having found True Love with a shipping magnate from Genoa, Daniela Bianchi retired from film; she returned only once, in We’re Nothing Like James Bond (2013), the story of two fiftyish guys who wonder where their youth has gone, and decide that they should try to talk Sean Connery into revealing the secret of immortality. Bianchi, inevitably, plays herself.
Liu Wen, born this date in 1988 in Yongzhou, Hunan, was the first Chinese woman ever to walk the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which surprised her, she said, because the VS people usually prefer women with, um, “big boobs.” But VS also likes towering height, and at five-foot-ten, she’s got that:
In 2013, H&M, acknowledging her casual-but-not-sloppy street style, featured her in their New Icons promotion, and shot her in some of their modestly-priced stuff:
Thirty bucks for those jeans.
Last fall, she wrote a piece for Vogue:
Growing up in southern China, people in my hometown seldom called me piao liang (“beautiful,” informally) because my smaller eyes were a far cry from the wide irises of the most beloved television actresses. Further, I was tall and awkward and tended to dress more androgynously as comfort was always my priority. Towering over classmates, I developed a habit of bending down when speaking to others, as if my back was permanently hunched. Many called me “Mulan,” since I always blended in with the male students much more easily than the female students. Since she was such an honorable and respected character in our culture, I accepted the association quite happily — even if being outwardly “beautiful” was never in my destiny, I at least wanted to personify her confidence.
She describes her personal style as “tomboyish, vintage, and comfortable — with the world.”
Nicole Richie’s ambitions once extended far beyond being Paris Hilton’s TV sidekick for five years, although things have not always worked out for her: she’s had the occasional brush with the law, and her two novels (The Truth About Diamonds, 2006, and Priceless, 2010) weren’t earthshaking, though Diamonds, thinly veiled autobiography that it appeared to be, did manage to climb to #32 on a New York Times fiction bestseller list.
The camera, at least, has been good to her:
By the time that Glamour photoshoot came out in 2012, she’d had two children, Harlow and Sparrow, and married their father, Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden. (In that order, if you care.)
Still, she runs up against the Rodney Dangerfield Syndrome every now and then. Last night on Facebook:
What’s more, the link was borked.
Last time we checked in with Stacey Dash was, um, day before yesterday, in this Vent:
I would argue … that there are better ways to deal with unfriendly tweets than simply to exit the arena and be done with it. One of my favorites is the simple retweet by the attackee, a method that seems to be favored by individuals perceived as being on the right (as distinguished from “left”) side of the political spectrum. Actress and recent Fox News contributor Stacey Dash seems particularly fond of this routine, and she often has occasion to put it to use, since rather a lot of characters think her a traitor to her race, or some such nonsense.
I’ve never seen any of her Fox stuff, not being a regular viewer of the channel, but she definitely calls ‘em the way she sees ‘em on Twitter.
Today she turns 49, which seems improbable. I found this in the archives, from the summer of ’08:
And from very recently, at the New York premiere of American Sniper:
For the record, she’s never sniped at me.
Zooey Deschanel has twice as much to celebrate these days: not only is it her birthday (she’s 35), but the oven now contains an actual bun, for which we offer best wishes to Mom and to dad Jacob Pechenik. All this, of course, prompted an all-too-rare Zooeypalooza.
Clickage yields embiggenment.
Update, 21 January: Zooey and Jacob are engaged. And high time, too, doncha think?
Carol Cleveland, seventy-three today, is best known as the one biological female in the Monty Python troupe. (Not that the others wouldn’t wear dresses from time to time, except maybe Gilliam.)
She was born in London in 1942, and began studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1960, though you may not have known that she spent some of her formative years in Lubbock, Texas:
By 1969 she’d rolled up a fair number of film credits:
But by then Python beckoned. From the second episode, here she is as Deirdre Pewtey, with her husband Arthur (Michael Palin) cowering at the door:
The Marriage Guidance Counsellor (Eric Idle), coming out from behind his desk, will shortly make recommendations perhaps inconsistent with his job description.
Just for the heck of it, here she is with the winning entry in a TV program’s contest to find the best derogatory name for residents of Belgium:
And for the sake of completeness, here she is at the Python 40th anniversary reunion:
Do you think that might be her real hair color? (And does it really matter?)
Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva is not that overwhelming of a name, but it’s hard to fit on a marquee, which may explain how she became Nina Dobrev. Born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1989 — yesterday was her birthday, in fact — she grew up in Toronto. After several years as an unwed teenage mom on Degrassi: The Next Generation, she got the lead in The CW’s The Vampire Diaries, which has run six seasons so far.
I don’t think she’s changed much by all this exposure to the seamier side of (fictional) life. She’s a regular at the Coachella Music Festival, and in this shot from 2011 she looks all of eleven:
The chap with the hat is Vampire Diaries co-star Ian Somerhalder; they dated up until 2013 or so.
Next up: The Final Girls, currently in post-production, about which we can say only this:
Max, a young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, finds herself transported back in time to 1988 and into the world of her mother’s most famous horror movie. Reunited, the ladies must fight off the film’s maniacal killer.
Probably not too serious, I surmise.
Every time I find myself thinking I might be just a little bit strange, I stumble across something like this subreddit devoted to Taylor Swift’s armpits.
The person who created the subreddit has now departed, but now that the Daily Dot has run an article about it, said founder is now speaking up:
Just for a bit of background the sub was created after someone posted a photo of Taylor in /r/taylorswift that had a nice shot of her armpit. I made a comment about how it looked nice and was subsequently banned for “being a creep is not tolerated” So I figured why not make a sub. I posted all the original links (which is why for the first few months of posted they are all by [Deleted] as well) and advertised the sub in relevant other posts. And so the sub grew. I routinely delete my reddit account and start a new one so as to not allow too much info to be displayed on one account.
Since when is “being a creep” not tolerated on reddit? There are some places where it’s mandatory.
And it’s not like this is the only body part of hers that has overly zealous fans: as one commenter noted, “Pretty much every (visible) part of Tay has a sub devoted to it!”
I realize that bringing this up without an actual sample of the wares is an unreasonable thing to do, so here’s a nicely revealing shot from the 2014 AMAs:
I didn’t check to see which other Swift-related subs might have the same picture. I did fish this one out of the archives, in which she gives the impression that she knows you’re looking under her shoulder and isn’t going to let you:
But I do try to keep all my obsessions balanced, so here’s a bona fide, ponified Tay.
After graduating from Sarah Lawrence, Gabrielle Carteris did things like ABC Afterschool Specials, and in 1990, signed on to the new Fox series Beverly Hills, 90210 as demure but passionate Andrea Zuckerman, trying to act so nonchalant in the presence of heartthrob Brandon Walsh (Jason Priestley).
She stayed on 90210 for five seasons — she’d gotten married in 1992, and bore her first child two years later — though she’d return for occasional guest spots. She found lots of one-shot work, including this job that didn’t quite work out:
To be the symbol of the new 24-hour talking Internet, Motorola nominates a virtual woman named Mya, a long-legged blonde, clad in a shimmering silver business suit and displaying spunky hair and a ubiquitous telephone headset.
Her animated figure is showcased in a new 60-second television spot created for Motorola Inc., the cellular telephone and semiconductor giant that is now trying to sell software and Internet services and jazz up its image.
Carteris was hired as the voice of Mya, though the character’s appearance was not based on the appearance of the actress: Motorola’s instruction to the digital-processing house was to make Mya look as human as possible yet still be obviously artificial. The product never got more than a trial run, and was abandoned after a couple of years.
Yesterday she turned 54, which can mean only one of one thing: her first year at West Beverly Hills High School, she was twenty-nine.
The 31st is Mariana Renata’s 31st birthday, and in lieu of trekking through the cold to Baskin-Robbins, I opted to celebrate 31 with her. She’s very inviting when she wants to be:
Born in Paris to a French father and an Indo mother on the very last day of 1983, she studied English literature at the Sorbonne, and somehow wound up in Indonesia as a commercial spokesperson for Lux soap. I assume she’s a good listener:
And there’s that whole modeling thing, which got her occasional film appearances, such as the 2013 South Korean comedy (I’m guessing) Someone’s Wife in the Boat of Someone’s Husband, from which this is definitely not a still:
If you spend more than perfunctory time at the search engines, though, you discover the one bit of infamy in her career: during Australian Fashion Week in 2011, she (presumably unintentionally) divulged, on the runway, the state of her, um, personal grooming. This incident will probably not make her just-above-a-stub Wikipedia page.
Des’ree’s “You Gotta Be” was one of my favorite songs of 1994, and after it popped up in the shuffle, I played it a second time, and started wondering whatever happened to her: she definitely had the songwriting chops, and she was certifiably photogenic, so where the heck is she?
The answer, apparently, is “In Canada, without a recording contract”; Sony dropped her after her 2003 album Dream Soldier failed to make any waves.
One single was issued from Dream Soldier: “It’s Okay,” which barely charted in Britain and never made any headway in the States. It deserved better:
Most of her catalogue is on YouTube from, um, unofficial sources, though she did upload a video of her appearance at cd:uk, which was live in the same way American Bandstand was live. I’m guessing this was taped in 1999, after Ford used “You Gotta Be” in a commercial for the Focus, prompting Sony to reissue the single:
Despite dumping Des’ree, Sony subsequently issued an album called Endangered Species: The Best of Des’ree, which includes some alternate versions from the vault and a selection of live tracks.
Andrew Crossett has been collecting votes for the Best Celebrity Legs of the Year for eighteen years now, and this year, I figured, it was just a question of how far out in front that amazingly tall singer of country songs who no longer sings country songs would end up.
And the answer is not at all, because Crossett’s poll, for the first time ever, ended in a tie. It’s not that the competition came out of nowhere, either, since she won back in ’12. From the winners’ gallery, here are a couple of shots of Emma Watson:
Now that’s the sort of shot we’ve been seeing all year from That Other Young Woman. (But this is not really a stroll: it was shot on the set of Colonia Dignidad, in which Watson plays a German woman in Chile whose husband has been “disappeared” by Pinochet’s secret police.)
I can’t take this sort of thing too seriously — Jennifer Aniston, who didn’t even have the best legs on Friends, won seven times — but I do admit to having a folder on ye olde desktop named “eyecandy.” (For the record, these are the winners.)
The first child of Wayne Gretzky and Janet Jones was christened Paulina Mary Jean, and she’s 26 today. I wouldn’t say that controversy exactly follows her around, but it certainly knows where to find her. A couple of years ago there was a grainy photo of her flipping the bird at a Barack Obama marionette for reasons I know not. And apparently there was some acrimony in the LPGA ranks after she appeared in a Golf Digest pictorial (May 2014), inasmuch as she doesn’t play the game to any great extent:
Her engagement to PGA pro Dustin Johnson, which probably got her the gig in the first place, did not mollify her detractors. Meanwhile, Wayne Gretzky himself reportedly complained to Johnson that perhaps the young man ought to clean up his act.
Paulina’s had a life outside Johnson’s orbit for some time, of course. In this shot, she’s modeling a Jill Stuart dress for the Canadian magazine Flare:
And she sort of had a career as a singer. Her 2006 single “Collecting Dust” appeared in an episode of the MTV series Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. It’s not bad.
But for now, she’s looking towards a new title: Mom.
Today is the 52nd birthday of Dutch actress Maruschka Detmers, who moved to France as a teenager and promptly drew the attention of director Jean-Luc Godard, who cast her in his 1983 film Prénom Carmen:
She continued to work for many years. In 1995, she starred opposite Dolph Lundgren in The Shooter:
Most recently, in 2010, she appeared in a television remake of that first Godard film, titled First Name: Carmen.
She is arguably best known, however, for her role in Marco Bellocchio’s 1986 film Il diavolo in corpo — Devil in the Flesh — as a disaffected twentysomething woman, bored with her terrorist fiancé, who takes up with a high-school student who spotted her outside his window. In the film’s most infamous scene, the kid is discoursing about Lenin’s return to St. Petersburg or some such nonsense; she is unable to respond verbally, as she is, um, otherwise occupied.