Archive for Rule 5

Demure in gravure

You’re never too old to learn, or at least I’m not, and this phrase crossed my screen for the first time this week:

A gravure idol is a Japanese female model who primarily models in magazines, especially those marketed to men, photobooks or DVDs. Gravure idols, in most cases, emphasize their sexual attractiveness and often model in swimsuits … Contrary to popular foreign belief, gravure idols never appear fully nude in their photos but their poses often can be labeled as semi-provocative.

Gravure models may be of any age but usually range from their late teens to their mid-twenties.

Presumably a cousin to “rotogravure,” in which you were seen in your Easter bonnet.

To illustrate this definition, I bring you Rina Aizawa, twenty-four:

Rina Aizawa sitting in the back seat

Rina Aizawa sitting but not in the back seat

Rina Aizawa obligatory swimsuit picture

I honestly don’t know how I missed that term for all these years, especially since I was an early convert to LaserDisc, which happily vended lots of Japanese nonporn along exactly these lines in the 1980s. A lot of it looked like this:

Like I said, never too old to learn.

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World’s hottest politician

So said Maxim, once upon a time. Mara Carfagna, currently a member of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, started out as an actress and model; in 2004 she entered politics, and two years later won a seat as a member of the party Forza Italia. (Blatherskite Silvio Berlusconi, then in his second term as Prime Minister, quipped that Forza Italia, his own party, practiced the rule of droit du seigneur; this wouldn’t be the first time Berlusconi said something untoward about her.)

Mara Carfagna strikes a pose

For three years Carfagna served in Berlusconi’s cabinet as Minister of Equal Opportunity; when he resigned in 2011, she returned full-time to her seat in the Chamber of Deputies.

Mara Carfagna strikes a pose

And she also blogs. A recent post [Google translation, slightly tweaked]:

A run scored on behalf of all Italians. The OK by the Chamber’s Judiciary Committee to the proposals of Forza Italia who wanted tougher sentences for property crimes, such as robbery and burglary, is a small step forward to make citizens feel safer, or at least to make them feel more protected.

Mara Carfagna strikes a pose

Incidentally, that Maxim list showed up in 2008. (You’d never believe who came second. Or maybe you would. I think I would.)

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Big Shot Becky

Becky Hammon’s #25 jersey is proudly displayed at Colorado State’s Moby Arena. Weirdly, she went undrafted by the WNBA, but managed to get signed by the New York Liberty, which installed her as the second-string point guard. Eventually she worked herself into the starting lineup, and in 2007 she was dealt to the San Antonio Stars.

Becky Hammon as a San Antonio Star

In 2013, she tore an ACL and spent a year in rehab; during that time she looked for a coaching gig, and found one in San Antonio — with the NBA’s Spurs, on Gregg Popovich’s staff of assistants. Said Pop at her hiring:

I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff. Having observed her working with our team this past season, I’m confident her basketball IQ, work ethic, and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs.

Becky Hammon as a San Antonio Spurs coach

This past season’s Spurs finished 55-27 and took the Clippers to seven games in the playoffs before bowing out. This summer, Pop dispatched Hammon to coach the Spurs’ summer-league team in Salt Lake City. They finished 1-2, in a three-way tie for second. (The Jazz won all three of their games to claim the championship.) Undaunted, the Spurs proceeded to the Las Vegas summer-league extravaganza (24 teams!) and won that one.

Oh, and here’s Hammon subtly suggesting that one of the opposing players just might have taken one too many steps:

Okay, maybe not so subtly.

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Grexit sign

I happened to find these two pictures of model Anastasia Perraki, who turns 30 on Monday, and somehow they seem to bracket the ongoing financial crisis in her native Greece. The first is from a local Vogue pictorial, shot in and around a classic Cadillac, circa 2012. Note the invocation in the corner:

Anastasia Perraki in the back seat

More somberly, an official photo of Perraki from her modeling agency:

Anastasia Perraki is represented by Ace Models, Athens

You can almost read it: “Yeah, fine, austerity. Whatever.”

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It’s all in the delivery

Deborah Mailman, forty-three today, was the first Aboriginal to win the Australian Film Institute (now Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts) Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, for her 1998 performance in Radiance. (In 2015, she co-hosted the AACTA award show with Cate Blanchett.)

Deborah Mailman in a pose of sorts, 2012

Deborah Mailman on an unred carpet, 2013

And Mailman truly delivers: she’s been nominated five times for AACTA awards, and won every time.

Among her most notable TV work is Offspring, which ran five years on Network Ten and was cancelled, partially because the showrunners had new projects to work on, and partially because the show had run 65 episodes, meaning no further subsidies from Screen Australia.

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Oh, Denise, ooby-doo

Hmmm. Who’s this getting out of the Benz?

Denise Richards exits a Mercedes

Wait a moment…

Denise Richards exits a Mercedes

Why, it’s Denise Richards, from whom we haven’t heard a whole lot lately. She had a substantial role in Twisted, which ran for 19 episodes on ABC Family but was not renewed for 2014-15. Won’t keep her from her yoga class, though.

About thirty years ago, she was featured in a music video. The Swiss duo Double — which, incidentally, is pronounced “DOO-blay” — made this perfectly wonderful song in 1986 called “The Captain of Her Heart.” The video, which featured the two members plus the occasional glimpse of a sideman, was apparently deemed insufficiently interesting to American audiences, and so an Official US Version was shot:

Denise was fifteen at the time, if the math works out correctly, and why shouldn’t it?

(Title courtesy of Randy and the Rainbows.)

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Turn the Vangsness up to 11

The eleventh season of CBS’ Criminal Minds begins this fall, and of course Kirsten Vangsness will return as FBI analyst Penelope Garcia, a role she says was originally intended for a guy:

The story on Garcia was that they had a man whose name was Garcia. They shot the scenes with all the other characters talking to this man named Garcia. When they looked at the footage later, they suddenly realized that they had this pilot that was going to come out, but it was too guy heavy. There wasn’t enough female characters. So they thought they’d put in these two lines, have a woman come in and say those two lines and figure it out from there.

Even then, it wasn’t much of a role, but she got to put her stamp on it early:

It was just this little two-line thing. I remember they called me and said, “Bring your own clothes because it’s just going to be this one scene.” I’m a size 10-12, and in Hollywood, there’s either a size 0 or a size 22. Middle ground is kind of rare sometimes.

I’m a very creative dresser, so when I brought in my clothes, they said, “Are you crazy? This is the FBI. You can’t wear any of this!”

This was, of course, before they discovered she was so popular they had to make her a regular. And at forty-three, she will still wear what she will:

Kirsten Vangsness at GLSEN 2014

Wait a minute. We need a shot of her in glasses:

Kirsten Vangsness promo photo

Her love life has taken an odd curve, also. Having once described herself as “queer as a purple unicorn singing Madonna,” she’s now on a somewhat straighter path:

My boyfriend and I are going to go on a meditation retreat at the end of April. That’ll be fun. I fell in love with this guy, which is like the craziest thing. I was engaged to a woman. I was perfectly comfortable and happy with the nature of our relationship, but sometimes relationships fall apart. The last thing I would’ve thought was that I would meet a guy and fall in love. But I did it.

And hey, it’s not like she’s been re-routed to the office of Too Frickin’ Bad.

(Quotes from SmashingInterviews.com.)

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General Lee speaking

As The Dukes of Hazzard vanishes from cable channels, the Friar gets what ought to be the final word:

Both TV Land and Country Music Television (CMT) were airing Dukes, but are no longer. TV Land will replace it with reruns of Bonanza, a series free of racism and noted for its enlightened portrayal of Chinese immigrant cooks.

Oh, and comparatively speaking:

For the record, I enjoy Bonanza much more than Dukes, because the latter is very very dumb and there’s only so much dumb Catherine Bach’s legs can erase.

If you’d like to test that latter assertion:

Catherine Bach suitably attired

Now: do you feel smarter? Even a little?

One more try:

Catherine Bach suitably attired

Brilliance surely is within your grasp.

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This is an ex-princess

Given my not-quite-an-obsession with the trappings of royalty, wicked monarchist that I am, it seems only natural to look in on someone who rose to heady heights and then opted for something a bit closer to the ground.

I give you, therefore, Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg, 51 today, who was a full-fledged princess when she was married to Prince Joachim of Denmark, younger son of Queen Margrethe II.

Countess Alexandra

She and the prince were wed in 1995, separated in 2004, and divorced in 2005; she retained the title of Countess, is addressed as “Your Excellency,” and draws an allowance of $330,000 a year. (Their two children are still officially princes.) What broke the couple apart is not officially disclosed, though there has been no shortage of speculation.

Countess Alexandra

Alexandra’s ancestry is gloriously mixed: English and Chinese on her father’s side, Czech and Austrian on her mother’s. She remarried in 2007, to photographer Martin Jørgensen, fourteen years her junior.

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Alsou

Alsou Ralifovna Abramova, thirty-two today, is a Russian singer who is mostly, though not entirely, unknown in the States. This wallpaper with her image dates to about 2004:

Alsou wallpaperized

She made the cover of the Russian edition of InStyle in 2010:

Alsou on the cover of InStyle

Born in Tatarstan, she and her family moved to Siberia when she was a year old. She showed musical promise early, and released her first album in 1999. “Winter Dream” was the first of three singles.

The next year, she turned up at Eurovision with an English-language song called “Solo”:

“Solo” won second place for Russia.

Perhaps her most elusive recording is a duet with Jon Bon Jovi on a 2003 remake of “Livin’ On A Prayer”, which was released to Russian radio with the This Left Feels Right album; for some reason, the Russian CD release contained the same version we got in the States, with Olivia d’Abo instead of Aisou.

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Perhaps a tad less well

Welsh singer Duffy, born on this date in 1984, burst onto the scene in 2008 with two dynamite singles, the forceful “Mercy” and the pensive “Warwick Avenue”; the Rockferry album won her a Grammy in 2009 for Best Pop Vocal Album. She also, I am informed, puts on a heck of a live show:

Duffy in concert

Then this happened:

Cover of Endlessly by Duffy

Perhaps the blame lay with the one and only single released from the album, which seemed to go over well but which charted low in Europe and not at all in the States:

That was October ’10. The following February, her new management announced that there would be no further singles from Endlessly, and that Duffy would be taking a two-year break from the music biz. I haven’t heard from her since.

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Your very best Bai

What always gets me about Bai Ling is that she’s a perfectly serious actress with a perfectly zany side. She’d been acting in Chinese films since the middle Eighties, but made a fearsome debut before US audiences in 1994 in The Crow, in which she played the half-sister and occasional lover of gang boss Top Dollar. She followed this with the female lead in Red Corner, opposite Richard Gere, a role that annoyed the Chinese government to the extent that they actually revoked her citizenship. (She has since become an American citizen.) She says that her scenes in Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith were cut because she’d done a pictorial for Playboy; George Lucas says no, the cut happened before the pictorial was announced.

Much of her online fame, though, is due to Wacky Costumery. Witness this shot from a waiting area in LAX, earlier this year:

Bai Ling at Los Angeles International Airport

This is perhaps less wacky, but since when does a Big International Star (sort of) drive a Volkswagen?

Bai Ling buys a Beetle convertible

She’s also a hoot on Twitter (@RealBaiLing), where she posts news and bits of philosophy and lots and lots of selfies, some in Wacky Costumery, a few in apparently nothing at all. For an example of the latter, look below the jump:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Lost count

Monica Lewis was thirty when she did this number for an indifferent MGM musical in 1952. There are three things you ought to know about her:

  • For a couple of years she was married to record producer Bob Thiele, who at the time was running the Signature Records label.
  • She was the voice of the animated Chiquita Banana, who warned you not to put bananas in the fridge. (I never have.)
  • She did advertising for Burlington, a major hosiery manufacturer, and justifiably so.

Monica Lewis shows some gam

And you may not need to know this: Monica Lewis, who died Friday at her home in Woodland Hills, California, was my oldest Twitter follower. She was 93.

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Away from the news cycle

Fox News Channel has a series called Outnumbered, in which some poor male shlub is parked on the middle of a very long sofa and bombarded with questions by four News Babes with legs to die for. I submit that this has some entertainment value even with the sound off, which I have long contended is the only way to watch cable news channels anyway.

One of the Outnumbered regulars is Jedediah Bila, and while she’s, um, highly presentable on that show — I know this because someone tweets a picture from the show every day it airs — I’m getting to where I prefer her offstage work, a lot of which she sends up through her Instagram account. A few samples:

Jedediah Bila reads

Jedediah Bila at the gym

Jedediah Bila takes it easy

She also is willing to engage on Twitter, unlike some sorta-celebrity types.

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Hola, Susana

Susana Giménez is to Argentina what Oprah Winfrey is to the States: a major celebrity with her own TV show and a fanbase that seemingly hangs on her every word. She didn’t start out that way, of course:

Susana Gimenez on an RCA record sleeve, mid-1970s

This fiercely generic collection of South American hits, circa early 1970s, simply demanded a pretty girl on the cover, and Giménez was working her way up as a model in those days. I know of one track that has survived: “Balada para un gordo” (“Song for a fat man”) by Juan and Juan. Then again, “Gotas de Lluvia caen sobre mi Cabeza” you know under, um, another title. (Thanks to LPCover Lover.)

The television show, first called Hola Susana, started in 1987; Giménez was 43 then and had been acting, mostly in minor roles, for nearly twenty years. The series continues today as Susana Giménez or simply SG.

Susana Gimenez, 2011

Susana Gimenez, 2014

I couldn’t tell you when she quit being a brunette, but it had to be a long time ago. The earlier of these two shots was taken in 2011. And yes, she does tweet:

Apparently the show was giving away this bag.

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Wedged in

Striding through Japan’s Haneda Airport, it’s Amal Alamuddin Clooney in a knit dress by Missoni that InStyle.com described, aptly enough, as “breezy.” My attention is guaranteed:

Amal Clooney at Haneda Airport in Japan

I adore the color scheme. But what they wanted to show you, apparently, was the shoe, so let’s get a closer look:

Espadrille wedge by Valentino

A tricky shoe indeed. If you’re watching from the side, it might look like a jacked-up (four and a half inches) T-strap, but the shoe — “Rockee” by Valentino — obviously lacks the center strap that defines the T. InStyle.com says that it “simultaneously elevated and grounded her look.” There’s also a black version, with the same neutral-colored platform. Either way, it’s $845 at Nordstrom.com.

You may notice, in the full-length shot, the Ordinary Folks trying their best to get a picture of Mrs. Clooney as she walks away from them.

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We can dig it

There exists a strong possibility that you’ve done an impression of Telma Hopkins at least once.

Okay, you’re shaking your head. How does a background singer best known for being part of Tony Orlando and Dawn, later turned actress, fit into your repertoire? Repeat after me: “Shut yo’ mouth.” If this in any way sounds like you’re replying to Isaac Hayes intoning “You say this cat Shaft is a bad muthah,” you’ve just done an impression of Telma Hopkins, whose voice is out front on that line in Hayes’ original Theme from Shaft.

Before working with Hayes, Hopkins was based in Detroit, where she sang for Berry Gordy at Motown and for crosstown rival Eddie Wingate. After Orlando hit with “Candida” with two studio singers, management figured out that he’d need a touring group, and hired Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson.

This little orange number comes from the days of Half & Half, a successful (for UPN, anyway) comedy that didn’t get picked up when The CW was created:

Telma Hopkins at the 15th Annual Night of 100 Stars

And this is just a classic reaction shot:

Telma Hopkins on TV Land

And Telma’s still busy, with continuing gigs on Are We There Yet? (TBS), Lab Rats (Disney XD), and Partners (FX). In the latter, she plays Martin Lawrence’s mom. In real life, they’re 16 years apart. (Lawrence turned 50 this spring.)

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Beautifully thawed

There are three and a half things I greatly admire about singer Idina Menzel: she’s an old-school belter in the classic style; she’s very easy on the eyes without looking like Queen Elsa of Arendelle, her major behind-the-scenes role; and she has an impish sense of humor.

First, some belting:

The best song from Wicked? We report; you decide.

On the purely superficial appearance front:

Idina Menzel in Billboard

Idina Menzel takes a breather

Then there was that moment at the 86th Academy Awards. (She sang “Let It Go” from Frozen, which won the Oscar for Best Original Song.) This was the night when John Travolta utterly bollixed up her name, introducing her as “Adele Dazeem.” Menzel, unruffled, had the Playbill for her then-current Broadway run in If/Then reprinted:

“Nert,” in case you’re wondering, is an anagram of Rent, and you can see what she did with Frozen.

And in the 87th Academy Awards show, Travolta and Menzel got to announce the Best Original Song: Menzel introduced Travolta as “Glom Gazingo.” This is the very definition of “Well played.”

The only downside: she and Taye Diggs, whom she met during Rent, divorced in 2014 after ten years and one child. Upside: she starts her World Tour today, her 44th birthday.

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Forever foxy

Forty years ago:

Pam Grier on the cover of New York magazine

Then the queen of so-called “blaxploitation” films like Coffy and Foxy Brown, Pam Grier left an indelible stamp on the industry; Quentin Tarantino argued that she might have been the first female action star in cinema, and she proved that she still had the stuff in his Jackie Brown in 1997. She’s kept busy ever since, perhaps most notably with six seasons of Showtime’s The L Word. Here we see her in a panel discussion from 2014:

Pam Grier talks acting

Still got that smile, yes indeed.

Oh, and she’s in Grand Theft Auto V: she’s the DJ from The Lowdown 91.1. Today she turns sixty-six.

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Out to pasture

Maggie Gyllenhaal wore this Dolce & Gabbana gown to the 2014 Tonys:

Maggie Gyllenhaal at the 2014 Tonys in Dolce & Gabbana

Perhaps not the most flattering look for her. Let’s try something a little less formal:

Maggie Gyllenhaal in a 2014 photoshoot

Now this is the point at which things get weird:

Maggie Gyllenhaal, an Oscar nominee getting Emmy buzz for her work on the Sundance miniseries The Honourable Woman, revealed that she was recently turned down for a role in a movie because she was too old to play the love interest for a 55-year-old man.

No kidding.

“There are things that are really disappointing about being an actress in Hollywood that surprise me all the time,” she said during an interview for an upcoming issue of The Wrap Magazine. “I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made me feel angry, and then it made me laugh.”

As a man who was 55 seven years ago, I think this is ridiculous.

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No place for a face

Lindsay Ellingson, thirty and tall, meets the general definition, as once specified by David Letterman, of “leggy supermodel.” But this sentence from her Wikipedia page, describing her work for Victoria’s Secret, somewhat messes with my head:

In 2011, she became one of the brand’s signature Angels, as well as the face of its perfume line VS Attractions and its new bra, Gorgeous.

I really, really don’t want to imagine someone being the face of a bra. Really.

The actual introduction, however, seems kind of prosaic:

Lindsay Ellingson introduces the Gorgeous bra for Victoria's Secret

Um, okay. (By the way, her eyes are up there.)

Last week at Cannes, by comparison, she was downright futuristic in Ulyana Sergeenko:

Lindsay Ellingson at Cannes 2015

Says Heather of the Fug Girls:

I like the liquid-look fabric. This whole outfit looks to me like a special-effect — like when Robert Patrick in Terminator 2 would be in the middle of morphing from metal into human. In that vein, I like the middle of the dress and am waiting for the rest of it to catch up.

And then it doesn’t happen:

Lindsay Ellingson at Cannes

Heather again:

Naturally, I hate the back. She looks like a very expensive circus performer.

Normal guys will be delighted to hear that Lindsay married a normal guy last year, quite uncharacteristic of leggy supermodels.

(Photos: Gorgeous bra, Adam Bielawski; Cannes, Getty Images.)

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Expectation whirls me round

After exposure to Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida in my youth — we read it in class, because apparently nobody had produced a version of the actual play for what seemed like several decades — I decided that however terrible Cressida’s behavior might have seemed, she had one of the great names, a name which might have been passed on to my daughter had I not mentioned that Toyota made a fancy sedan by that name.

Now comes Cressida Bonas, twenty-six, who has a smallish career going as an actress and model, and who once had a brief period as tabloid fodder until she and Prince Harry broke up last spring. I was largely unaware of her existence until the Fug Girls showed her in this dress:

Cressida Bonas on the Dior Cruise

Of course, when she’s not on a boat, she might be in a car:

Cressida Bonas takes a ride

Post-Harry, she’s landed a gig with UK luxo brand Mulberry, which yielded up this curious advertisement:

Probably just as well we’re not overrun with modern-day versions of Troilus.

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Clair and sunny

So I’m rolling down the message board, and here comes one of the regular contributors with something I wasn’t expecting these days:

Phylicia Rashad with her 1989 People's Choice Award

I waited for my eyeballs to slide back into my head, and then tried to match up this picture with an event. Easy enough: the People’s Choice Awards for 1989, which reminded me that Phylicia Rashād at forty-one was pretty darn unforgettable.

Add a couple of decades, and The Actress Formerly Known As Clair Huxtable still stays on your mind:

Phylicia Rashad in jewelry by David Harris Designs

She’s just finished filming Creed, the seventh Rocky movie, in which she plays Apollo Creed’s widow Mary Anne. In this one, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone, of course) takes Creed’s grandson Adonis Johnson Creed (Michael B. Jackson) under his well-worn wing.

Note: Working title for this was “Hi, Phylicia,” which I dumped after contemplating the ramifications thereof.

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Pike that tsukahara

Nadia Comăneci is not as old as this Cadillac:

Nadia Comaneci on a 1958 Cadillac

Three years younger, in fact. But both gymnast and car enjoy Classic status today. Of course, what you remember of Nadia was this:

Nadia Comaneci victorious in 1976

The Summer Olympics, Montréal 1976; Nadia Comăneci was not yet 15. Seven times during her routines she scored a perfect 10, bringing the number of perfect 10s in the history of the modern games to, um, seven.

In 1989, while Romania was gearing up for revolution, she defected, settling in Montréal. Two years later, she met up once again with American gymnast Bart Conner, whom she’d first encountered at the Americas Cup in New York before her Olympic victory. He suggested, ever so slightly, that she might be happier in some place like Oklahoma. (Conner, you should know, graduated from the University of Oklahoma in Norman.) And he was very persuasive: in 1996, they were wed in Bucharest, and came back to settle, yes, in Oklahoma. The Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy is running strong in Norman; in June 2006, their first child, Dylan Paul Conner, was born. And Nadia really has that Mom look to her:

Nadia Comaneci settles in

Oh, a tsukahara is a half (sometimes a quarter) turn off the springboard onto the vault table, followed by a push backwards. Nadia, in the early days, would shift from there into a piked somersault.

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No longer standing by

Kellie Pickler’s 2012 album 100 Proof leads off with a rhetorical question: “Where’s Tammy Wynette” when you need her? She’s in Nashville’s Woodlawn Memorial Park, in a space which has sometimes been labeled “Tammy Wynette” and sometimes “Virginia W. Richardson,” her last married name. (She was born Virginia Wynette Pugh on this day in 1942.) But she never seems far away, even in the face of such anomalies as Lyle Lovett’s version of “Stand By Your Man” that played over the credits of The Crying Game. (Lovett is still singing it to this day.)

Tammy Wynette on stage

Actually, I missed “Stand” when it came out, having cemented my loyalty to Top 40; but when the Top 40 station played the heck out of the follow-up, “Singing My Song,” I went back and dug into her catalog. Of course, I could have just waited for this CD:

Tammy Wynette: The Definitive Collection

The last track on that CD is the hardest one to explain: “Justified and Ancient,” with The KLF, released in 1991.

Never made the country chart, but it checked in at #11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart, higher even than “Stand By Your Man,” which made #19 pop. (“Stand” was, of course, Number One country, her fourth in a row.)

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Some like it warmish

It has probably never snowed in Chennai, a city in south India located on the thermal equator: the record low temperature is somewhere in the 50s Fahrenheit. (Don’t ask about the highs.) If you don’t remember Chennai, you might remember it as Madras, a name officially changed in 1996. Despite that, Trisha Krishnan was named Miss Madras in 1999, and wound up in Telugu and Tamil films.

Trisha reads a movie magazine

Trisha pays attention

She’ll be thirty-two on Monday. Earlier this year, she was engaged to Chennai-based producer Varun Manian, but apparently they’ve broken up:

It is known that, soon after Trisha rejecting a film under Varun’s production house, Radiance Media, reports were rife that she is staying away from her husband-to-be. Some reports also carried that Trisha was not seen wearing the engagement ring. Adding fuel to that, Trisha has given a miss to the most important marriage in Varun Manian’s family, last week. But what is Trisha doing staying away from Varun’s sister’s marriage? Is she busy shooting?

We do know she’s been busy. She’ll appear in six films scheduled for 2015 release, including Lion, due out next week:

This has “zany” written all over it.

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L’Wren as she was

This unassuming clockface, shot by David Bailey for the British hosiery brand Pretty Polly, was essentially the beginning of L’Wren Scott’s career as a major model:

L'Wren Scott, about half past six

Perhaps not the most obvious debut for a rangy Utah girl raised in a devout Mormon household. Or maybe it was inevitable: at twelve she was already six feet tall — she had three inches yet to grow — and as a teenager, she made most of her own clothes. Fashion was a logical destination, and she launched her first collection, based on the classic Little Black Dress, in 2006. Sarah Jessica Parker was one of her clients:

L'Wren Scott with Sarah Jessica Parker

SJP is, yes, about a foot shorter.

After two brief failed marriages, she took up with 5’10” Mick Jagger about 2001; they were together, or at least appeared to be together, for the rest of her life.

L'Wren Scott in a pensive mode

That life ended, by her own hand, in March 2014, just short of her 50th birthday. (She’d have turned 51 today.) What happened? All we have is speculation, and it goes something like this:

A quick gloss is that L’Wren Scott fell off some impossibly tall ladder to self-acceptance. The longer version is that she was caught in a perfect storm of perimenopause, lack of children, infidelities, abandonment issues, the fickle factory owners of Italy. Unremitting frustration over who owned what. Her birthday. Her sinuses. King Tut’s curse.

The Web site of her design house remains, each of her recent collections represented by a woman wearing a dress therefrom — but the woman herself is not to be seen. It’s hard to imagine L’Wren Scott wasn’t saying something in those representations.

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Reese is the word

Yesterday, I described a young woman in a dream as resembling “a vertically compressed Reese Witherspoon,” which, when you think about it, is rather difficult to pull off, inasmuch as Reese Witherspoon doesn’t have a whole heck of a lot of vertical to compress: she has occasionally claimed to be five-foot-two, but several sources credit her with an inch less than that. Of course, Hollywood trafficks in reality only when it has to. And I remain something of a fan, ever since her film debut in The Man in the Moon, way back in ’91 when Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon was just barely fifteen. (Which means, dear God, that she’s pushing forty.)

Reese Witherspoon in Bottega Veneta

Reese Witherspoon at the Pirch Store in Glendale

You may note that in neither of these pictures does she look especially “vertically challenged.” She has, however, apparently gone Full Hollywood, stretching a bit in a Bottega Veneta bodysuit, then turning up at one of those stores that’s so exclusive no one ever actually goes there. (Just kidding.) And once, after too many glasses of wine, she attempted to play the “Do you know who I am?” card with a Georgia trooper. She was, however, properly contrite afterwards: Suthun girls — Reese was born in New Orleans — don’t do this sort of thing, even after they’ve gone Full Hollywood.

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All Googly and everything

More often than not, the woman featured in one of my Rule 5 posts will have been selected because her birthday is imminent or just past. Indian actress Kriti Kharbanda would have been a perfectly reasonable March choice under those criteria, until all of a sudden she wasn’t:

Sandalwood actress Kriti Kharbanda, whose birthday is listed as March 4 on Wikipedia, revealed that her birthday was yesterday. “Well my parents told me I was born on the 29th of October! I think I’ll stick to that:) Wikipedia came into my life much later. No faith,” tweeted Kriti.

Her Wikipedia page has since been updated.

Kriti Kharbanda

Kriti Kharbanda

Her earliest film appearances were not particularly successful, though she did make something of a breakout in Googly, a 2013 romantic comedy with action-flick overtones in which she was featured with Yash. The trailer gives you some hint of what it’s like, maybe:

If you had been wondering about that reference to “Sandalwood,” it’s a Hollywood-like place in the South Indian state of Karnataka, where films in the Kannada language are produced. Kriti Kharbanda is apparently working on five such films this year — plus one in Telugu.

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For those who think Jung

Girls' Generation

This was SNSD, circa 2012. SNSD — So Nyeo Shi Dae, “Girls’ Generation” — is a K-pop group assembled over the last eight years. The first member, sixth in line, in the dress the color of dried ketchup, is Jessica Jung, who had signed her first contract with S. M. Entertainment in 2000 when she was eleven; S. M. named her as the first member of SNSD in 2007. And seven years later, Jung was the first member of SNSD to be sacked, apparently for having too many outside interests conflicting with group activities, starting with her appearance in a Korean production of the musical Legally Blonde. (How blonde is she? Not very, I suspect.)

Jessica Jung not brushing her hair

I have no idea what that black box is for, unless it’s to obscure a brand name that didn’t pony up for promotional money.

Jessica Jung looking vaguely domestic

There were also a number of non-SNSD singles, including this song from the TV series Dating Agency: Cyrano, which ran for 16 episodes in 2013:

Incidentally, Jessica Jung was born in San Francisco, and didn’t actually relocate to South Korea until 2000, when she and younger sister Krystal, then on a family vacation, were offered tryouts by the S. M. conglomerate. Krystal, now 20, is a member of singing group f(x), which was the first K-pop act to appear at SXSW.

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