Archive for Rule 5

One hundred thirty-six

So I was restructuring my photo archive, and I got to wondering: “Geez, just how many pictures of Rebecca Black do I have?”

This, I think, gives her third place, trailing Taylor Swift (412) and Zooey Deschanel (628). It’s a distant third, but still: third. And she’s only 20. An opportunity, I figure, for a Rule 5 post.

Rebecca Black outside the Grammy Museum

Rebecca Black has lunch, sort of

Rebecca Black keeps her balance

Rumor has it that the long-awaited EP will drop on 15 September; at least one Major Fan is running a countdown.

For the heck of it, here’s a Just Stuff video from summer 2016:

She’s very nineteen in these scenes.

And this went up today:

It’s happening. (I think.)

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Eventually she spoke

Hull, Yorkshire, 1914. Dorothy Mackaill was eleven years old, and her parents were going their separate ways. After living with her dad, she took off for London and the stage, but somehow ended up in the Ziegfield Follies.

By 1920, she was seventeen and ready for “real” roles. It wasn’t long before she because a capital-S Star, and made a relatively smooth transition to talkies before giving it all up in 1937 to take care of her aged mother.

Dorothy Mackaill parties hearty

Dorothy Mackaill in Safe in Hell

Dorothy Mackaill in Safe in Hell

Dorothy Mackaill checks herself out

The two middle shots come from 1931’s Safe in Hell, a perhaps-raunchy pre-Code thriller in which Mackaill stars as a New Orleans hooker who is smuggled to a Caribbean island. A clip therefrom:

Let’s just say it doesn’t end well for the young lady.

In the Fifties, she moved to Hawaii, and remained there for the rest of her life, surfacing occasionally in the Hawaii Five-O television series.

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Now that we’ve seen Paris

Originally, the plan was for Paris Berelc to be a gymnast. And she was a darn good one, too:

But after a stint at Ford Models, showbiz beckoned, and she wound up in the Disney Channel stable of terminally cute teenagers, playing the same character in 44 episodes of Mighty Med and then 16 in Lab Rats: Elite Force. In between, she was mostly not seen in Disney’s Invisible Sister. Next year she’ll be in a Netflix original series, Alexa & Katie.

Paris Berelc takes a walk

Paris Berelc takes a sip

Paris Berelc for Variety

The text on that black top: DON’T TEXT HIM BACK. Probably not a bad idea at that.

Between Christmas and New Year’s, she’ll turn 19.

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Working up a Szwed

It being 8/8, I figured I’d look for someone born on this date, and I wound up with Polish singer/actress Aleksandra Szwed, who turns twenty-seven today. She was born in Warsaw, but a significant branch of her family tree runs through Nigeria, a combination I’ve literally never seen before, and that closed the deal right there.

Aleksandra Szwed on the cover of Shape

Aleksandra Szwed rocks a tank

Aleksandra Szwed on the red carpet

I think I like the close-cropped ‘do.

Szwed appeared on the TV series Rodzina zastępcza (“Foster Family”) for the entirety of its eleven-year run. She’s also made a few records, none quite as insane as this one: “Powiedz, że nie kochasz” (“Say you do not love”):

Though you may already know this one in its original language: German.

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Geenu

It’s the 30th birthday of Genelia D’Souza, a major figure in Telugu and South Indian cinema, something she’d never intended to be: she’d done a few television commercials in her teens, but producers saw something more. It took several weeks in 2002 to persuade her to take a role in Tujhe Meri Kasam (“Swear On Me”); the film, released in early 2003, did decent business, and it also produced rumors that Genelia and the male lead, Ritesh Deshmukh, were An Item, which were routinely denied for nearly a decade. (They were wed in 2012; they have two children.)

Genelia D'Souza putting on the cute

Genelia D'Souza read the news today, oh boy

Genelia D'Souza not messing up the furniture

Geenu, as family and friends called her, has never shied away from working in commercials. These early ads, including her first and second, are easily found:

Cute or not, she’s occasionally run into controversy, sometimes silly. For instance, in Force (2011):

“We were shooting in Malshej Ghat and there was this old temple where we had got a local maharaj for the wedding sequence.

“Unfortunately the pandit has never witnessed a wedding and did not understand the concept of ‘cut’ and ‘action’ while shooting. It was a multi-camera set-up and so we needed to have minimum shots.

“However whenever [director] Nishikant Kamath would say cut, the pandit would not stop. Finally after the sixth phera someone from the unit realized that the mantras were real and if not stopped John and Genelia would be actually married. So, they were stopped before the final round.”

There is a Force 2, but D’Souza isn’t in it: her character apparently died in the five years between the two films.

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At the sign of the Kat

Katherine Timpf’s name was dropped into last week’s QOTW, and at some time between then and now I decided to go look for a few more pictures, because there are always pictures of a News Babe. In her 28 years she’s evidently annoyed lots of people. From the fall of 2015:

Last month, Fox News contributor Katherine Timpf jokingly insulted fans who were excited for the newest trailer during a guest stint on the late-night political comedy show Red Eye w/ Tom Shillue. Now, Timpf has revealed she’s receiving death threats for her comments.

“I have never had any interest in watching space nerds poke each other with their little space nerd sticks, and I’m not going to start now,” Timpf shared on the original broadcast. “You people are crazy. You Star Wars people are crazy. Yesterday I tweeted something, and all I said was that I wasn’t familiar with Star Wars because I’ve been too busy liking cool things and being attractive — people threatened my life. You’re not really branding yourself in a way that makes me want to join your life-threatening club.”

Jaws was never my scene and I don’t like Star Wars.” — Freddie Mercury, in “Bicycle Race” (1978).

Timpf has a BA in English from Hillsdale College — magna cum laude, yet — and not quite comically large spectacles:

Semi-serious portrait of Kat Timpf

Kat Timpf with an actual cat

Timpf also seems fond of the Inverse Selfie, which is easiest explained by showing you one or two:

Kat Timpf getting ready for the first shift

Kat Timpf getting ready for the second shift

The vast majority of pictures of this sort are taken on the beach or at poolside, so this is Timpf being a noncomformist again.

For the heck of it, here’s a demo reel, generally from Red Eye:

Which explains her on-again-off-again career in stand-up, even while sitting down.

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The Berry nicest

It says in all the reference materials that Halle Berry is 50 years old. It might even be true. (In fact, she’ll be 51 in a couple of weeks.) Maybe some day she’ll look it. But for now:

Halle Berry takes questions

Halle Berry meshes with her surroundings

Halle Berry at San Diego Comic-Con

Meanwhile, photogs and civilians still go wild in her presence:

All three of her 2017 films start with K: Kidnap, due for release next week; Kingsman: The Golden Circle, scheduled for September; and the romance Kings, which will be seen for the first time at the Toronto International Film Festival, also in September.

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I’m too sexy for this tour

Paige Spinarac is to golf what Anna Kournikova was to tennis: perhaps not championship caliber, but who cares?

Paige Spinarac on the edge of the Marvel Universe

Paige Spinarac on the outside of a golf cart

For now, though:

Paige does not yet have a permanent spot on the LPGA Tour, though she has played events on it several times in recent years. The next time she plays — which she hopes will be her full-time career sooner rather than later — she may look different, however.

Spiranac believes that she’s been deemed too sexy for pro golf, by virtue of the women’s tour’s strict new dress code restrictions. Plunging necklines are now banned, and the new rules include no leggings unless under a skirt or shorts and no jogging bottoms.

The 24-year-old, who has become Instagram-famous for her tantalizing photos (and for her golf game too, we suppose), is upset.

Paige Spinarac snaps a selfie

Paige Spinarac wields a mighty scepter

And she does have a cause:

I offer no prediction on how this eventually works out.

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The great Trentini

Caroline Trentini was thirteen or so when she was spotted by one of those mysterious people who spend their days looking for girls with modeling potential. Why was he looking at this town in the far south of Brazil? He’d struck gold in southern Brazil before: Gisele Bündchen, about as golden as you can get in the fashion biz. She quickly started getting work, and eventually moved to New York, a fairly gutsy move for a girl who spoke no English. Then again, fashion photographers ask, not how you’re doing or how’s the weather, but “Can you wear this?” She could.

Caroline Trentini for Victoria's Secret in 2005

Caroline Trentini doesn't quite sprawl

Caroline Trentini apparently not wearing anything

Or, regarding that last shot, “Can you not wear this?”

And we have a brief interview with her on the occasion of a Versace campaign for 2015:

Her English, of course, is fine. And if you’re curious, she just turned 30 this month.

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More laurels yet

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Musical America Artist of the Year for 2017:

Yuja Wang before a concert in Munich 16 July 2017

She represents a new breed — the complete, thoroughly modern package. Wearing stunning gowns chosen specifically to match the repertoire she is playing, she has cultivated a persona of visual beauty as well as musical brilliance. And then there are those dynamite encores — wow!

In a recent video for Giorgio Armani, Musical America’s Artist of the Year, Yuja Wang, performs Liszt’s arrangement of Schubert’s Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel, the work’s dark, dulcet tones swirling against a dimly lit backdrop of piano and pianist as the music gently weaves a spell of soulful mystery. The performance, technically impeccable and full of subdued passion, is intercut with images of Yuja in a variety of tasteful fashion poses. There was a time when this would have raised eyebrows, along with protestations about classical music’s chaste role in a world full of commercial taint. Welcome to the 21st century, when women play the piano as well as men and feel free to flaunt their other gifts as well.

On the off-chance that you might have wanted to hear the entirety of Gretchen am Spinnrade:

She is, after all, only thirty, so I can believe this:

She has a keen interest in popular culture as well. Hence her attention to fashion, as well as her usual reported practice of listening to rock music before stepping out on stage. She uses Spotify to keep on top of new things, and goes to live concerts as often as possible. Though she values working with older masters, she loved performing with Gustavo Dudamel’s Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolivar (“What a crazy bunch of outrageous musicians!”) partly because they are mostly her age, and their youthful outlook matched her own. After the concert, she reports, they could all agree, “Let’s go to a bar and listen to electronic music.”

A party girl? Who knew?

Yuja Wang after a concert in Munich 16 July 2017

Here, she plays some fiendishly difficult Bartók, with Dudamel at the helm of the Los Angeles Philarmonic:

You’ve had a rough night, mademoiselle. Is there somewhere we can take you?

Yuja Wang gets a ride to somewhere 2017

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But never, ever pitiful

Linda Ronstadt hasn’t sung so much as a note in public for most of a decade; Parkinson’s disease has taken what can only be described as a terrible toll. But during her four decades as a musical legend, she gave us some of our favorite records and a few thoughts which we will not dwell on here.

Linda Ronstadt holds serve

Linda Ronstadt stands there demurely

Waiting for the Double E

Warren Zevon wasn’t exactly a star when Linda recorded “Poor Poor Pitiful Me,” and her cover version, released early in 1978, fell just short of the Top 30 in Billboard. She says she learned it from Jackson Browne, who’d produced Zevon’s own version. The video here is the standard album track, from Simple Dreams, with rather a lot of more or less vintage photos pasted over the audio.

Its chart position notwithstanding, it’s one of her best-remembered songs. At the opposite end of the familiarity spectrum, there’s this seriously weird commercial for the Remington electric razor:

And yes, that was Frank Zappa. This was a radio spot, over which a fan dubbed some startlingly appropriate visuals.

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Consider her still here

You have to dial back quite a number of years before you get to a point where Reba McEntire wasn’t a presence in country music or in American culture generally: her first album came out 40 years ago, her most recent this past February, and in between (early 1991) came a tragedy, in which one of her band’s two chartered planes crashed into Otay Mountain east of San Diego. She’d always sung, of course, though she expected to come out of Southeastern Oklahoma State University as a schoolteacher.

Reba McEntire in motion

Reba McEntire on the red carpet

Reba McEntire in portrait mode

Since 1976, Reba has released ninety-five singles; her six-year sitcom run notwithstanding, only three of them made it to the Top 40 on the pop chart. The most recent of these is 2009’s “Consider Me Gone”:

This was the second single from the album Keep On Loving You, which has nothing to do with REO Speedwagon.

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Imperfect angel

Apparently nobody knows for certain how old Mariah Carey is: we know her birthday, which is the 27th of March, but we’re not quite sure how many birthdays she’s had, and it’s not like she’s front-page news these days. Still, she sells a fair number of records, and she’s always had the looks to go with the voice.

Mariah Carey on the steps

Mariah Carey draws a crowd

Mariah Carey is backlit

During her 1990s heyday, I paid little attention to Mariah, but then I paid little attention to most musical performers in the 1990s, mostly because I had to put my own life in order, but at least partly because she seemed just a hair gimmicky to me: just because you can sing over a five-octave range doesn’t mean you should. The newer, darker Carey did put out some good records, though, including this Foreigner cover:

The second single from her 2009 album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, “I Want to Know What Love Is” died at #60 in Billboard— but spent half a year at Number One in Brazil.

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Head to the sky, just about

Ekaterina Lisina, twenty-nine, gets a Wikipedia page because of her basketball prowess: she played for various teams for a decade, including a stint with the Russian Olympic team in 2008. (They took the bronze.) And they mention, purely in passing, her height: six feet, nine inches (2.04 m).

Right now, though, she’s had enough of sportsball, and wants to go on to something else: modeling. Oh, and getting into Guinness:

The Olympic medallist and former basketball player, from Penza, now wants to set the world record for being the world’s tallest model as she switches careers — as well as being awarded a prize [for] having the world’s longest legs.

The number you want to hear: 52.4 inches. 1.33 meters. You’ve heard of legs that go on for days? These take a good fortnight.

Ekaterina Lisina, seated

Ekaterina Lisina, not seated

She is generally acknowledged to be Russia’s tallest woman, and you don’t even want to imagine her shoe size.

Oh, you do? She takes a 47 European, which is about a 14 US.

Guinness hasn’t come calling yet, but surely they will at some point.

(Via American Digest.)

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In which I repeat myself

Note: In the summer of ought-eight, I submitted a send-off for the late Cyd Charisse for my first-ever Rule 5 contribution, despite not actually including any pictures, only links. This is mostly the same article, less the last paragraph, but semi-lavishly illustrated for once.

In the late 1960s, one of our high-school classes was semi-regularly packed off to see classic films at the old Garden Theater, and one of the films I saw was Brigadoon, an Alan Jay Lerner musical put together by MGM’s famed Arthur Freed unit.

The trick about the town of Brigadoon, you may remember, is that it’s not always there: the enchantment that preserves it does so by bringing it to life only once every hundred years, thereby making sure it’s not influenced by contemporary evils. Which means that when Tommy Albright (Gene Kelly) falls hard for one of the town girls, he’s faced with the sort of choice you wouldn’t give Hobson: either he stays with her, thereby giving up his life in this world, or he returns to New York and never gets another shot. I remember yelling at the screen: “You fool! Go back to her!” (I saw the greatest minds of my generation garner detentions for just such breaches of conduct.)

Cyd Charisse on a big gane hunt

This was my first exposure to Tula Ellice Finklea, known to the rest of the world as Cyd Charisse. At the time, I didn’t know that she’d been primarily a dancer; once I got a chance to see more of her work, I discovered that she’d been one of the all-time greats. As an actress, she was respectable if not noteworthy, and I’d noticed early on that her Russian accent in Silk Stockings was largely indistinguishable from her Scottish burr in Brigadoon. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Cyd Charisse takes the top rung

(Aside: Allow me to recommend the scene in Silk Stockings where she replaces her coarse Communist unmentionables with Parisian finery: the ratio of sheer eroticism to volume of actual exposed flesh is among the highest in motion-picture history.)

Cyd Charisse takes a love seat

There. That’s better.

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Another manic Munnday

The last time we checked in with Olivia Munn, back in the spring of 2010, she’d done one of those gratuitous nude photos for PETA, not that we were complaining or anything. But we don’t really pay enough attention to her, which is a shame considering she’s a graduate of Putnam City North who went on to get a journalism degree from OU, then hung around the state just long enough to decide she’d like to try to act instead.

So here’s some of what she’s done in the interim: spent a long time doing Attack of the Show! and a shorter time doing The Daily Show, assumed the role of Elizabeth Braddock aka Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse, and played some golf in inappropriate shoes.

Olivia Munn sitting pretty

Olivia Munn as Psylocke

Olivia Munn in wedges putts

Oh, she also wrote a book called Suck It, Wonder Woman, and was eaten by a cartoon snake.

Olivia Munn goes down the hatch

She’ll be in Ocean’s Eight next year.

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Under the metal clouds

Solange Knowles, you know as Beyoncé’s kid sister, and occasionally as a fill-in in Destiny’s Child. But she’s had a recording career of her own, starting with Solo Star in 2002. (Now what could she mean by that?) She’s thirty-one, and distinctively different from Queen Bey.

Solange in yellow

Solange in Complex

Solange in a chair

The first single off her 2016 album A Place at the Table was called “Cranes in the Sky,” and it won her a Grammy for Best R&B Performance. It’s dreamy and reflective and, yes, sorrowful.

And props to Solange for beating the snot out of Jay Z, something that didn’t occur to Beyoncé until several months later.

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Frost in June

British actress Sadie Frost, fifty-two this week, is the daughter of an artist who specialized in psychedelia, and said artist’s teenaged muse; after they split, they each went on to several relationships, so Frost (whose original surname was Vaughan) has nine half-siblings.

Sadie Frost at the British Fashion Awards 2008

Frost and friend Jemima French set up a fashion label called Frost French in 1999; it is now mostly defunct.

Sadie Frost on the cover of the Sunday Telegraph magazine in 2015

Sadie Frost on the talk-show couch

She’s appeared in a wide range of films, as good as The Krays and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and as bad as Rancid Aluminum, which rates a 6 from Rotten Tomatoes. Her most recent appearance was in a good film, Set the Thames on Fire (2015).

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Once upon a time in Storybrooke

We presume that every young girl wants to be some sort of Disneyfied princess. In actual fact, some of them aspire to Evil Queen status, and if we’re talking contemporary Evil Queens, we’re definitely talking Queen Regina Mills of the ABC-TV series Once Upon a Time, who at the conclusion of Season Six sacrifices herself. The Queen has been portrayed all these years by Lana Parrilla, who has a few weeks of her thirties left.

Lana Parrilla in a fashion-magazine spread

Lana Parrilla looking Evil Queen-ish

Lana Parrilla relaxes on the couch

Against such an entity, the poor, deluded Charmings don’t stand a chance:

Season 7 will begin in September. Is the Queen really, truly dead? I’m not betting on it.

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Perhaps somewhat devilish

From this week in 2010:

On a whim, Monday I dialed over to Wikipedia for June 14 birthdays, and found the likes of Boy George, Donald Trump, and Che. (Che, of course, rates a footnote.) None of these fit into Rule 5, not even Boy George.

And so I’m doing now what I did then: a brief piece about Oscar-winning screenwriter (for Juno) and former stripper Diablo Cody.

Diablo Cody with David Letterman

Diablo Cody in something sort of filmy

Diablo Cody in something sort of autumn-y

Among some of her current projects: a musical based on the Sweet Valley High book series; a pilot for Fox called Prodigy, about a girl genius who up to that point had been homeschooled; and the current Amazon Prime series One Mississippi, starring Tig Notaro.

And while she’s legendary for passing on the occasional barb, she’s all sentimental here accepting her Academy Award:

That Kinks tune, of course, was heard on the Juno soundtrack.

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Stan tall

Actually, Romanian singer/songwriter Alexandra Stan is a middling five foot six, but it’s her birthday — she’s twenty-eight — and she has, shall we say, a certain visual appeal.

Alexandra Stan on the cover of FHM

Alexandra Stan looking sort of rural

Alexandra Stan looking not even slightly rural

Her signature song, “Mr. Saxobeat,” was #1 in Romania for eight weeks in 2011, and just missed the US Billboard Top 20.

She sold well in Japan, which may well explain “Cherry Pop,” a J-pop pastiche she recorded in 2014:

And her most recent single, “9 Lives,” got little chart action but lots of airplay. The chap who looks like a Bulgarian reggae jammer is Jahmmi, a Bulgarian reggae jammer.

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She’s half the band

The synthpop group Goldfrapp consists of two individuals: Will Gregory and Alison Goldfrapp. Both of them write, and both of them synthesize, if that’s the word, but generally only Alison sings. And they’ve been at it since 1999.

Alison Goldfrapp about the time of Super Nature

Alison Goldfrapp in some magazine spread

Alison Goldfrapp in multiple colors

This came up largely because I’d stumbled across a few tracks by the band, including “Beautiful,” which showed up on Sex and the City, Vol. 2: More Music alongside tracks by Ingrid Michaelson and Amy Winehouse. The melodies tend to be catchy, the vocals wide-ranging. (Alison is rumored to have a five-octave range, which might be something of a stretch.) My favorite of the bunch has been the Eighties-drenched “Rocket,” from the 2010 album Head First:

But lest you think they’re just pure pop for now people, here’s a 2001 live version of “Utopia,” from the Felt Mountain album, in front of Conan O’Brien.

At the very end, I got the feeling that Conan figured out what the song was about, and made up his mind not to mention it.

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Aquiline noses of blue

We got to hear from some of those beaks this past week:

Megastar actress Priyanka Chopra has been bombarded with accusations of immodesty after sharing a picture of herself meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week. In a post made to Instagram, the former Miss World competition winner and star of ABC’s Quantico could be seen sitting with Modi after the two took advantage of an opportunity to meet while in Berlin, where their paths crossed. Chopra was there promoting Baywatch, in which she stars.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, conservative users on social media took exception to the photo. Some complained that the 34-year-old’s dress showed too much of her legs, and accused her of forgetting her Indian heritage. Other users even complained about Chopra crossing her legs for the photo, claiming that in so doing she had shown the prime minister a lack of respect.

Whatever she showed Mr Modi, he didn’t look like he was complaining about it:

Priyanka Chopra with Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Just to give you a verbal picture of the Prime Minister:

Modi has also been called a fashion-icon for his signature crisply ironed, half-sleeved kurta, as well as for a suit with his name embroidered repeatedly in the pinstripes that he wore during a state visit by US President Barack Obama, which drew public and media attention and criticism. Modi’s personality has been variously described by scholars and biographers as energetic, arrogant, and charismatic.

He’s sixty-six years old and evidently not losing his vision.

And Priyanka isn’t the sort to hide herself in fabric:

Priyanka Chopra in Hello for November 2016

Priyanka Chopra in not much of a swimsuit

Priyanka Chopra relaxes on the sofa

And her own reaction to the controversy? Subtle as a flying mallet.

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The real MacGraw

What do you say about a 78-year-old woman whom you thought had died?

For me, at least, Ali MacGraw was identified so strongly with Jenny Cavalleri, the doomed twentysomething heroine of 1970’s Love Story, that I tended to assume she’s gone on to whatever world follows. Not so. In fact, just last year MacGraw and Love Story costar Ryan O’Neal appeared on stage in A. R. Gurney’s play Love Letters.

Ali MacGraw with dramatic lighting

Ali MacGraw wields a mighty stick

Ali MacGraw waiting by the car door

When she wasn’t acting, she was in the fashion biz, working at Harper’s Bazaar and later at Vogue, occasionally getting a modeling gig. (For example: the Laura Mae blouse advertisement seen in the previous post.) More recently, she was represented by Trump Model Management, which is in the process of folding.

And, of course, there’s this:

(Optional antidote, should it be necessary.)

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Sweet jazz lady

Dee Dee Bridgewater has been singing for half a century, mostly jazz, some show tunes, but always, always singing. On her 67th birthday, we owe her a look and a listen.

She spent 23 of those years as host of NPR’s Jazz Set, whence comes this first image.

Dee Dee Bridgewater from her Jazz Set days

Dee Dee Bridgewater at Echo Jazz

Cover of Dee Dee Bridgewater's Feathers album

This latter shot appears on the front cover of Dee Dee’s Feathers, a 2015 album with Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. A track therefrom, with deep New Orleans roots:

Dee Dee has been nominated for nine Grammy Awards; she’s won three — so far.

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Let’s not call her “Catgirl”

Three minutes into this project, I had two problems. The first was purely a matter of identification: she’s not Carmen, but Camren Bicondova. (Dyslexia can warn without striking.) The second, propriety: she’s eighteen years old today, which means that anything I might post about her dates from a time before she was eighteen. Noting that she has steady work — she’s Selina Kyle on Fox’s Gotham, going into Season Four this fall — and that the mean streets of Gotham City presumably would age anyone prematurely, I decided I’d go for it. Besides, she’s been working since she was six, when she took her first dance classes.

Camren Bicondova at Wizard World Comic Con Chicago 2014

Camren Bicondova waits by the gate

Camren Bicondova at AOL Build 2016

Camren’s dance troupe, 8 Flavahz, took second place in season seven of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. Here, she busts some solo moves while Pharrell wails:

And hey, if you’re going to be Catwoman some day, you need moves like that.

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A definitive femme fatale

Scene: Beside a roulette wheel.

Jeff: That’s not the way to win.
Kathie: Is there a way to win?
Jeff: There’s a way to lose more slowly.

You need to explain film noir to someone, you could practically do it with those three lines from Out of the Past, a 1947 thriller starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer. You may be certain that what goes around eventually comes around.

Jane was originally “Bettiejane,” but truncated her name shortly after turning 21. “It’s a sissy name,” she said, and maybe it was for someone who was already doing darkish films.

Jane Greer in late November

Jane Greer in late October

Jane Greer in a good mood

Jane Greer by the pool

A pertinent scene from Out of the Past:

Speaking of things coming around, Out of the Past was remade in 1984 as Against All Odds, perhaps best known for its weedy Phil Collins theme. Jane Greer was in that too, as the mother of the femme fatale character played by Rachel Ward. Still a working actress, she went on to do three episodes of Twin Peaks (!), in which she played the mother of Norma Jennings (Peggy Lipton). Alas, she won’t be in Twin Peaks: The Return, which starts on Showtime tomorrow; she died of cancer in 2001, aged 76.

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A new(ish) face

Where have you seen this face?

The sunny side of Son Na-eun

Another side of Son Na-eun

Answer: In the PSY video “New Face,” debuted last week, and presented right here yesterday.

Son Na-eun, twenty-three, born in Seoul, is perhaps better known for being in the K-pop girl-group Apink, here seen in the video for “Mr. Chu” (2014):

On her own, she’s done a couple of films, a lot of television, and several TV commercials, including this spot for a Korean diet supplement:

“Calobye,” indeed.

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London calling

“It’s only a thimbleful of a voice,” Julie London once explained, “and I have to use it close to the microphone. But it is a kind of oversmoked voice, and it automatically sounds intimate.”

She’d been singing for a decade before her breakout hit, “Cry Me a River.”

Julie Is Her Name sold a heck of a lot of copies for Liberty Records, partly on the basis of that song, but also partly because of that cover. (Edsel Records reprinted the cover photo for this vinyl reissue in 1980.)

Reissue of Julie Is Her Name on LP

In fact, a lot of Julie’s LPs sold pretty well, for reasons that weren’t always in the grooves — although she herself was always in the groove.

Swing Me an Old Song by Julie London

Marginally more modest materials were used to support her acting career:

Portrait of Julie London

And she continued to have hit records through the 1960s, the last of which was perhaps extremely unlikely but was suitably oversmoked:

Never quite made the Hot 100, but no one who ever heard it ever forgot it.

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Goal achieved

So Monday night it occurred to me: “Why not a football player for Rule 5 this week?”

Why not, indeed:

Stephanie Roche out of uniform

Stephanie Roche is Number 10

Stephanie Roche at the ball

Number 10 is Stephanie Roche, forward for Sunderland Association Football Club Ladies, and a member of the Republic of Ireland’s national team; she was briefly signed by the Houston Dash of the NWSL, but was subsequently waived.

And it wouldn’t be sporting if we didn’t include some video:

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