Archive for Rule 5

Obligatory Cat pictures

“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.

Chan Mitchell not standing

Cat Power on stage

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.

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Truth spoken

An enigmatic statement from Tim Blair:

Full disclosure: I am an investor in the Alaskan Rock vodka company. Another full disclosure: Charlotte Crosby is made almost entirely out of legs.

I had to follow up on that second link, and this is what I found:

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:

Charlotte Crosby out and about

Charlotte Crosby out and about

Her latest accomplishment, though, is shedding 35 pounds, and not sterling either.

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An AM act?

Meet Chantal Claret, lead singer of the band Morningwood:

Chantal Claret on stage

For contrast, an offstage picture:

Chantal Claret offstage

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.

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Day after Day

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:

Doris Day: The Essential Collection

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:

Doris Day in Pillow Talk

But by the time I’d seen this image for the first time, I’d already been inundated with pre-adolescent hormonal whatever.

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You gotta have Heart

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:

Heart Evangelista as Dwarfina, 2011

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:

Heart Evangelista's 2013 Esquire cover

Back in ought-three, she cut an album called, natch, Heart. This is a track therefrom:

Very Eighties-looking video for some reason.

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Note to future husbands

Of all the red-carpet appearances on Sunday night’s Grammy Awards broadcast, it was Meghan Trainor’s that shook me up the most:

Meghan Trainor at the Grammys in Galia Lahav

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.

(Via InStyle.com.)

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Woll’s between us

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:

Deborah Ann Woll on HBO

Outside of True Blood, Deborah Ann seems pretty normal:

Deborah Ann Woll as a civilian

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.

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And still working it

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.”

Daphne Selfe during her first modeling career

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.

Daphne Selfe today

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.”

(Suggested by Not Dead Yet Style. This last photo came from a Spanish-language interview in El País.)

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I hope you’re not disappointed

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.

Daniela Bianchi as Tatiana Romanova

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.

Daniela Bianchi as a wealthy heiress

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.

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Hunan event

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:

Liu Wen through a doorway

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:

Liu Wen for H&M

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.”

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A life less simple

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:

Nicole Richie in Glamour, 2012

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:

Screenshot from InStyle's Facebook page featuring Nicole Richie

What’s more, the link was borked.

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With lots of Dash

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:

Stacey Dash on the cover of Monarch magazine summer 2008

And from very recently, at the New York premiere of American Sniper:

Stacey Dash at the New York premiere of American Sniper December 2014

For the record, she’s never sniped at me.

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Zooeypalooza 22!

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.

Zooeypalooza 22!

Clickage yields embiggenment.

Prior Paloozas: ZP 1, ZP 2, ZP 3, ZP 4, ZP 5, ZP 6, ZP 7, ZP 8, ZP 9, ZP 10, ZP 11, ZP 12, ZP 13, ZP 14, ZP 15, ZP 16, ZP 17, ZP 18, ZP 19, ZP 20, ZP 21.

Update, 21 January: Zooey and Jacob are engaged. And high time, too, doncha think?

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And now for someone completely different

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:

Carol Cleveland as a brunette in 1966

By 1969 she’d rolled up a fair number of film credits:

Carol Cleveland in 1969

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:

Carol Cleveland in a Python sketch in 1969

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:

Carol Cleveland in a Python sketch in 1973

And for the sake of completeness, here she is at the Python 40th anniversary reunion:

Carol Cleveland at the Python reunion in 2009

Do you think that might be her real hair color? (And does it really matter?)

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Nikolina

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:

Nina Dobrev at the 2011 Coachella Music Festival

The chap with the hat is Vampire Diaries co-star Ian Somerhalder; they dated up until 2013 or so.

Nina Dobrev in a 2014 New York Post feature

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.

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Nor does she sweat

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:

Taylor Swift at the American Music Awards

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:

Taylor Swift in a 2009 London photoshoot

But I do try to keep all my obsessions balanced, so here’s a bona fide, ponified Tay.

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Down the road from 90210

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).

Gabrielle Carteris in her carefree high school days

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.

Meanwhile, Carteris was getting involved in the politics of Hollywood. In 2011 she was elected president of the Los Angeles AFTRA local; in 2013 she was elected executive VP of the merged SAG-AFTRA.

Gabrielle Carteris takes on new responsibilities

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.

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At thirty-one

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:

Mariana Renata sends an invitation

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:

Mariana Renata pays attention

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:

Mariana Renata stands tall

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.

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She still gotta be

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?

Des'ree

The answer, apparently, is “In Canada, without a recording contract”; Sony dropped her after her 2003 album Dream Soldier failed to make any waves.

Dream Soldier by Des'ree

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.

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Close enough

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:

Emma Watson out for a stroll

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.)

Emma Watson in a slit gown

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.)

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A mildly wild child

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:

Paulina Gretzky for Golf Digest

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:

Paulina Gretzky for 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.

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Beyond the Dutch treat

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:

Maruschka Detmers in Prenom Carmen

She continued to work for many years. In 1995, she starred opposite Dolph Lundgren in The Shooter:

Maruschka Detmers 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 corpoDevil 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.

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Born 1989

It just dawned on me that today is Taylor Swift’s birthday.

Now we’ve already had a couple of pictures of Tay this week, but hey, it’s her birthday.

And I really wonder about this expression she’s wearing at the iHeart Radio Jingle Ball:

Taylor Swift for iHeart Radio

In a more mellow mood, here’s another shot from her Keds campaign:

Taylor Swift for Keds

Ah, those were the days.

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May I have some marmalade, please

In which the lovely and talented Taylor Swift does her best Paddington Bear look:

Taylor Swift in winter wear

Not that I’m going to tell her she can’t wear Ralph Lauren if she wants to:

Taylor Swift in Ralph Lauren collection

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Wende time comes

December 7, 1941, said FDR, was “a date that would live in infamy.” This probably doesn’t say anything about Wende Wagner, who was born the day before. With both parents sports-minded — Mom was a champion skier, Dad a swimming/diving coach turned career Navy officer — she gravitated toward doing those things herself, and it’s said that Billy Wilder, then filming Some Like It Hot at Coronado, California, saw Wagner swimming and invited her to take a screen test. “Not while you’re still in high school,” declared the parental units. (Later, she did the test, but turned down a role in Wilder’s The Apartment.)

And so she became an underwater stunt player on Sea Hunt and The Aquanauts:

Wende Wagner on the rocks

After her first marriage broke up, she decided that maybe standing in front of a camera might not be such a bad thing after all, and signed with 20th Century-Fox, where she had small roles in Rio Conchos and Rosemary’s Baby (on loan to Paramount), and a larger one in the TV series The Green Hornet.

Wende Wagner on the sofa

She retired in the early Seventies, and was seldom heard from thereafter, until her death from cancer in 1997.

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All about that face (no hijab)

Sıla Şahin, twenty-nine today, is a Turkish-German actress who has spent the last five years on the German soap opera Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten — more or less, Good Times, Bad Times, which could be the subtitle of any of a hundred soaps worldwide. You probably should not assume anything from her Muslim-sounding name.

Sıla Şahin in white

Sıla Şahin at a fashion show

A bit of controversy erupted when Şahin appeared in a pictorial for German Playboy (she was even on the cover [NSFW]) in 2011. News reports ran something like this:

A Turkish Muslim model appears naked on the May issue of Germany’s Playboy magazine, sparking debate in the country over Muslim women and sexuality as well as causing a rift with the model’s conservative family.

The Turkish German model, Sıla Şahin, had been living in Berlin and starring on the German television soap opera Good Times, Bad Times. In many ways, she had been an example of how a “well-integrated Turkish German should behave.”

Playboy’s German editor Florian Boitin pointed out some minor details:

“Sila isn’t Muslim. Her father doesn’t belong to any [religion] and her mother is Christian [sic]. And the Playboy cover with Sila Sahin is not a religious statement,” Boitin told FOX411.

Boitin continued to explain that as Editor in Chief he believed there was every reason to put Sahin on the cover to cater to a specific demographic within Germany.

Three million Muslims, half of whom presumably wanted a peek?

Şahin defended her appearance as one of those “freedom” things, though she probably didn’t help her cause by invoking the name of Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

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We’ll show those hatches

Guitarist Jennifer Batten, fifty-seven today, has put out three solo albums, though she’s probably best known for her axe work on tour with Michael Jackson, supporting Bad, Dangerous and HIStory, and in MJ’s Super Bowl appearance in 1993. She’s a bit wild and unruly in appearance, though this can be toned down a notch:

Jennifer Batten at rest

Or, you know, not:

Jennifer Batten at work

One of Batten’s influences is Jeff Beck; she appeared on his Who Else! (1999) and You Had It Coming (2001) albums, and toured with him for three years. In this amateur video — the picture is good, the sound not so much — she takes on a Beck original from the Who Else! album, “Brush with the Blues”:

She can definitely wail.

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All this and Superman too

By general assent, the number-one pinup among GIs in World War II was Betty Grable; you could make a pretty good case, though, for Noel Neill as Number Two, especially if you had these pix lying around:

Noel Neill smiles for the camera, circa 1944

Noel Neill smiles for the camera, circa 1945

This latter shot came from Paramount’s publicity mill, inasmuch as the studio had just signed her to a contract:

Noel Neill in a Paramount publicity still, circa 1941

She had a brief nonspeaking appearance in An American in Paris in 1951, but she is best remembered these days as Lois Lane, the spunky Daily Planet reporter who never could quite figure out that Kent fellow. She did two Superman serials; Phyllis Coates played the first year of the Adventures of Superman TV series, but had already made other commitments before anyone knew there’d be a second year, so Neill returned to the role. There is, as there should be, a statue of her in Metropolis. Today is her 95th birthday.

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In and out of chambers

Jeanine Pirro (currently “Judge Jeanine” on Fox News) posted this picture to Instagram earlier this week:

Jeanine Pirro in some fancy duds

“Can you believe I just walked 14 blocks in these heels?!” she said. “Cold outside, but warming up the office with my #ootd.” Outfit Of The Day, if you’re not hip to the lingo.

Let’s get a closer look at those heels:

Jeanine Pirro from here down

Manolo Blahnik, of course. (The dress is by Hervé Leger, and it’s clearly not one of his Bandages.)

And because every point needs a counterpoint:

Jeanine Pirro cuts the grass

The grass never had a chance.

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Her Majesty takes a spin

The idea of Royalty Having Fun might run counter to our expectations, perhaps because we’ve never had a royal family of our own, despite decades of media attempts to simulate one. For some reason, this pair of shots of Queen Máxima of the Netherlands gave me a silly grin, and I pass them on to you. The event is the 2013 opening of a park in Utrecht named for Her Majesty, last seen here resplendent in orange but on this date doing that color-block thing to considerable advantage:

Queen Maxima prepares to meet her subjects

And then this happened:

Queen Maxima on a bicycle

Be warned: the usual click-to-embiggen works here, but we’re talking 2 to 4 megabytes. Each.

Still awaiting final resolution: the question of cycling while wearing heels.

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