Archive for Stemware

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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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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Vintage charm

One thing you learn from this vintage advertisement is the proper pronunciation of the brand name:

Charmed Life from Kayser

Never underestimate the promotional value of a cheesy-sounding rhyme.

Julius Kayser first sold silk gloves in New York in 1880, and diversified into hosiery in 1908; the current Kayser company was incorporated in 1911 and became Kayser-Roth after a merger in 1958. Kayser-Roth has changed hands several times since then, and is currently owned by Golden Lady Company SpA of Italy.

This is obviously a British ad, what with the prices quoted in sterling. I am of course amused by the pricing: the low-end 1-2-3s were selling for 12/11, twelve shillings and eleven pence, because it sounds so much less than 13 shillings. This practice continued until the UK switched to decimal currency in 1971, after which they started pricing things in so many pounds and 99p.

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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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Sturdy yet jaunty

An artifact from about nine decades ago:

Iron Clad Hosiery Number 883

And you know, “jolly sassiness” is an attitude I tend to appreciate, even way out here in The Future. “Artificial silk,” usually shortened to “art silk” in the trade, was officially renamed “rayon” in the middle 1920s, about this time this Iron Clad ad appeared.

Cooper, Wells was in business back in the 1880s; they survived at least until 1936, by which time the other major industry in St. Joseph, Michigan, Upton Machine Company, had been making washing machines for twenty-five years. Upton had merged with the Nineteen Hundred Washer Company of Binghamton, New York, and kept that name until after World War II, after which they came up with a new one: Whirlpool.

Incidentally, Frederick Upton, one of the two Upton brothers of St. Joseph, had 18 great-granchildren, one of whom was supermodel Kate Upton, born there in 1992.

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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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S-ness

The May InStyle arrived last night, and when I finished my expected Reese Witherspoon-induced palpitations, I plunged further into the book, and found a brief fashion layout featuring a woman identified as SZA. These pix aren’t from that photoshoot, but they ring true:

SZA in orange

SZA headshot

First question answered: not related to Wu-Tang’s RZA, but she derives the name from the Supreme Alphabet. She’s twenty-four. She has freckles. And she’s had three EP-length releases: See.SZA.Run, S, and Z, though Z’s ten tracks run 41 minutes, decidedly long for an EP. (Up next: A.) “Julia” is a track from Z, which came out last year; “Tender” is a fragment from an as-yet-unreleased work that starts about 3:41.

To the iTunes Store I go.

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Toeing the line

There exists something called wikiFeet, billed as “The collaborative celebrity feet website.” It may surprise you to hear that I don’t actually hang around there, and on those few occasions when I do get there, it’s because Bing or Google sent me to get the full-sized version of a shot I was considering for Rule 5.

What do actual celebrities think of this? At least one is willing to try to get their attention:

Carly Simon sans shoes

This, I submit, takes a certain amount of guts if you’re three months away from your 70th birthday.

That said, Simon is highly regarded at wikiFeet: 59 photos and a 4.5-star rating. That picture isn’t there yet. But this one, from the Seventies, is:

Carly Simon sans husband

Lest we lose focus, the submitter almost, but not quite, cropped out then-hubby James Taylor.

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The many moods of Cindy

I think I’d be frowning too if I had to endure this:

Cindy Crawford gasses up

In other news, Cindy Crawford drives a Bentley. (And premium is $4.399 a gallon in Malibu.)

Let’s try a happier location:

Cindy Crawford on the red carpet at the Golden Globes

I bet she didn’t drive herself to the Globes, either.

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No Coke

Today we, or at least I, celebrate the birth of Turkish model-turned-actress Aysun Kayacı, who is 34 today. Of late, she’s been a presenter on the NTV television network out of Istanbul, and she does have that not-entirely-scrubbed TV-hostess look:

Aysun Kayacı photo

Aysun Kayacı photo

Why “No Coke”? Because of this Pepsi commercial from 2007:

Try that with your diet soda.

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Further illumination

The artist formerly known as Valerie Anne Poxleitner — she’s been simply “Lights” since she turned eighteen, about a decade ago — has been creeping into my playlists since I stumbled across “Second Go” a few years back.

Lights in a magazine photoshoot

Her 2014 album Little Machines won the Juno for Pop Album of the Year. This was the lead single:

And this is what she wore to pick up that Juno:

Lights at the 2015 Juno Awards

While “Up We Go” didn’t chart in the States, Little Machines did make it to #34 in Billboard, the best showing to date of any of her three albums.

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Sherawat’s news

With Mallika Sherawat, there’s always something going on besides the fact that, well, she looks like Mallika Sherawat:

Mallika Sherawat promo picture

Worthy wallpaper, yes. But she’s embroiled in yet another scandal:

In rare consonance, lawmakers in Rajasthan have come together across party lines to demand a ban on a Bollywood film called Dirty Politics. Its poster features actress Mallika Sherawat, in very few clothes, sitting in front of the Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha or assembly building.

On the poster, Ms Sherawat strikes a bold pose atop an ambassador car with a red beacon, much like government vehicles used by politicians and bureaucrats.

The lawmakers say the poster attacks the dignity of the House. Raising the issue in the assembly today, Congress leader Rameshwar Dudi said, “The picture of the Vidhan Sabha behind Mallika Sherawat is wrong and in bad taste.”

The offending image:

Dirty Politics poster featuring Mallika Sherawat

The Patna High Court had, in fact, banned the film, though the ban was lifted the next day:

Patna High Court had banned the release of Dirty Politics due to some objectionable scenes in the film. As a government lawyer reported, the court heard a petition that sough a ban on the release of the film. The petitioner had informed the court that the film shows Mallika Sherawat draped in the national flag of India, hence disrespecting the flag. Following this, a division bench at the court then ordered the authorities to stop the release of the movie until the objectionable were removed from it. The court had issued a notice to Central Board of Film Certification on this matter.

Which image was, of course, adapted for the poster. Nonetheless, the film was released Friday with Certificate A, for adults only, including a song titled “Ghaghara,” the video of which looks like this:

No word yet on a Stateside release.

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Sphynx on trial

A few months back, we showed you a preview of the new Sphynx razor for women. Marianne Mychaskiw, assistant beauty editor at InStyle, has now tried it out, and reports:

I wasn’t traveling anywhere and have failed at hitting the gym since before the holidays, but decided to take the Sphynx on a spin from my couch during a routine viewing of Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion. I began by misting the entirety of my lower leg with water, then worked the soap, which contains all-natural ingredients, over the top to form a lather. The product designers kind of thought of everything: a series of seven holes along either side of the device help the interior to completely dry, and the flat edge along the bottom allows the razor to sit straight up on the bathroom counter. Once you get used to the feeling of holding a rounded razor in your hand, it’s pretty much smooth sailing (pun intended) from there. Coming from the slim shape of the Venus razor, I had a little trouble with this part — and have the battle wound to prove it — but got the hang of it within a few minutes.

Conclusion: on par with similar products, with an edge (pun intended) in convenience. But:

Make sure to rotate the interior to either the soap or water spritzer before closing it with the cap. I failed to do this, and almost hurt myself when uncapping the product to find I accidentally left it twisted on the blade attachment. Do not be like me.

So noted. I admit that I can’t really imagine, say, Taylor Swift dealing with one of these contraptions, but then she’s covered for forty mil if something goes wrong.

Addendum: And something occasionally does, though in this case it’s the cat’s fault.

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Fresh from Lake Minnetonka

“That ain’t Lake Minnetonka,” said Prince, and didn’t take off on his motorcycle without the dripping-wet Apollonia Kotero, second-billed in Prince’s film Purple Rain back in 1984. She had, shall we say, a certain visual appeal:

Apollonia in the 1980s

And she could sing, kinda sorta. The ad hoc group Apollonia 6 performed a song called “Sex Shooter” in the film; a separate music video was issued to promote both the film and the one and only Apollonia 6 LP.

Apollonia 6, the album, might be more famous for the songs that were left off than for the seven that were included. (“Sex Shooter,” released as a single on Warner Bros. 29182, managed to clamber to #85 in Billboard.) All left on the cutting-room floor: “Manic Monday,” later a Bangles hit; “The Glamorous Life,” subsequently a hit for Sheila E.; and “17 Days,” cut by Prince himself and stuck on the B-side of the “When Doves Cry” single.

After leaving Prince behind, Apollonia appeared in the TV series Falcon Crest, cut a solo album, and set up a production company. She’s 55 now. And apart from a touch of the usual middle-age spread, she doesn’t seem to have changed much:

Oh, and she was nominated for a Razzie for Worst New Star, but lost to Olivia d’Abo.

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Meanwhile at Freckleface Strawberry’s place

This would be the logical place to insert a Still Alice reference, inasmuch as Julianne Moore just won an Academy Award for her performance in that film, but I work diligently at being illogical in these matters, and so I’m invoking the series of children’s books launched by Moore in 2007. “Freckleface,” like Moore herself, wanted nothing more as a child than to get rid of those awful marks on her face; eventually she learned to accept them.

You’ll have to try awfully hard to see anything resembling a freckle in these softish-focus fashion photos, first seen in L. A. Confidential this spring:

Julianne Moore in L. A. Confidential

Julianne Moore in L. A. Confidential

Then again, you have to figure that this is Standard Operating Procedure when the subject of the photoshoot is a woman of fifty-four.

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Coup de foudre

I own a reproduction of this vintage poster, in need of reframing:

Mistinguett poster Casino de Paris

“Paris shining,” kinda sorta. Jeanne Florentine Bourgeois made her debut at the Casino de Paris in 1895; she was just twenty and given to theatrical routines which were somewhat saucy for the times, and she appeared in both silent and sound films, the most recent being Carosello del varietà, from 1955, the year before her death.

Mistinguett poster Moulin Rouge

You might infer from the posters that the Mistinguett gams were highly regarded, and so they were: in 1919, it is reported, she had them insured for half a million francs. Actual photographs are not quite so easy to stumble across, but it’s possible. First, an extravagant stage appearance:

Mistinguett on stage Moulin Rouge

And away from the footlights:

Mistinguett offstage

Le coup de foudre — “Love at first sight” — was the title of a 1912 short film in which she appeared opposite Charles Lorrain.

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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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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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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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