Archive for Stemware

Stronger than Trabants

I admit, I can’t read the model’s expression on this package:

Package of Enda brand pantyhose

It’s a look that definitely predates German reunification in 1990: these are East German tights, mit Gesäßerweiterung, which Google persists in altering just enough to mean “with vasodilation.” So: East German support hose, and why the heck not?

Back then Esda was using some mysterious fiber called “Dederon,” which turns out to be a version of Perlon/Nylon 6 that the DDR chose to name for itself. Esda’s plant in Auerbach, Saxony apparently still exists, though the company is now a part of Ergora Fashion GmbH in nearby Oberlungwitz.

Personal note: Back in the 1990s, I had a dental hygienist who looked almost exactly like this, minus the eyeroll, at least from here up: I never saw her in a dress. Which is probably just as well, since I’d probably have asked her to run away with me¹ to Germany or something.

¹ Yeah, right.

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No sign of the dollar

I admit to not having had much use for Ke$ha, as the singer used to spell it, even if she did move 14 million downloads of “Tik Tok.” Having reverted to simply “Kesha,” she’s pushed herself a little farther, and while looking for something else — isn’t that always the case? — I stumbled across this track from her 2012 album Warrior. It’s the last song in the collection, it’s the only one she wrote herself, and I think she’s won me over:

(If this vaguely reminds you of Sia’s “Chandelier,” a favorite in these parts, well, it’s the same producer: Greg Kurstin. And Kesha’s song came out first.)

And you know, I’m the last guy in the world to complain about blue and/or purple hair, even on the Tonight Show:

Kesha on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon July 2014

(Photo by Theo Wargo/NBC.)

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In the interests of civilization

Meaningless factoid: Lauren Bacall was a first cousin to Israeli president Shimon Peres.

Lauren Bacall and friend

Above, Bacall’s influence on a well-trained critter. Below, Bacall’s influence on a somewhat less well-trained critter:

Bugs Bunny and Lauren Bacall in 'Slick Hare', 1947

Meaningless factoid: Lauren Bacall is the only Oscar winner to have been married to two other Oscar winners: Humphrey Bogart (of course) and Jason Robards.

Something to track down: the dubbed English version of Ernest et Célestine, a French-Belgian animated film based on Gabrielle Vincent’s books, in which Bacall is the voice of The Grey One, caretaker at a mouse orphanage. Released early this year, it was her last film credit.

Not at all meaningless, an exchange between Bogie and Bacall from The Big Sleep:

Philip Marlowe: You wanna tell me now?

Vivian Rutledge: Tell you what?

Philip: What it is you’re trying to find out. You know, it’s a funny thing. You’re trying to find out what your father hired me to find out, and I’m trying to find out why you want to find out.

Vivian: You could go on forever, couldn’t you? Anyway it’ll give us something to talk about next time we meet.

Philip: Among other things.

The world seems a bit less civilized now.

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Double the licks

Electra and Elise Avellán are 28 today; you may have seen them in the Robert Rodriguez segment of Grindhouse or Rodriguez’ subsequent screamfests Machete and Machete Kills. Here they’re just a pair of twins selling sweet stuff:

Electra and Elise Avellan in Two Scoops

Except, of course, that they’re not. Rodriguez’ short Two Scoops — I’d embed it here, but it’s technically unlisted at YouTube, so I’m sending you to Miramax instead — reveals their True Identities and a great deal more. (It helps, if you’re looking for a role in a Rodriguez film, to be his niece; they’re actually related to Rodriguez’ ex-wife, Elizabeth Avellán, but she is still VP and co-owner of his production company, so they’re not entirely estranged.)

And here’s a shot out of costume, I think:

Elise and Electra Avellan at a press conference

Maybe I’ll rethink that vanilla.

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Zooeypalooza 21!

I can go on only so long without knocking out one of these. And it’s slightly bigger than usual: twelve pictures instead of nine, ten or eleven.

Zooeypalooza 21!

As usual, you may click to embiggen.

YesterPaloozas: 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.

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The operative word is “funny”

The Daily Show’s bio of correspondent Jessica Williams:

Jessica Williams is an actress, writer, and all-around funny lady from Los Angeles, California. She credits her ability to be hilarious on her very large funny bone. No really, she has been six feet tall since she was in middle school. At first she was awkward and super weird. Then she became funny and still super weird.

They say “super weird” like it’s a bad thing.

She started on The Daily Show in 2012, reporting from the Republican primary in South Carolina, which gave her the perfect excuse to show up to the Comedy Awards:

Jessica Williams at the 2012 Comedy Awards

I do love that dress. (And I wonder how hard it was to find the shoes, since she admits to a size 11.) She turns 25 on Wednesday.

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You’ll have a ball

And apparently you don’t need to hold it up, either:

1950s advertisement for NoMend hosiery

Mayer-Beaton Corporation of Wayne, New Jersey owned this brand, which was made in a mill in Philadelphia that closed around 1955. The company still owned several brands of unmentionables after that; trademarks owned by them started to show up as Cancelled Section 8 — no declaration of continued use — in the 1980s.

I also got a CD cover out of this.

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In which Mindy projects

There’s actually no projected date for the publication of Mindy Kaling’s second book, Why Not Me? It didn’t stop her, though, from putting up some Instagrams from the photo shoot for the book cover, a couple of which I’ve borrowed, with the help of InStyle.

This first lacy thingumabob comes from Dolce & Gabbana:

Mindy Kaling in D and G

And this, with pockets yet, from 5th & Mercer:

Mindy Kaling in 5th and Mercer

If you’re not familiar with 5th & Mercer, it’s a line designed by La La Anthony, who is married to NBA star Carmelo Anthony. The shoes are all Jimmy Choos.

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Getting procedural

Ever been fired and then rehired? AJ Cook has:

After a week of negotiations, AJ Cook just closed a two-year deal to return to CBS’ drama Criminal Minds as a regular. She will guest star in the series’ sixth season finale on May 18 before re-joining the show full-time in the fall.

Cook departed Criminal Minds after the end of last season when her option was not picked up, stirring outcry among fans of the show. She appeared in the first two episodes of this season to wrap the storyline of her character JJ, who was transferred from the BAU to a job at the Pentagon.

She wasn’t a proper profiler, but was serving as the BAU’s media liaison; when she returned in season seven, she’d apparently been trained as a profiler.

Then again, that two-year deal was signed in 2011. Two years later, here she is doing an upfront at CTV:

AJ Cook at CTV

Criminal Minds finished its ninth season this spring, and will be back this fall; everything I’ve seen says that AJ will be back with it.

From the massive collection of Things I Didn’t Know: As a child, AJ was legally blind, and wasn’t much better than that as an adult. Severe astigmatism, they said:

“I was that little kid with Coke bottle glasses,” she recalls. “I started wearing contacts at a really young age because I was a dancer and I couldn’t dance on stage with glasses on.”

Even laser eye surgery wasn’t an option because, as the actress explains, “They’d have to take away too much of my eye. It’s way too dangerous.”

Then a new procedure emerged called Visian ICL, a lens implant that corrects the impairment. So [in 2007] Cook had the surgery done.

Incidentally, this is the second character on Criminal Minds who’s gotten a mention here, the first being Kirsten Vangsness, who plays Penelope Garcia.

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Like this stuff grows on trees or something

After World War II, DuPont, inventor of nylon, went back to vending it as a silk substitute, but a lot of wholly unrelated requests came in over the transom, and the versatile polymer was pressed (or extruded, or whatever) into service in many different forms. One of the least likely, perhaps, was Remington’s Nylon 66 rifle, with nylon stock and receiver; they sold a million of them, and heaven knows how much .22LR, in thirty years.

But in the 1950s, DuPont’s bread and butter for nylon was still the garment industry, and when they came up with new dyed versions of the fiber, well, this was the result:

DuPont institutional ad for stockings in color

(Note: This embiggens to over 1.2 MB.)

Hosiery manufacturers rushed to take advantage of the new colors, just in time for the Sixties.

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A hint of thirst

First she was Agnes Monica Muljoto, which was quickly shortened to simply “Agnes Monica,” under which name the Indonesian singer released several albums, the last of which was a best-of package called Agnes Is My Name. And then, suddenly, it wasn’t; she resurfaced as “Agnez Mo,” perhaps in the interest of getting some recognition in the States. I think I’d recognize someone like this:

Agnez Mo in 12/13 Regard Magazine

That business about “Coke Bottle” in the text refers to this:

Something of a departure, I think, from her earlier image:

Agnez Mo

Of course, I’m old enough to remember when “Coke Bottle” described cars:

Chevrolet Camaro

And it’s not like Agnez is some sort of throwback, either. In a weird sort of marketing innovation, the aforementioned Agnes Is My Name compilation was distributed through KFC locations in Indonesia: you could buy it separately, or it could be thrown in with the purchase of a combo meal. The album moved about a million copies.

(Now that I think about it, though, it’s probably a good thing that the album came out before the “Coke Bottle” single, inasmuch as the 400-odd KFC stores in Indonesia sell Pepsi.)

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Swiftly moving

Literally tens of pictures of Taylor Swift cross my desk every month. More, even, now that the @SwiftOnSecurity Twitter account is up to teach us civilians about encryption and post observations like this:

But I wanted to run this one, reportedly snapped after she left the gym Monday, because (1) I can’t help wondering what she’s listening to and (2) she’s a trifle banged up, which supports my ongoing notion that anything perfect is fake.

Taylor Swift doing the long stride

First person to ask “You noticed she’s wearing earbuds?” is forthwith banished.

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Some last-century thinking

There are message boards that specialize in girlie pix, and even in sections of girlie pix, one of which (never you mind) was offering this stirring photo of Carole Lombard from here down:

Carole Lombard, mostly

The description hinted that there was something risqué about the full photo, which of course I immediately sought out:

Carole Lombard with John Barrymore

Her partner in crime here is John Barrymore, and this turns out to be a publicity still for Columbia’s 1934 comedy Twentieth Century, much of which is set on the fabled 20th Century Limited train between New York and Chicago. The key number here is 1934, that being the year that the Production Code was first enforced, and needless to say, the Hays Office would have had a problem with this sort of thing. This image wasn’t in the actual film, though, so it fell under the jurisdiction of the Advertising Advisory Council, headed by Joseph I. Breen, later the Production Code’s chief enforcer. An explanation, plus a larger version of the photo:

One wonders which more drew the wrath of the moralist Breen: the acres and acres of lovely Lombard leg on display, or the hint of a nipple just above Barrymore’s hand. Maybe both were equal opportunity offenders. And perhaps Carole and John knew this picture wasn’t going to pass muster anyway, so instead they decided to milk it for all its worth, sort of along the lines of Jean Harlow flashing a topless display “for the boys in the lab” at the end of her rain barrel scene in Red Dust two years before.

Oh, my, yes, Red Dust (MGM, ’32). Even in the surviving footage, the normally unflappable Clark Gable seems seriously flapped.

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Faye accompli

Faye Emerson, born on this date in 1917, sticks in my mind because she did all manner of television in the 1950s: variety shows, game shows, you name it. Of course, she didn’t start out that way: in the 1940s she was on the Warner Bros. studio payroll, and while she never made it up to the A-list, she was pretty much always working, and pretty much always pretty:

Faye Emerson, starlet

Curiously, while I was out looking for additional photos, I encountered this phenomenon:

Faye Emerson wardrobe malfunction

This 1950 clip, once you get past the Pepsi promotion, illustrates how such a thing could be possible in that sanitary age:

Bonus: Steve Allen in his late twenties.

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I have no idea if she’s brassy

When Robert Stacy McCain invented Rule 5 back in 2009, part of his rationale was this:

All politics all the time gets boring after a while. Observant readers will notice that the headlines at Hot Air often feature silly celebrity tabloid stuff and News Of The Weird. Even a stone political junkie cannot subsist on a 24/7 diet of politics. The occasional joke, the occasional hot babe, the occasional joke about a hot babe — it’s a safety valve to make sure we don’t become humorless right-wing clones of those Democratic Underground moonbats.

I’ve never been all politics all the time, but five years later, I can usually count on about 100 extra visitors from whatever hot-babe pictures I can come up with, which is a decent bump if you’re averaging a couple thousand a week. Besides, I do try to challenge myself to come up with something interesting to say, the Zooeypaloozas aside.

None of which really explains how I stumbled across Turkish actress Tuba Büyüküstün, whom I simply had to write about because (1) she’s gorgeous and (2) it’s her birthday and (3) “Tuba” is actually her middle name and (4) did you see all those umlauts?

From the Turkish edition of Elle, December 2012:

Tuba Büyüküstün in Elle Turkey 12/12

Tuba Büyüküstün in Elle Turkey 12/12

Also from Elle, a year earlier, she accepts a Style Award. She’s obviously pregnant in the video; she gave birth to twin girls in January 2012. (She’s married to Turkish actor Onur Saylak.)

Oh, her actual first name is Hatice, and she’s thirty-two today. And yes, this is the second time I’ve reported on a Turkish actress this week. Like I said, I retain a certain fondness for the place.

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Like a Bosphorus

I usually don’t bother to show you jeans advertising, especially Turkish jeans advertising, but one thing led to another, and besides, it’s in Istanbul, which remains one of my favorite cities despite the fact that I haven’t been there in nearly forty years.

Anyway, this is the spot:

The chap is named Francisco Lachowski, as un-Turkish a name as you’re likely to find in beautiful downtown Byzantium, but it was, I must admit, the young lady who caught my eye: Serenay Sarıkaya, twenty-three today, first runner-up in the 2010 Miss Turkey pageant, representing Ankara, the capital. (She was born in Antalya.) Before I saw the TV spot, I saw this still, which someone apparently snagged from a Flash piece:

Serenay Sarıkaya for Mavi Jeans

What prompted all this, actually, was happening upon a reference to Mavi Jeans, a Turkish denim brand: “Mavi” being the Turkish word for “blue,” I got a bit giggly for a moment, and maybe more so when I found their American storefront — which is built on a Tumblr blog.

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Where’s my quest?

Every day is a good day to celebrate Felicia Day, but today is her birthday — her 37th — and she’s out of town, so she won’t notice this. In fact, she’s been in Europe for the last week, meeting up with that sector of the fanbase.

Now that The Guild has run its course, she’s shown up on Geek & Sundry and done several episodes of Supernatural on the CW. Perhaps the biggest event in her year is Comic-Con in San Diego, coming up in late July. Here’s how she looked for last year’s SDCC:

Felicia Day at Comic-Con 2013

I am quite certain that dress is not microwavable.

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Ghosh of a chance

Payal Ghosh, twenty-four, has appeared in eight different films in five different languages, which seems almost reasonable for a young woman from Kolkata with a political-science degree from the Scottish Church College — which is also in Kolkata.

Payal Ghosh in a lawn chair

Her first appearance was in English, a small role in the BBC telefilm Sharpe’s Peril. She has since appeared in films in Telugu, Tamil and Kannada, and is now working in Hindi; her most recent work, in Vivek Agnihotri’s Freedom (in Hindi), is in post-production.

Payal Ghosh kicks back

And will she ever put that political stuff to work? “You never know where destiny will take you,” she says.

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But enough said about that

Eve Hewson, quoted in the July Vanity Fair: “I dress pretty much like a nine-year-old boy.”

My inner nine-year-old girl was immediately curious, and I hit up the search engines, but found nothing really persuasive. Perhaps this is how she avoids paparazzi, and therefore there are no pictures.

I did, however, find several items like this:

Eve Hewson semi=prone

I certainly don’t remember any of that sort of thing when I was an actual nine-year-old boy.

Eve is her middle name: her first name is Memphis, and her parents are Bono (yes!) and Ali Hewson. Despite serious parental disapproval, she started acting in 2005 at the age of fourteen in Erica Dunton’s short Lost and Found alongside older sister Jordan. (Bono, said to be the uncredited producer, presumably is responsible for Eve’s billing as “Brenda M. Stankard.”) Dunton brought her back for the 2008 feature The 27 Club; she’s also appeared in Enough Said (as the daughter of the James Gandolfini character) and This Must Be the Place. In none of these, so far as I can tell, does she look like a subtween boy.

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Seams to me

Socks are not exactly mysterious — I put on a pair at least six days a week — but every now and then I notice that they’re not perfectly lined up. It doesn’t really matter, except for that little area between trouser hemline and shoe top, and probably not there either, but I do get exercised over such things.

Which makes me wonder how in the world women were able to put up with seamed stockings. One answer, circa 1953:

Larkwood hosiery ad from 1953

But seams were on the way out, what with the arrival of circular knitting machines, which had existed since the 1930s but were not perfected until after World War II.

Chadbourn, the Charlotte-based manufacturer of Larkwood, wound up also owning the Hudson brand.

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You’ve seen one, you’ve seen Amal

Or maybe not. George Clooney’s never had any shortage of girlfriends, but Amal Alamuddin seems different somehow. Born in Beirut in 1978, she’s a brand-name barrister at a major British chamber; she has represented Julian Assange, of Wikileaks fame, and former Ukraine prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. And here, at the Global Summit to end Sexual Violence in Conflict last week, she demonstrates an unusually pronounced ability to stay awake:

Amal Alamuddin at the Global Summit to end Sexual Violence in Conflict

Rumor has it that the pair will wed at a palace in Venice this fall, after one year together, and that Clooney’s been looking for a lovenest in the south of France.

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Hemline news

It has long been a tenet in these parts that the legs are the last things to go, and further, that women are generally aware of this. To illustrate this premise, here is a 1988 appearance in Esquire by Meredith Vieira, who was then working on the CBS news show West 57th:

Meredith Vieira in Esquire magazine

At the time, she was thirty-four. Compare to this shot from March of this year, when she appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson:

Meredith Vieira on The Late Late Show

This fall — she turns 61 in December — she’ll be hosting her own daytime talker, distributed by NBC Universal. And the keyword here is “daytime,” which pretty much guarantees that they won’t stick her behind a desk.

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Greece is the word

Celebrating her 31st birthday today, Her Royal Highness Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark:

Princess Theodora

She comes by this complicated title naturally: she’s the younger daughter (fourth child) of former King Constantine II of Greece and Anne-Marie of Denmark. Constantine, as it happens, is connected to the Danish royal family on his own — he’s a lineal descendant of Christian IX — so the abolition of the Greek monarchy did not diminish his royalness in the slightest.

Theodora, born in London, attended Brown University under the name “Theodora Greece,” the same name she’s used for 52 episodes (so far) of the CBS soap The Bold and the Beautiful, playing Alison Montgomery.

Princess Theodora

She’s also dipping a toe into feature films.

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The Lively set

Robert Stacy McCain, having found her name in a fiskable article, wants to know: “Who is Blake Lively?”

Being the generous soul I am, I will tell him, and you, that Blake Lively is an actress (Gossip Girl, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) and occasional celebrity cook. She’s twenty-six. And he, and you, should know this up front:

Boobs Legsly: A nickname for Blake Lively, originating from the period of time when Blake would go out of the house wearing cleavtacular outfits that also showed a lot of leg, in opposition to the traditional advice to show either boobs or legs but not both. As of this writing, she seems to have reined in this habit, but she also proudly does not use a stylist, so anything could happen.

For instance, this happened at a Lady Gaga-related event in the spring of ’11:

Blake Lively at Gaga's Workshop in New York

Which takes care of the first name. Now the second:

Blake Lively at 12/12/12 Benefit

Last I looked, Lively was filming Adaline in Vancouver: she and Michiel Huisman play a Romantic Item.

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While she knocks you into the dust

The tallest woman I ever met — I mean, in person, face to, um, chin — was a hair over six foot two. She was perhaps not a great beauty, but it didn’t matter: were she anywhere in the room, she was the one you noticed, no matter who else managed to show up.

I’ve never met Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones and who stands somewhere between half an inch and two inches taller than that, but I suspect she has the same sort of effect:

Gwendoline Christie in a limo

This week she was signed for the next Star Wars film, playing a Wookie who’d been dragged through the River Nair tall person.

Being incredibly tall, it would appear, might not confer upon a person the ability to make the finest judgment calls, fashionwise:

Gwendoline Christie at the Game of Thrones Premiere 2013

Said Fug Girl Jessica: “I love you, and I know you are like six foot four, but THIS IS TOO SHORT.”

At least she’s not sitting down in it.

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Plum delight

How did I miss this? Angie Harmon, at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April, in a delightfully tiny Roberto Cavalli:

Angie Harmon at 49th ACM Awards

The usual question — Rizzoli or red carpet? — remains tantalizingly unanswered.

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Pretty fly for a White girl

Priscilla White became Cilla Black purely by accident. A featured vocalist with several Liverpool bands, she’d managed to work herself up to a mention in Mersey Beat, about which founder/publisher Bill Harry recalls:

I remember going down to the State Ballroom one evening when I was putting the first issue together and asking Cilla if she had the fashion column she promised me. She was with her mate Pat Davies and Cass & the Cassanovers were on stage. When I got back to the office I began working on the copy of the first issue and then began to type out a story on Cilla. When it came down to putting down her surname, my mind went blank. I knew it was a colour, but forgot which one. I took out the piece of paper with Cilla’s fashion column in it, but she hadn’t signed it. The column was all about colours in fashion and went from white to black. Looking at it, I decided on the black. I was wrong. Her name was Cilla White! After Mersey Beat was published, Cilla came into the office and told me I’d got her surname wrong — but she liked it so much she decided to call herself Cilla Black from now on!

Her career managed by Brian Epstein, her records produced by George Martin — for Parlophone, natch — Cilla became a major star in Britain and a television fixture.

Cilla Black on British television

Lots of middle-Sixties pop stars were on the wane by the end of the decade, but not Cilla. Her 1969 album Surround Yourself with Cilla was ostensibly so titled because it was never issued in mono:

Surround Yourself With Cilla

Or you might listen to the final track:

Her last UK chart item was a 1993 duet with Dusty Springfield titled “Heart and Soul” — not the Tin Pan Alley standard — which, like all her records, went largely unheard in the States, except for this one:

“You’re My World” crept onto Billboard at #26; the follow-up, “It’s For You,” a Lennon/McCartney (of course) number, died at #79.

Cilla Black is 71 today, and still all over British television. Meanwhile, her 1960s self abides: ITV is shooting a three-part TV series about her rise to fame, which will star acclaimed actor Sheridan Smith.

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Meanwhile at the beach

Somebody told me Molly Sims was 40, and I reacted as though someone had told me that Bud Light had won an international beer taste test: it’s possible, I suppose, but you can’t make me believe it.

A nice Miami Beach shot from December:

Molly Sims at Miami Beach December 2013

And a nifty swimsuit by Shoshanna.

Oh, and she’ll be 41 tomorrow. I need a beer.

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Hello, Aunt Zelda

Beth Broderick is best known to some of us as Zelda Spellman, one of the aunts keeping watch over Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, which ran for seven years as part of ABC’s TGIF lineup. I stumbled across this picture, with the caption “Bad Dates,” and, well, it had to be here.

Beth Broderick in Bad Dates

Bad Dates is a hilarious play by Theresa Rebeck; I saw it locally at CityRep in ’06, starring Stacey Logan. It’s easy to imagine Broderick in this role. (And yes, there’s a reason she’s holding a shoe.)

More recently, Beth’s done an episode of Melissa & Joey, reuniting her with Sabrina herself, Melissa Joan Hart.

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Birthday royal

All that, and an orange dress too! This is Queen Máxima, wife of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, who acceded to the throne in 2013 when his mother, Queen Beatrix, abdicated in his favor. At forty-seven, he’s the youngest monarch in Europe.

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands

Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti, forty-three today, was born in Buenos Aires; she has a degree in economics and has worked as an investment banker. Apparently at first she knew him only as Alexander, some guy she met in Spain; he did not mention that he was the Prince of Orange and heir to the Dutch throne. Even before Beatrix’s announcement of her abdication, the Dutch parliament was divided over whether Máxima should be given the title of Queen — typically, she would be given the title Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau — and eventually decided that yes, she would be considered the queen consort. Her Majesty and her husband are bringing up three very lovely girls.

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