'The Body' still turning heads at 50

Last updated 18:46 29/03/2013
elle macpherson
STILL GOT IT: Elle Macpherson is still turning heads at 50.

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Elle Macpherson is proof that being a supermodel can be a life-long project.

It's fair to say that the years, all 50 of them, have been particularly kind to the six-foot (1.83-metre) Australian model.

Dubbed "The Body", Macpherson catapulted on to the world stage in 1986 when she first graced the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition.

The fresh-faced 22-year-old was photographed frolicking around Bora Bora in a revealing powder-blue one-piece. The cover still rates in the "Top 10 Hottest Sports Illustrated Girls".

Macpherson has appeared on the cover of the magazine a record five times - in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1994 and 2006.

As she blows out the 50 candles on her birthday cake (even if she doesn't eat it) on March 29, there's no doubt Macpherson is as busy now as ever.

In the 1980s she became a member of an exclusive club of beauties that included Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford. These women, the first "supermodels", became household names, and changed the modelling and fashion industry.

While Macpherson was strutting her stuff as a model, she also set about becoming a multi-million-dollar businesswoman.

She developed a lingerie label, Elle Macpherson Intimates, became a spokesperson for Revlon cosmetics and went on to create a skin care range, Invisible Zinc.

More recently the mother-of-two has moved into fashion reality TV shows. Three years ago she got the gig of hosting Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model. Over in the United States she hosts and produces a fashion competition series, Fashion Star.

All this gives the Aussie plenty of red carpet invitations - and Macpherson never disappoints in the maintenance and fashion department.

Born Eleanor Gow on March 29, 1963, in the northern Sydney suburb of Killara, Macpherson aspired to a legal career until her modelling potential was spied in Aspen, Colorado.

She was briefly married to Elle creative manager Gilles Bensimon in the late 1980s, but her two sons, Arpad and Aurelius, were the result of a later relationship with Frenchman Arpad Busson. There are now rumours the birthday girl is engaged to US real estate developer Jeffrey Soffer.

While Macpherson still turns heads when she enters a room, some strange comments have come out of her mouth.

Recently she was ridiculed for her Francophile ways when Qantas flight attendants were asked to direct questions to one of her minders, who would then relay the message to her in French.

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Then there was the famous quote from Fairfax Media's Good Weekend magazine when Macpherson said she did not like reading things that she had not written.

As Macpherson said in a 2009 interview: "The challenge for me is to remain who I am, and not what I sell."



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