Elle Macpherson

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Elle Macpherson

Elle McPherson 05.jpeg
Also known as: "The Body"
Born: March 29, 1964 (1964-03-29) (age 53)
Cronulla, Sydney, Australia
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Nationality: Australian
Measurements: 36-25-35
Bra/cup size: 36C (80C)
Boobs: Natural
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Body type: Slim
Hair: Brown
Pubic hair: Full
Shown: Topless, Bush, Full frontal

Elle Macpherson (born 29 March 1964) is an Australian model, actress, philanthropist and businesswoman. She is best known for her record five cover appearances for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue from the 1980s and '90s and into the 2000s. She is also known as the founder and public face of a series of business ventures including Elle Macpherson Intimates, a lingerie line, and "The Body", a line of skin care products. According to Forbes, she is worth around £60 million.


Early life

Macpherson was born in Cronulla, Sydney, the daughter of Peter Gow, a former president of Sydney rugby league club, the Cronulla Sharks.[1] Her mother Frances worked as a nurse before she married. Elle grew up in Killara, a North Shore suburb of Sydney, and attended Killara High School. She is the eldest of four children including activist Mimi Macpherson. Macpherson’s parents divorced when she was 10, and she moved with her mother and two siblings. Her mother remarried, and a mistake registering at a new school meant that her name was changed from her father's, Gow, to her stepfather's, Macpherson.[2][3]

Rise to fame

At age 17, planning to follow in her stepfather's footsteps, Elle enrolled to study law at Sydney University.[4] Before starting college, she visited the United States with the intent of spending her gap year modeling in order to pay for her university education. Macpherson traveled to New York, where she initially signed with Click Model Management. It was to be the beginning of a 25-year stay.

Her career properly began in 1982 with a television commercial for Tab Cola that established her as a "girl next door" figure in Australia.[5] By 1986, Time Magazine had already put her on the cover (with a feature entitled "The Big Elle"); she had by that time also been featured on the covers of Elle, GQ, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Tatler, and Playboy.

Already possessing worldwide name recognition, Macpherson cemented her high profile through frequent appearances in Elle magazine, where she appeared in every issue for six straight years. During this time she married, when she was 21, Elle Creative Director Gilles Bensimon.[6]

Eventually she gained even more exposure through Sports Illustrated magazine’s annual swimsuit issue. She appeared on the cover a record five times, in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1994 and 2006. Her popularity had reached such a level that Australian government offered her a post on its tourist commission as an unofficial ambassador.[7]

Business career

In the 1980s, together with Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Paulina Porizkova and Cindy Crawford, Macpherson became part of the first generation of supermodels. Among this elite grouping, however, she began to display a singular ability to create and manage her own business properties. In 1994, she shocked the modeling world by parting from her prestigious agency, Ford Models, to work more lucratively for her own company, Elle Macpherson Inc. This company would serve as a financial and organizational base for her later endeavors.[8]

She soon went on to produce her own highly popular series of calendars, each of which was accompanied by a making of television program in 1992, 1993, 1994. She used this success as a springboard to create the "Your Personal Best -- The Body" series of workout videos.[8]

Macpherson later diversified her portfolio of businesses, and in 1990 launched her eponymous lingerie collection Elle Macpherson Intimates in partnership with Bendon Limited Apparel. Intimates met with remarkable international success, becoming the single best-selling lingerie line in both Great Britain[9] and Australia[10] Breaking the mold of many spokesmodels, Macpherson took an active role in the development and management of the company, serving as Chief Marketing Officer and later Creative Director. While nursing her second child, she spearheaded the development of a signature maternity bra line.[11] Intimates has retained a high brand recognition into the 2000s, appearing as a featured brand on America's Next Top Model.

More recently she created her own label of beauty products: Elle Macpherson - The Body. She has launched or served as spokesmodel for campaigns by Boots,[12] Invisible Zinc,[13] and Hot Tuna.[14]

The BBC series The Money Programme aired a documentary which followed the supermodel turned entrepreneur Macpherson through her day-to-day business as she continued to develop her international lingerie business.

In March 2008, Elle signed a 3-year spokesperson deal with Revlon. She has since been featured in print and advertising campaigns.[15]

Elle Macpherson is currently signed to G2 Entertainment.

Has her own wax statue at London's Madame Tussaud's.

Acting career

Macpherson made her movie debut playing an artist's model in the 1994 Sirens, which starred Hugh Grant, Sam Neill, Tara Fitzgerald, Kate Fischer and co-starred Portia de Rossi. Macpherson gained 9 kg (20lb) to disguise her athletic frame for the period role.[16] After Sirens, Macpherson followed with a 2-year series of acting roles, appearing in films such as Woody Allen’s Alice, Batman and Robin alongside George Clooney, The Edge with Anthony Hopkins, and The Mirror Has Two Faces with Barbara Streisand.

In 1999, Macpherson appeared in five episodes of the United States sitcom Friends as Joey's roommate and girlfriend, Janine Lecroix. Macpherson went on to film Jane Eyre with William Hurt and has also appeared alongside Ben Stiller and Sarah Jessica Parker in If Lucy Fell. Her most controversial acting is the Showtime cable network miniseries A Girl Thing in which she plays a woman experimenting with bisexuality alongside Kate Capshaw.

In early 2009, it has been reported that "The Body" went on a business venture trip to Montreal, Canada alongside Mischa Barton and Ashton Kutcher in attempt to shoot a sample of the proposed reality show A Beautiful Life, which would talk about aspiring models working for a modeling agency, trying to make it big in the Big Apple and in the Fashion World. [17]

Extortion attempt

On July 12 and 23, 1997, William Ryan Holt and Michael Mischler burgled Macpherson's Los Angeles home while she was on business in Chicago. The pair stole an estimated $100,000 worth of jewelery, $6,000 in cash, and nude photographs. The two were arrested on 4 August 1997.[18]

Mischler, 29, admitted one count of attempted extortion and one count of burglary. He received a six year, eight month sentence. Holt, 26, a former Air Force serviceman and a military inmate on parole, admitted one count of extortion and was sentenced to a year in jail.

Humanitarian and philanthropic work

Macpherson is a European Ambassador for RED, an initiative set up by Bono and Bobby Shriver to raise money and awareness for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria[19] to help eradicate AIDS for women and children in Africa; she is also an ambassador for UNICEF. [20] In her native Australia, she is an ambassador for the Smile Foundation, which helps the families of children with rare diseases and organizes government research grants.[3]

Personal life

Macpherson met Gilles Bensimon in 1982 on a shoot for Elle magazine. The couple married in 1985 but divorced after 4 years together in 1989.[6]

Macpherson has two sons with her former long-term boyfriend, French financier Arpad Busson: Arpad Flynn Alexander Busson (born 14 February 1998) and Aurelius Cy Andrea Busson (born 4 February 2003), known as Flynn and Cy respectively. The couple started their relationship in 1995 and were engaged in August 2002 but separated in July 2005.

Macpherson currently resides in the United Kingdom, where she raises her two children.

She speaks French fluently, and is conversational in Italian and Spanish.[21]


Year Film
1990 Alice
1994 Sirens
1996 Jane Eyre
If Lucy Fell
The Mirror Has Two Faces
1997 Batman & Robin
The Edge
1998 With Friends Like These...
2000 Friends
2001 A Girl Thing
South Kensington

| friends


  1. timeout magazine "Colourful Sydney Identity #50" - November 19, 2008 edition
  2. Davidson, Andrew. "Elle Macpherson looks good with Intimates", The Sunday Times, March 23.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Above Magazine, Fall 2008. "Body Talk with Elle Macpherson," p. 16-31
  4. Telegraph Magazine, September 1, 2001, Pages 40-45.

 “By the age of 17, Macpherson had blossomed like the proverbial swan; she had enrolled at a Sydney modeling agency and won a place at the university of Sydney to read Law.”
  5. http://www.lifelounge.com/Elle-Macpherson-Tab-Commercial.aspx
  6. 6.0 6.1 ES Magazine, Evening Standard, April 23, 2004, p. 30-33

 “Before starting college, she went on a skiing trip to Aspen, Colorado; on the way home, she was persuaded by her booker to stop off in New York and see if she could get some work. She stayed for 20 years, marrying the photographer Gilles Bensimon at 21. She was his muse. but the age difference (20 years) proved too great and they divorced six years later, in 1989.”
  7. http://nymag.com/fashion/models/emacpherson/ellemacpherson/
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Daily Mail, Sunday You Magazine, September 15, 2002, p. 28-33:

 “The Elle calendar became a worldwide hit and a new version has been produced twice since, while her 1995 video, Your Personal Best Workout: The Body, was also a bestseller."
  9. The Sunday Times Business, March 23, 2008, p. 17: “Macpherson, supermodel-turned-lingerie queen, has made that her leitmotif. Elle Macpherson Intimates range is the biggest selling brand of fashion lingerie in Britain.”
  10. Tatler, July 2002, vol. 297, num. 7, p. 98-107
: “We’re going through Elle’s underwear. This is what she does. She designs knickers and bras. She's very good at it, very successful. It makes her more money than modeling, and Elle's made a lot of money modeling.”
  11. Wall Street Journal Europe, Style Journal, Winter 2006 Edition, p. 36-42: "And so, Macpherson made the transition from spokes model, to designer and chief marketing officer for the growing product line. The company credits her with the ideas for many products, including its successful maternity-bra line, which Macpherson designed while nursing her second child.”
  12. http://uk.fashion.popsugar.com/2302422
  13. http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,23012379-2761,00.html
  14. http://www.just-style.com/article.aspx?id=94291
  15. 03/080327-elle-for-revlon.aspx Vogue
  16. Elle Macpherson - Biography
  17. http://moncinema.cyberpresse.ca/nouvelles-et-critiques/nouvelles/nouvelle-cinema/7988-Elle-Macpherson-dans-la-camera-de-Christian-Duguay.html
  18. The Smoking Gun
  19. http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/privatesector/red/?lang=en
  20. GQ Australia, Winter 2006, p. 90-99: “I am working on projects like my ex's education program [ARK, a charity that funds schools for needy children world-wide], with Bono and the American Express RED project - which is all about poverty and AIDS support - and UNICEF's breast-feeding program.”
  21. Wall Street Journal Europe Style Journal, Winter 2006 Edition, p. 42

External links

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