Elle MacPherson - Biography & Career
Elle Macpherson (born Eleanor Nancy Gow on 29 March 1963 or 1964 in Killara, New South Wales, Australia) is an Australian supermodel and actress. Nicknamed “The Body”, Elle is six feet (1.82 m) tall.
Macpherson is the eldest of four children. Her parents divorced when she was fourteen, and her mother later married Neil Macpherson. Macpherson then changed her last name for her stepfather's. She studied law for one year at the University of Sydney.
While vacationing in Tasmania, Macpherson was discovered and signed to Chick Model Management. Macpherson became an international star through her appearance in ELLE magazine — every issue, for six straight years - helped by marrying aged 21 to ELLE creative manager Gilles Bensimon. Eventually she gained even more exposure through Sports Illustrated magazine’s annual swimsuit issue. She appeared on the cover a record four times, including three years in a row.
By 1986, her popularity had increased sufficiently for Time magazine to run a cover entitled “The Big Elle”. The Australian government simultaneously offered her a post on the tourist commission as an unofficial ambassador.
Macpherson made her movie debut playing an artist's model in the 1994 Sirens, which starred Hugh Grant, Sam Neill, Tara Fitzgerald and co-starred Portia de Rossi, as another model. Macpherson gained 9 kilograms (20 lb) and her breasts grew to a voluptuous 37D. She surprised fans and critics by appearing unabashedly in numerous nude scenes, earning her top billing for the film above more established actors (in fact, all the female characters in the movie appeared nude at least once in the film).
Soon after Sirens, Elle appeared completly nude in Playboy magazine. Elle chose for the picutres to be published in all countries except Australia, as she believed her Australian fans could be offended by the shoot. At the time she posed for Playboy, Australian magazines Women's Day and New Idea published shots from the shoot. They were also featured on current affairs programs A Current Affair and 60 minutes. Elle also published two calenders in which she appeared in see-though tops.
In 1999, Macpherson appeared in five episodes of the hit US sitcom Friends as Joey's roommate — 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.
Understandably, Macpherson is extremely popular in her home country of Australia. In 1999, she became the first living Australian entertainer to be put on a postage stamp.
Elle was a partner in the Fashion Cafe restaurant, along with fellow models Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell, and is currently the owner of a successful lingerie brand, Elle Macpherson Intimates.
Macpherson is a breast cancer awareness advocate who launched the inaugural campaign Fashion Targets Breast Cancer in Dublin in 2005. Designer T-shirts were sold to raise money for Action Breast Cancer, a project of the Irish Cancer Society, and Europa Donna Ireland.