Eleanor Nancy Macpherson (born 29 March 1964) is an Australian model, businesswoman, television host and actress.
She is known for her record five cover appearances for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue beginning in the 1980s, leading to her nickname “The Body”, coined by Time in 1989. She is the founder, primary model, and creative director for a series of business ventures, including Elle Macpherson Intimates, a lingerie line, and The Body, a line of skin care products. She has been the host and executive producer of Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model from 2010 to 2013. She is an executive producer of NBC’s Fashion Star and was the host for the first season.
As an actress, Macpherson appeared in supporting roles in The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) and as Julie Madison in Batman and Robin (1997) as well as lead roles in The Edge (1997) and South Kensington (2001). She also had a recurring role on Friends and hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live.
Macpherson enrolled to study law at Sydney University. Before beginning her university studies, she visited the United States to spend one year doing modelling work to earn money to pay for her law books. She travelled to New York City, where she initially signed up with Click Model Management. Her modelling career began in 1982 with a television commercial for Tab which established her as a “girl next door” figure in Australia.
During the 1980s, Macpherson’s profile quickly rose and she appeared on the cover of major magazines including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, British and Australian Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Tatler, GQ, Time, L’Officiel, Flare and New York. She cemented her high-profile image through frequent appearances in Elle; she was featured on numerous covers and appeared in every issue for six straight years. During that time, at the age of 21, she married Gilles Bensimon, the creative director of Elle. In 1985, Macpherson became the longtime face of luxury French skin care company Biotherm.
Eventually she garnered more exposure through Sports Illustrated magazine’s annual Swimsuit Issue. She appeared on the cover a record five times: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1994, and 2006.
She has walked the runways for Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, Azzedine Alaïa, Donna Karan, Christian Dior, Thierry Mugler, Nicole Miller, Michael Kors, Perry Ellis, Todd Oldham, Calvin Klein, John Galliano, and Valentino.
She has appeared in advertising campaigns for Christian Dior, Escada, Enrico Coveri, Azzedine Alaïa, Guy Laroche, Ralph Lauren, Victorio & Lucchino, Omega, Pinko, H&M, Victoria’s Secret, ModelCo and Revlon. She also appeared in non-fashion advertising campaigns for Diet Coke, Chrysler, Miller Lite, Impulse, Budweiser, Tab, KFC, Garuda Airlines, and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.
After appearing nude in the 1994 film Sirens, Macpherson learned that the media had begun searching for nude photos of her, including contacting her ex-boyfriends. To address this, Macpherson appeared in a nude pictorial in the May 1994 issue of Playboy magazine, shot by Herb Ritts, to produce nude photos “on her own terms”. In 1999, the twin island nation of Antigua and Barbuda honored Macpherson by using her face on a series of postage stamps, the first model to appear on legal tender. Macpherson appeared among other Australian icons during the 2000 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, her elaborate float resembling a camera lens and featuring a runway. Along with Naomi Campbell, she co-hosted the Miss Universe 2001 pageant. Her popularity had reached such a level that Australian government offered her a position on its tourist commission as an unofficial ambassador.
During her career, Macpherson has worked with fashion photographers including Francesco Scavullo, Mario Testino, Mert and Marcus, Ellen von Unwerth and Steven Meisel. Portraits of Macpherson, shot by Bob Carlos Clarke, were among those donated to the National Portrait Gallery, London by his family following his death. Macpherson received the Style Icon award at the 2006 Elle Style Awards presented by fashion magazine Elle. In March 2008, she signed a three-year deal with Revlon Cosmetics, which named her a Global Brand Ambassador. She has since been featured in print and advertising campaigns for the company. She returned to the runway in 2010 to close the fall Louis Vuitton show for Marc Jacobs in Paris.Elle Macpherson on lgdd