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Friday, March 1, 2019

fall from grace & fame ! ~ story of a model who once was coverpage of Vogue


The reach to top, becoming famous do not come to all – many talented people too fail ..  more bad is – after touching top, ending up poor squandering all gotten wealth !! ~ do not know whether this is factually correct – but – those two famous actors of 1970s – reportedly one is broke, has floated political party, other acts in multicrore ventures, yet, his wealth too is lost, is what people speak .. ..
Lady gaga on cover page of Vogue

Some search on Tamil actress led me to K. Thavamani Devi, a Sri Lankan who acted in many  Tamil films during the 1940s. Born in a wealthy family in Jaffna, her father being a successful barrister, her life was rich and happy. She was talented too, acclaimed Bharatanatyam dancer, successful in Carnatic music known as ‘singalathukuyil’ .. .. success came to her, she  was MGR's heroine in Rajakumaari (1947). She was to do more - Shakuntala, VanaMohini, Naatiya Rani, Krishna Kumar and Bhakta Kaalathi – then she faded and retired to a spiritual life !

She was not only a famed actress – a bio-pic too was made on her – touted as ‘Nadigaiyarthilagam’ – Savithiri. She was an actor, playback singer, dancer, director and producer – in Tamil tinseldom, Kollywood, Kannada, Malayalam & Bollywood.  Savitri's first significant role was in the 1952 Telugu film PelliChesiChoodu. In 1960, she received the Rashtrapati Award for her performance in the Telugu film ChivarakuMigiledi. In 1968, she produced and directed the Telugu film ChinnariPapalu, for which she received the state Nandi Award for Best Feature Film (Silver).  Her career took a downturn in the late 1960s. Her properties were seized by tax officials and she turned to acting in any film that would have her, while sycophants encouraged her to direct and produce films that were unsuccessful and financially draining. She died in penury.

.. .. . and one way of reaching atop is to appear on cover page of a famous magazine !!.  Magazine cover page serves several purposes. It sells the brand, it has to be visually appealing and different from the other cover pages on the newsstand to attract the new readers. Process of magazine cover design is a tough one. Designers spend lots of time and effort to create a cover page.

In 1892, Arthur Baldwin Turnure, an American business man, founded Vogue as a weekly newspaper in the United States, sponsored by Kristoffer Wright; the first issue was published on December 17 of that year, with a cover price of 10 cents (equivalent to $2.79 in 2018).Turnure's intention was to create a publication that celebrated the "ceremonial side of life”.  From its inception, the magazine targeted the new New York upper class. Vogue glamorously recounted  their habits, their leisure activities, their social gatherings, the places they frequented, and the clothing they wore...and everyone who wanted to look like them and enter their exclusive circle.  For the uninformed, Vogue is a fashion and lifestyle magazine covering many topics including fashion, beauty, culture, living, and runway. The British Vogue was the first international edition launched in 1916, while the Italian version is  called the top fashion magazine in the world.  There  are 23 international editions.  This post is not on the magazine but on a former Vogue cover model who made a million dollars a year at the height of her career, but now is homeless and living on the streets of Barcelona.

NastasiaUrbano, 57, fronted fashion campaigns alongside supermodels like Linda Evangelista, was the face of Yves Saint Lauren's iconic Opium perfume, and dined with Jack Nicholson and Andy Warhol in the 1980s.However, she has fallen far since then, and now sleeps in bank foyers in the capital of north-eastern Spain's Catalonia region, reports MailOnline.

At the age of 20, the Spanish beauty had already been on the cover of magazines like Vogue in Europe, and moved to New York where she was signed by the famous Ford Models agency.She enjoyed huge success on both sides of the Atlantic, and lived a life that most people could only dream of.She said: 'I did all the magazines, I was loved by everybody. I was given a million dollars a year for only 20 days of work, for three or four years.'I was having dinner one day with Jack Nicholson, the following day with Andy Warhol or even Roman Polanski. I was in parties with Melanie Griffith, Don Johnson, and Simon and Garfunkel.'I was about to go to Madonna's wedding to Sean Penn because [US actor] David Keith was invited and I was dating him at that time, but that day we got up with a hangover and couldn't get up. I had everything, I was living like a queen.'

So there was a time when she  was making a million dollars per year ! but not too longer.. .. Ms Urbano says her life changed after she met the man who became her husband and father of her children.She claims she funded their lifestyle, and that eventually he 'left her with nothing but the clothes on her back'.She added: 'The only good thing from that relationship has been my children, the rest was horrible.'He paid for everything with my money. Only two days after knowing him, he wanted me to buy a BMW and I, like a fool, I signed a cheque. I was in love..'

Ms Urbano, who suffers from depression, says she has been evicted from a series of homes because she could not pay the rent.She now alternates between sleeping on friends' sofas and in bank foyers where automated doors give customers access to cash machines.She said: 'I want to live, not just survive. I am tired of surviving and asking for money. The people around me have gone away, everybody goes away and I am not surprised.The 57-year-old, who has several children by her former husband, says she wants her children to see her healthy again and be proud of her.         
                        After hearing about her current plight, a group of her former colleagues has decided to do what they can to help her get back on her feet.

There is learning for everybody in everything .. people simply refuse to learn..

Regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Feb 2019.

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