Eileen Ford, who is credited with inventing the modern modeling business and in the process launching the careers of supermodels such as Lauren Hutton, Christie Brinkley and Naomi Campbell — has died at 92.
A spokeswoman who handles public relations for Ford Models confirmed Wednesday's death, which follows a fall Ford took last week at her New York apartment.
Bloomberg says: "For more than six decades, Ford represented the world's most prominent models and raised the profile of the glamor business, which became a recruiting ground for Hollywood. Young women flocked to her agency — which promoted itself as the largest — partly because it paid reliably and enforced high moral standards in an industry that had a reputation for exploiting its workers."
And People.com reports: "Ford Models helped evolve modeling from a mostly part-time, poorly paid hobby into one of the world's most glamorous occupations, turning attractive girls next door into multimillionaire celebrity supermodels."
The long list of models who became household names thanks in large measure to Ford, along with her husband and business partner Jerry Ford, include Cheryl Tiegs, Ali MacGraw, Margaux Hemingway, Sharon Stone, Melanie Griffith, Kim Basinger, Rachel Hunter and Brooke Shields.
The Associated Press says: "Ford was known for her steely manner and great eye for talent. She demanded the highest level of professionalism from her models, putting them on strict diets and firing those with a taste for late-night revelry. Her discipline pushed Ford Model Agency to the top of its field, making multimillionaires of both Ford and her late husband, Jerry, who handled the company's business affairs."
"I really prefer light-eyed models," Ford told People magazine in a profile from 1983. "They photograph more easily. Of course, I come from a light-eyed background, so maybe that influenced my taste."
The AP notes:
"The typical Ford woman was tall, thin, often blond, with wide-set eyes and a long neck. Eileen Ford was known to tell hopefuls shorter than 5 foot 7 to give up their dreams."
"The Ford look changed remarkably little over the years, and set a standard for the industry. Today, height and a willowy build remain paramount, though Ford was disdainful of the 'waif' look - typified by British model Kate Moss - that swept the industry in the early 1990s."
Her agency's revenues reached $40 million annually by the 1990s. But by 1995, Ford and her husband faded to the background, elevating daughter Kate Ford to the CEO role.
In 2007, the agency was sold. Ford's husband, Jerry, died a year later.
HIV is sexist.
A woman is twice as likely to catch the virus from an infected partner in a heterosexual relationship than a man is.
And homosexual men are at even greater risk. They're more than 20 times as likely to get infected from an HIV-positive partner than partners in a heterosexual relationship.
Now scientists at Microsoft Research and the Zambia-Emory HIV Project have a clue to why these disparities exist.
Only the strongest, most evolutionary "fit" versions of the virus can successfully infect a man when he has sex with an HIV-positive woman, Jonathan Carlson and his colleagues report Thursday in the journal Science.
In other words, only particular versions of the virus, with particular DNA sequences, can pass from a woman to a man. These reduces the chance an infection occurs during sex.
The restriction is less when women have sex with an HIV-positive man. And, most likely, reduced even further when men have sex with men. So the chance of an infection increases in both situations.
As HIV replicates inside a person, mutations are introduced into its DNA. This results in a large number of different HIV versions swarming about the body — each with its own genetic code.
But when HIV is transmitted through sex, usually only a single version of the virus establishes a long-term infection. So the process is almost like a filter, letting only certain viruses through.
This made Carlson and his team wonder: Is there something special about the HIV versions making it through the filter?
To figure this out, Carlson and his colleagues monitored HIV transmission between "discordant" heterosexual couples in Zambia for a decade. These are couples in which one person is HIV-positive and the other is HIV-negative.
During the experiment, the team gave the couples condoms and taught them other ways to prevent passing along HIV to their partner.
But in 137 couples transmission did occur. In these cases, Carlson and the team compared the viruses of the newly infected person with those of the partner.
They found that HIV was most likely to be transmitted when its genetic code had a particular pattern. These versions of the HIV genes seem to make the virus good at infecting and surviving inside a person's immune system.
Turned out, this pattern is the average DNA sequence that scientists find when they examine HIV strains in people from around the globe. "The average sequence in the population is probably average because it works best, and we found that that is true," Carlson says.
To establish a long-term infection through sexual contact, an HIV virus must first infect a single cell on the genitals. Then the virus multiples and spreads to adjacent cells. "Fitter" viruses are more efficient at infecting new cells and then replicating themselves, Carlson says.
And the higher the initial barrier to this initial infection, the fitter the virus has to be complete this process.
Different parts of the body provide various levels of protection from the virus. The cells on the penis are tougher to infect than those in the vagina or anus. Trauma, such as open sores or ulcers in the genital area, can also increase the chance of infection.
"What was most striking was that risk factors that were known to affect the risk of transmission affected the selection," says pathologist Eric Hunter, at Emory University, who contributed to the study.
They found that viruses in newly-infected men were more "fit" than the viruses in newly-infected women. But when men had genital ulcers or inflammation, they were also infected with less fit versions of the virus.
And though their research was restricted to heterosexual couples, they anticipate that anal sex between homosexual men would provide a lower barrier to infection, and result in the transmission of less fit versions of the virus.
These findings suggest that an effective vaccine might not have to protect against all versions of the virus, just those that are most likely to be transmitted, says Boston University's Manish Sagar, who wasn't involved with the current study.
"You could envision a vaccine that weakens the virus in chronically infected people and needed to be administered only once," he says. "Their disease isn't weakened, but their virus is weakened. So when they have sexual contact, the chance of transmission is lowered."
In other words, this would be a vaccine given to people already infected with HIV to prevent them from spreading the virus.
Usually when characters age in movies, they're covered with makeup and outfitted with prosthetics — or directors use different actors as the characters grow older. But in the new film Boyhood, none of that is necessary.
The film takes place over the course of 12 years, and it was shot over the course of 12 years. So we watch the actors getting older for real, which gives their characters a sense of authenticity.
At the beginning of the movie, the main character, Mason, is 6 years old. He and his sister, who is a couple of years older, live in a small town in Texas with their mother, who is divorced from their father.
The film's writer and director, Richard Linklater, says that picking Ellar Coltrane to play Mason was a vital choice because he had to guess what he'd be like when he was 18.
"I was in the unique once-in-a-lifetime position, really," Linklater tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I was banking the whole movie on this kid."
Over the next 12 years, the children grow up, and their parents stumble their way through the next stage of adulthood.
Linklater also made the films Slacker, Dazed and Confused, the Before Sunrise trilogy, School of Rock and Bernie. He says shooting Boyhood was a rare venture because he had the luxury to figure out what the story needed, such as incorporating cultural shifts and changes in the actors' lives.
"We filmed 39 days over about a 4,200-day stretch ... which is incredible," Linklater says. "It gave me so much time to just think and process everything we had done so far."
On seeing people age on film
Part of the idea was to see people transform in one sitting of a movie, to see them transform into that young adult, in this case, or see the adults get older. I mean, that is a fascinating journey we all make.
I run into friends that I grew up with, and I look in their faces and [think], "Oh, my God, we're middle-aged people now." And I still see the little kid they were, and it's fascinating. [You] see a picture of yourself when you're little, and are you even still that person? Yes, there's a connection there.
On casting 6-year-old Ellar Coltrane
It was a huge leap. I just went with a kid who seemed kind of the most interesting. I liked the way his mind worked — he was a little mysterious and sensitive and very thoughtful. He was cut from no ordinary cloth. He was home-schooled, and his parents were artists, and I thought, "Well, that's cool. There'll be some family support for this undertaking. It will be a fun thing to do in his life."
So I think I had the family support, but as far as he goes, you kind of have to admit that your main collaborator here has a really unknown future. But I would have each year to incrementally adjust and maybe go toward who he was becoming. That was sort of the design of the movie.
On casting his daughter
I almost felt like I didn't cast Lorelei. Once it was apparent that the older sister was in her age range ... she sort of insisted on the part. I never really thought about casting it traditionally. She sort of took the part like, "Daddy, well, I'm playing that part." She had grown up on movie sets. She had been in other movies — little parts — and it was very natural for her. She was very extroverted at that point in her life. The sassy kid at the beginning of the movie — that was her.
On planning for scenes years in advance
Even as I structured [the film] and knew the trajectories of the characters and all the physicality — they're moving here, there's a divorce, you get your degree, you move again ... I kind of had all that worked out, but I was kind of looking forward to the new ideas that would emerge in the process.
I had notes that I knew I wanted to hit later in the film that I knew I couldn't even articulate yet. I knew, "Oh, that will be eight or nine years before I truly will know the right tone for that scene, but there it sits as a placeholder way into the future."
Gil Evans was born in Canada in 1912. He latched onto jazz and, in time, taught himself to write it. First, for dancers, Evans arranged tunes off the radio for the Claude Thornhill Orchestra as well as the sweet, warm sounds of flutes and French horns. Then Evans downsized the Thornhill sound to a nonet for The Birth of the Cool. Underscoring host Dee Dee Bridgewater's welcome to this set, you'll hear "Boplicity" from Birth of the Cool by Evans and his new friend, Miles Davis. Its lean-in-and-listen sound steered jazz in a new direction.
Davis, the fast-rising trumpeter of the late 1950s, partnered with Evans on three great successes: Miles Ahead, Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain. You can hear a Monterey Jazz Festival re-creation of the last two on our Gil Evans centennial edition of JazzSet. The last Gil Evans chapter was his own rocking Monday Night Orchestra, presented by Horst Liepolt in the 1980s at Sweet Basil in New York, as advertised every week in The Village Voice.
When Gil Evans died in 1988, many of his scores had never been recorded. A few years ago, his family opened its collection to young composer Ryan Truesdell, who studied the music measure for measure and part for part. Truesdell discovered more charts in libraries and unreleased tracks in record-company archives. Finally, Truesdell put together a band, raised money, chose 10 pieces, went into the studio and made Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans. It's nominated for three Grammys, including Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.
Besides four scores from Centennial, Truesdell selected three additional pieces for this occasion. First, "Concorde" by John Lewis acknowledges the Modern Jazz Quartet, Lewis' cooperative group, which played at the first Newport Jazz Festival in 1954. Evans arranged it for his album The Individualism of Gil Evans. "The Ballad of the Sad Young Men" is for Newport founder George Wein, and Horace Silver closed his 1959 Newport set with "Sister Sadie." Evans arranged the piece for Out of the Cool featuring the Gil Evans Orchestra. Truesdell closes with it. So pull up a lawn chair and enjoy the Gil Evans Project in Surround Sound.
We close with "Race to the Bridge" by Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band from the 2012 Monterey Jazz Festival, as heard on New Year's Eve on Toast of the Nation.
- "Dancing On A Great Big Rainbow" (Evans)
- "How About You?" (Ralph Freed and Burton Lane)
- "Punjab" (Evans)
- "Look To The Rainbow" (E. Y. Harburg and Burton Lane)
- "Concorde" (John Lewis)
- "Ballad Of The Sad Young Men" (Fran Landesman and Tommy Wolfe)
- "Sister Sadie" (Horace Silver)
- All arrangements by Gil Evans
- Ryan Truesdell, arranger and conductor
- Steve Wilson, alto saxophone and woodwinds
- Charles Pillow, alto saxophone and woodwinds
- Rich Perry, tenor saxophone and woodwinds
- Donny McCaslin, tenor saxophone and woodwinds
- Scott Robinson, baritone saxophone and woodwinds
- Michael Rabinowitz, bassoon
- Adam Unsworth, French horn
- David Peel, French horn
- Tony Kadleck, trumpet
- Greg Gisbert, trumpet
- Laurie Frink, trumpet
- Ryan Keberle, trombone
- Marshall Gilkes, trombone
- George Flynn, trombone
- Marcus Rojas, tuba
- Ben Monder, guitar
- Frank Kimbrough, piano
- Jay Anderson, bass
- Michael Truesdell, percussion
- Lewis Nash, drums
- Dan Weiss, tabla
- Gretchen Parlato, voice
Recording by Steve Remote, Aurasonic Ltd., and Surround Sound mix by Duke Markos
Over the last 30 years, jazz pianist Fred Hersch has recorded in solo, duo, quartet, quintet and double-trio settings, with big band and with orchestras. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says the classic piano, bass and drums trio format suits Hersch best of all in a review of Floating.