Wednesday, 14 October 2009
yesterday's muse #11 - Wilhelmina Cooper
Wilhelmina Behmenburg, known professionally as "Wilhelmina" and as "Willy" to friends, was born in the Netherlands in 1939. she and her family moved to America in 1954, where she would become one of the most famous models of the 1950s and 60s. during her modeling career, Wilhelmina graced the cover of somewhere in the ballpark of 255 magazines.
in 1965 she married Bruce Cooper, former executive producer of The Tonight Show, and in 1967 the couple founded Wilhelmina Models, now one of the largest and most successful model management companies in the world.
you may also be familiar with the film Gia (1998), in which Faye Dunaway portrays Cooper. Cooper discovered the young supermodel Gia Carangi (played in the film by Angelina Jolie), who died of AIDS.
Cooper continued to run the modeling agency into the late 1970s until her death at the age of 40 from lung cancer.