Elle Macpherson is one of the most recognizable and photographed women in the world. She has graced the cover of numerous high-profile magazines. She has appeared in movies as well as being photographed, and after appearing nude in a movie decided that she would take control by posing for Playboy in nudes that were on her own terms.
ELLE MACPHERSON IN THE 80s
Believe it or not, Elle Macpherson was going to be a lawyer. She was enrolled at Sydney University in Australia to study law. But before she began her studies, the pre-law student traveled to New York City to model and make some money to help pay for her schoolbooks. She never went back to the university.
Elle Macpherson was 18-years old when she started her modeling career in a Tab commercial.
The ‘80s were big for Elle Macpherson (not that she wasn’t big in the following decades). Her stock rose quickest, though, in the ‘80s as she began to appear on many covers and pages of major magazines. These included Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Tatler, GQ, Allure, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Time, L’Officiel, Flare, Maxim, and New York.
It was Elle Macpherson’s constant appearances in the high-profile magazine Elle that pushed her to the front of the line in the modeling industry. She was seen on numerous covers of the magazine and appeared in every issue of Elle for six straight years.
It was during Elle Macpherson’s time appearing in the magazine that she married for the first time, this marriage to Gilles Bensimon, who was the creative director at Elle. Their marriage lasted a short four years.
The mid-‘80s also saw Elle Macpherson become the longtime face of Biotherm, a luxury French skincare company.
Elle Macpherson’s fashion magazine covers were just the tip of the iceberg for the super-model. Her beauty helped her crossover to the sports arena. Her popularity brought her to Sports Illustrated and their annual swimsuit issue. Macpherson holds the record by appearing on the cover fives times, three in a row in the ‘80s. She graced the cover in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1994, and 2004.
A RECORD BREAKING MODELING CAREER
Elle Macpherson has accomplished much more than simply appearing in magazines and gracing their covers. As a super-model, Macpherson has walked many a runway. She has stepped the catwalk for Christian Dior, Escada, Enrico Coveri, Azzedine Alaïa, Guy Laroche, Ralph Lauren, Victorio & Lucchino, Omega, Pinko, H&M, Victoria’s Secret, ModelCo, and Revlon to name a few.
She has also appeared in advertising campaigns for designers and fashion outlets such as Christian Dior, Escada, Enrico Coveri, Azzedine Alaïa, Guy Laroche, Ralph Lauren, Victorio & Lucchino, Omega, Pinko, H&M, Victoria’s Secret, ModelCo, and Revlon. Not to beat a dead horse, but Elle Macpherson has appeared in more. These are the non-fashion campaigns she has appeared in, Diet Coke, Chrysler, Miller Lite, Impulse, Budweiser, Tab, KFC, Garuda Airlines, and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.
In 1997, Elle Macpherson decide to pose for the cover of Australia’s Vogue magazine while pregnant with her first son Flynn. She told the magazine she was “beside myself!” for the actual shoot but she was more nervous in telling her then partner Arpad Busson since he was a good thousand miles away. “I wasn’t sure what his reaction would be. I was in New York and he was in Switzerland,” she said to Vogue. His reaction, according to Macpherson, was he was “over the moon” and “delighted.”
ELLE MACPHERSON: MOVIE STAR
As much as Elle Macpherson has been in front of the camera modeling, you might think being in front of a movie camera would be a natural fit. It was. She hasn’t been in a lot movies, but when she has tried it she has proven she can act
Elle Macpherson’s first role came as, wait for it, a model in the movie Alice. She then appeared in the movie Sirens, where she showed her everything. The nudity caused a bit of strife in her life as the media began to search for her nudies. Because of this, Macpherson decided to appear nude in the May 1994 issue of Playboy so the model could produce her own nude images on her own terms. She had full control of the shoot and what pictures would appear.
Her movie career didn’t stop with Sirens. She followed that up with Jane Eyre, If Lucy Fell, The Mirror Has Two Faces, the unfortunately horrendous Batman & Robin, The Edge, and With Friends Like These. Speaking of friends, one of Elle Macpherson’s more memorable roles came on the TV show Friends when she appeared as Joey’s roommate/girlfriend. It was a five-episode run that showed her comedic talents.
Macpherson also had some run on reality TV when she took over as the host for Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model. She held this role for four seasons on top of being one of the shows executive producers.
Elle Macpherson’s career has not all been peaches and cream. 1997 saw Macpherson become a victim of extortion.
Two men were charged with the extortion attempt, one breaking into Macpherson’s Hollywood Hills residence, swiping compromising pics of the model. They then sent her a threatening letter, telling her if she didn’t pay up ($80,000), they would post the pictures on the internet.
The letter not only threatened to post the images but also reveal an embarrassing secret. Neither was ever revealed.
ELLE MACPHERSON’S NET WORTH
More staggering numbers for the supermodel. Her career has brought Elle Macpherson much notoriety and fame. It has also brought her some wealth. To date, her net worth is $95 million. Modeling sure pays off.
ELLE MACPHERSON NOW
What Elle Macpherson has made financially during her long and illustrious career pales in comparison to what she has made personally. Her two sons, Flynn, 21, and Cy, 16. She takes pride in being a mom to her boys, spending as much time as possible as she can with them.
With Elle Macpherson spending most of her time in her home in Coral Gables, Florida, she doesn’t get to see much of Flynn, who is going to school in Boston. Cy, even at his age, also has a very busy schedule, so their time together is precious.
They recently appeared in a photoshoot for Vogue, something the supermodel says she and her boy’s father had decided to keep them away from for the longest time. “Vogue is an iconic brand, and we knew we’d be treated with respect. We’ve been asked for years,” says Elle Macpherson of her family photoshoot. “We kept the children out of the public eye. It was a decision that their dad and I made. We didn’t think it necessary for them to be recognizable in public. Of course, you can’t stop paparazzi.” So, she takes the shoot in stride and with pride.
It doesn’t look like the 55-year old has any plans of retiring soon. She continues to remain in front of the camera, she is very involved in her philanthropic work that includes the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as well as UNICEF and the Smile Foundation. She also has her two boys to steer along through their careers.