By Stacy Jenel Smith
You can talk all you want about size not mattering, but when it comes to Supermodels and Superheroes, it's no coincidence that the tall prevail. Glamazons (glamorous + Amazons) rule the runway and look smashing on the red carpet; designers love to create for them. They exude power on screen, whether kicking butt or leading the free world. We find several have ugly duckling backgrounds complete with schoolmate mocking in common, and multi-lingual capabilities show up again and again among them. Having recently showcased the top Pretty Petites in Entertainment, it's only right to give the Top 10 Glorious Glamazons -- 5'11" and Up -- equal time.
Everything about gorgeous Oscar-winning Geena seems larger than life, whether it's her MENSA IQ (reported as 140 or 150), her 6' frame, or her cultural influence. One of Time magazine's Important People of 2005 for her portrayal of the first woman President of the United States in "Commander in Chief," she embodied the TV role well enough to worry Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's political opponents in the real world. (That despite the fact Geena's Mackenzie Allen character was an Independent.) She speaks Swedish. She took up archery at an age when many athletes are retired -- 41 -- and became a world class competitor who nearly made the U.S. Olympic team. She gave birth to a daughter at age 46, to twin sons at 47. She's married to a handsome doctor. And she's self-effacing and down to earth to talk to. There was a time, she told us, when she felt ugly and out of place because of her height, but what a swan she became. Next up: Geena hopes to make a Mackenzie Allen movie for television.
Charlize Theron Uma Thurman
The first South African actor to win the Academy Award, 5'11" Charlize Theron earned the coveted statuette by putting on weight and ugly-ing up to portray serial killer Aileen Wournos in "Monster." She lived through more trauma and adventure before turning 21 than most people experience in a lifetime. Her early years were spent on her parents' farm near Johannesburg, then she was sent to a boarding school at 13. At the age of 15, she witnessed her mother shoot her father to death, defending herself from his abusive alcoholic rage. She and her mom remain quite close. At 16, Charlize moved to Milan, Italy to start her modeling career with a year's contract she won in a local contest. She then went to New York, studied with the Joffrey Ballet School, and saw her dream of becoming a ballet dancer die when she suffered a knee injury at 18 - so it was on to Hollywood where she was famously "discovered' by an agent while arguing with a bank manager. She speaks Afrikaans and some Xhosa. With such films as "The Cider House Rules," "Mighty Joe Young" and "North Country" to her credit and handsome Irish actor Stuart Townsend at home, she's looking forward to making "The Garden of Elah" with Tommy Lee Jones for "Crash" director Paul Haggis.
Dr. Freud could have had a blast figuring out the subconscious implications of the public's thrill over seeing 6' Uma Thurman embodying various female archetypes. A paid assassin in the "Kill Bill" movies, she was the virgin whose deflowering was a key issue in "Dangerous Liaisons," the goddess Venus in "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen," a gangster's moll in "Pulp Fiction," an older woman romancing a younger man ("Prime"), and a genetically engineered model of perfection ("Gattaca"). That's a lotta woman! And yet, she's talked of having endured battles with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a psychiatric condition involving a negative body image - and of years spent wearing nothing but loose, baggy clothing. The 36-year-old daughter of Columbia University Professor and Indo-Tibetan Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman, she had an exotic upbringing that included a stint living in India where the Dalai Lama was an occasional visitor to her home. She speaks French. The twice-divorced mother of two has the films "In Bloom," "Accidental Husband" and "The Swarm" on her dance card.
Supermodel cum actress cum lifestyle design empire builder Kathy Ireland's made her Kathy Ireland Worldwide company into a billion-dollar-a-year retail sales giant, en route to becoming a two-billion-dollar-a-year monster. She has best-selling fitness videos and swimsuit calendars (in addition to her long association with Sports Illustrated's swimsuit editions), and is an author whose books include "Powerful Inspirations: Eight Lessons That Will Change Your Life." Her film and TV credits includes "Necessary Roughness" and "Mr. Destiny." She's a spiritual woman who is constantly involved in humanitarian projects and active in a long list of charities including the National Women's Cancer Research Alliance, the Special Olympics, Feed the Children and the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. Still, she's clearly not going to rest on her laurels. Last year saw the 5'11" married mother of two launch three new children's books ("An Angel Called Hope," "What Do Mommies Do?" and "Mona's Favorite Words") and also a national campaign to get parents to sign on to weekly Family Reading Nights.
Though the public is well-acquainted with her beautiful face and form, we still haven't seen the part that takes full advantage of Rebecca Romijn's effervescent energy. Feisty and very funny, the 5'11" actress, best-known as nearly-nude blue Mystique from the "X-Men" movies, has the sort of personality that brings the party wherever she goes. No wonder she got together with the also-genial-and-witty Jerry O'Connell, her fiancé. Her modeling career saw the Berkeley, CA native living in Paris for two years, and amassing credits including Victoria's Secret and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. The former wife of John Stamos, she hosted MTV's "House of Style" from 1998-2000, starred in the series "Pepper Dennis" last season, and produced a documentary about the fountains at Las Vegas' Bellagio Hotel called "Wet Dreams." Next up for the 34-year-old, who recently went with Jerry to visit relatives in the family homeland of Holland, a probable return to Mystique in the planned "Magneto" feature.
The first - and, many would say best - female big-screen alien butt-kicker as Ripley in the "Alien" movies (not to mention the spoof "Galaxy Quest"), Weaver secured her place in the pantheon of stars with films ranging from "Ghostbusters" to "Gorillas in the Mist" to "The Ice Storm." Despite being born into privilege as the daughter of pioneering NBC President and TV producer Sylvester "Pat" Weaver and British actress Elizabeth Inglis, Sigourney didn't have it all easy growing up. By age 13, she was already 5'10" (on the way to 5'11 ˝") and was constantly picked on and laughed at by the crowd at her upscale New York private school. The same thing happened later at a Connecticut private school. She even found her height a hindrance at the Yale School of Drama, and in her professional life as an actress, as she has lost out on roles due to being taller than many leading men. She's been married since 1984 to theater director Jim Simpson and they have a 16-year-old daughter. She speaks French and German. Her latest film is the Truman Capote biographical feature, "Infamous," in which she plays Babe Paley, clothes horse wife of CBS chieftain Bill Paley - a counterpart of her father's.
Amsterdam, Netherlands native Famke Janssen -- known as "X-Men's" Dr. Jean Gray as and as 007 bad lady Xenia Onatopp ("GoldenEye"), a Soviet assassin who literally crushed victims with her thighs - stands 5'11". She famously said, "We've always been ready for female superheroes. Because women want to be them and men want to do them." The divorced beauty speaks Dutch, German, English and French.Next, she may play the love interest of Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark in the big-screen "Iron Man." Famke got her start as a model, making her way from Europe to New York (where she studied literature at Columbia University), and then to Los Angeles when she decided to make acting her career. Her first feature was the 1992 "Fathers & Sons" and first TV stint was in "Star Trek: The Next Generation," playing a "metamorph" - a prelude to her "X-Men" super heroine. Janssen's height helped her get one unexpected role: as a post-op former male transgender character on "Nip/Tuck."
As a businesswoman, Elle Macpherson has a multimillion-dollar lingerie line and other clothing sold under her monicker. As an actress, she's worked with Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen, Hugh Grant and Ben Stiller, among others, racking up credits in films including "Sirens," "The Mirror Has Two Faces" and "Batman & Robin." As a proud Australian, the 6' Sydney-born glamour gal, originally known as Eleanor Gow, is the first living entertainment personality to be put on a postage stamp. Her small-screen ventures range from exercise videos to a five-episode role on "Friends." She has six year-old and one-year-old sons with her long-time companion, Swiss financier Arpade "Arki" Busson, and speaks French. And we haven't even mentioned her modeling career yet. Among her long, long list of modeling credits are Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues, natch, and six years of appearances in Elle magazine - every issue.
New Zealand-born, 5'11" Hunter definitely has her super model stripes, having graced such magazines as Vogue, Cosmopolitan and the de rigueur Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. However, to many she's best-known for having been married to rocker Rod Stewart (whose height has been given as 5'8" - which we believe -- and 5'10"), by whom she has a son and a daughter, and for her turn on "Dancing With the Stars." Her acting credits include the cable movie "Best Actress," "Rock Star" with Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston, "Sydney" alongside Joan Collins and the Sundance film "MacArthur Park" with Julie Delpy. Since her split from Stewart, she's been romantically linked with movie stars (Bruce Willis, Kevin Costner), rock stars (Tommy Lee, Robbie Williams) and hockey stars (Sean Avery of the L.A. Kings, Jarrett Stoll of the Edmonton Oilers.) But it's not all fun and games. Hunter is also an advocate for animal protection, particularly gorillas. She has traveled to the Ugandan rainforest to see the endangered creatures and bring international attention to their plight; she is a supporter of the Born Free Foundation, and has her own Rachel Hunter Gorilla Fund.
The flame-tressed beauty lives up to the stereotype of the spunkier-than-thou redhead - she's an avid sky diver, few off to Paris by herself to pursue modeling at age 17, and was once engaged to Sylvester Stallone. Born in Akron, Ohio on Sept. 7, 1969, she stands 5'11" and speaks fluent French. Recently, she's been rumored to be involved romantically with Andrew, the Duke of York (who evidently likes redheads as in his ex, Fergie). Her adventurous nature is reflected again in her eclectic mix of film and TV credits, ranging from "Bordello of Blood" to Burt Reynolds' "Cloud 9" volleyball comedy to "Dillinger in Paradise" to the Lingerie Bowl.
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