Baptized an Anglican and christened Eleanor Nancy Gow, Elle
Macpherson was the eldest of four children. Her parents divorced
when she was fourteen years old and her mother later married
Neil Macpherson. Macpherson then changed her last name for her
stepfather's. She studied one year of Law in the University of
While vacationing in Aspen, Colorado Macpherson was discovered and signed to Click Model Management. Macpherson became an international star through her appearance in ELLE magazine — every issue, for six straight years. At 21, she married Gilles Bensimon, a French photographer and creative manager of ELLE. Eventually she gained even more exposure through Sports Illustrated magazine’s annual swimsuit issue. She appeared on the cover a record four times, including three straight years.
By 1986, Elle Macpherson's popularity had increased sufficiently for Time magazine to run a cover entitled “The Big Elle”. The Australian government simultaneously offered her a post on the tourist commission as an unofficial ambassador.
Macpherson made her movie debut playing an artist's model in the 1994 Sirens, which starred Hugh Grant, Sam Neill, Tara Fitzgerald and co-starred Portia de Rossi, as another model. Macpherson gained 9 kilograms (20 lb) enlarge her breasts to a voluptuous 37D. She surprised fans and critics by appearing unabashedly in numerous nude scenes, earning her top billing for the film above more established actors (in fact, nearly all the female characters in the movie appeared nude at least once in the film).
In 1999, Elle Macpherson appeared in five episodes of the hit US sitcom Friends as Joey's roommate — girlfriend, Janine Lecroix.
Macpherson went on to film Jane Eyre with William Hurt and has also appeared alongside Ben Stiller and Sarah Jessica Parker in If Lucy Fell.
Macpherson is the most financially successful of all the world's supermodels. A 1997 estimate placed her net assets at $40.3 million. Cindy Crawford is a relatively close second with $37.7 million.
Understandably, Elle Macpherson is extremely popular in her home country of Australia. In 1999, she became the first living Australian entertainer to be put on a postage stamp.
Elle Macpherson was a partner in the Fashion Café restaurant, along with fellow models Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell, and is currently the owner of a successful lingerie brand, Elle Macpherson Intimates.
Macpherson has two sons, Arpad Flynn Busson and Aurelius Cy Andre Busson; their father is Arpad Busson, a wealthy Swiss/French financier. Macpherson and Busson were engaged in 2002 after a six-year relationship, but according to Macpherson they could not marry because Arkie Busson is a devout Roman Catholic, and she is a divorcee. They were allegedly awaiting an annulment. Their relationship ended in July 2005, but tabloids recently alleged that they may be reaching out to each other again (as of February 2006).
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