Elle Macpherson (born March 29, 1963) is an Australian supermodel and actress. She is noted for her pulchritude and willingness to do unabashed nudity in films.
Born Eleanor Gow in Sydney, Australia, Macpherson became an international star through her appearance in ELLE magazine—every issue—for six straight years. Eventually she gained even more exposure through Sports Illustrated magazine annual swimsuit issue. She appeared on the cover of the annual issue for a record four times.
By 1986, her popularity has increased sufficiently for Time Magazine to run a cover entitled The Big Elle. The Australian government simultaneouly offered her a post on the tourist commission as an unofficial ambassador.
Macpherson made her movie dubut in the 1994 movie Sirens as an artist's model, which also starred Hugh Grant and Sam Neill. Macpherson gained twenty pounds for the part to more closely resemble the models of the day (about the 1930s). 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, all the female characters in the movie appeared nude at least once in the film). Despite modest success at the box office, Sirens established Macpherson as a serious actress due to her genuine performance.
In 1994, Macpherson joined the droves of other Hollywood personalities to appear on the hit TV series Friends. She appeared in five episodes as Joey's roommate/girlfriend "Janine Lecroix."
Macpherson went on to film Jane Eyre with William Hurt and then 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, making her the wealthiest supermodel. Cindy Crawford was a relatively close second with $37.7 million.
Understandably, MacPherson is incredibly popular in her home country of Australia. In 1999, she became the first living Australian entertainer to be put on a postage stamp.
Elle is a partner in the Fashion Cafe and owner of a successful lingerie company in Australia. She uses her fame to assist many charities, including those of AIDS and homelessness.