Recently I was flipping through the November issue of House Beautiful, one of my must-read magazines, when I realized that Newell Turner, one of my favorite editors, was no longer Editor-in-Chief. “What happened?” I wondered. I soon found out that he had spent two years looking for a new editor to replace himself and that he was now the Hearst Design Group editorial director. “I wanted to get it right,” says Turner.
The new editor-in-chief is Sophie Donelson, a talented editor with a sterling background in interior design and other related subjects. But, what caught my eye when I read about Donelson is that she’s a redhead. A redhead? Yes, and that’s something that one doesn’t see very often.
Sophie Donelson, Editor in Chief House Beautiful
Photo: Courtesy of House Beautiful
The only redhead I ever knew was a classmate in high school by the name of “Sharon” who had carrot-red hair and lots of freckles to match. I can’t remember anything else about her except that she was a swimming champion .
The other redheads that I’ve come across recently are Jessica Chastain, a terrific actress, who was nominated for an Oscar for her work in the movie Zero Dark Thirty. (Read more about Chastain in the November, 2015 issue of W magazine.) The article has an interesting quote from Chastain. She says, “People ask me if I want to be a Bond girl, and I say, ‘No, I want to be the villain.’”
There aren’t too many redheads, but they are certainly around and many of them are very accomplished people. Before she turned into the media’s “Wild Child” the redheaded Lindsay Lohan was making great strides in her career. She was in her first movie at 17-years-old when she played twins in the movie The Parent Trap.
Back in the day, I saw Arlene Dahl, the actress, who is now 90-years-old, in Bergdorf Goodman and I thought she had the most beautiful, flawless skin I’d ever seen in my life AND she had red hair. Not all redheads have freckles, some do and some don’t and she was one that did not.
Other notable redheads on the silver screen include Myrna Loy of The Thin Man fame, Rita Hayworth, Rhonda Fleming, Susan Hayward and Maureen O’Hara, another beauty with flawless skin, who was born in Ireland and died on October 24, 2015 at the age of 95. Is it my imagination or do redheads have a lock on longevity?
Maureen O’Hara, actress, known for her role in Miracle on 34th Street
The only other redhead I can remember seeing in real life is the model Suzy Parker, a favorite of Chanel and a dazzling beauty. She was making a personal appearance in San Francisco and I just happened to be passing by. Like everyone else there, I was completely knocked out by her beauty and the incredible color of her flowing red hair.
Model Suzy Parker on the cover of Vogue UK
Because it’s so rare, red hair seems to add an extra edge or dimension to a person’s appearance. It’s arresting and eye-catching. If you want to see how dramatic red hair can be just take a look at the cover of the December 2015/January 2016 issue of Town & Country magazine that features Julianne Moore, the stunning actress who received an Oscar in 2015 for her role in the movie Still Alice. She talks about her love of historical homes and is quoted saying, “I think I’ll tell my family I want an old loft for Christmas.”
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