Tatjana Patitz, a Star in the Supermodel Era, Dies at 56

Tatjana Patitz, one of many supermodels who have been omnipresent on trend runways, journal covers and tv commercials within the late Eighties and ’90s, died on Wednesday. She was 56.

Her New York agent, Corinne Nicolas of Mannequin CoOp, introduced the loss of life on Fb. Ms. Nicolas’s publish didn’t state when or the place Ms. Patitz died, however she informed the web site Insider that the trigger was most cancers.

Ms. Patitz (pronounced pah-TEETZ) was an adolescent within the early Eighties when she began on the trail that finally led to the top of the modeling occupation.

“I by chance fell into it,” she informed Status Hong Kong journal in 2016. “I used to be found once I was 15 by somebody who took images of me and despatched them on to modeling competitions. I used to be one of many finalists in a single, third place, they usually despatched me to Paris. It began from there.”

Nonetheless, she mentioned, it took her some time to construct a modeling profession.

“It wasn’t like issues simply fell into my lap,” she mentioned. “Getting launched to the enterprise was exhausting.”

However by the late Eighties, she was in demand. A 1988 {photograph} of Ms. Patitz and 5 others, all sporting white shirts — taken by the German photographer Peter Lindbergh, whose work was instrumental to her profession and people of different supermodels — was broadly admired. Two years later, Mr. Lindbergh’s cowl for British Vogue exhibiting Ms. Patitz, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista turned a touchstone of the interval’s glamour pictures.

That picture led to one in every of Ms. Patitz’s best-known appearances — not in {a magazine} or on a runway, however in a music video. The pop star George Michael noticed the duvet and recruited the 5 girls for the video of his track “Freedom! ’90.”

It was the peak of the MTV period, and the video, with the fashions lip-syncing the track, acquired heavy play, which, because the British newspaper The Mail put it in a 1995 article, “scorched the ladies onto each pubescent popster’s brainpan from Minsk to Montevideo.”

Photograph shoots took Ms. Patitz everywhere in the world. In 1999 The Sunday Telegraph of Britain wrote about her and her residence exterior Malibu in California.

“You possibly can nearly hint the place my work has taken me simply by wanting round,” she informed the newspaper, declaring bowls and Buddhas from Bali, kilims from Morocco, cushions from India, a picket suitcase from Montana that she was utilizing as a desk. “I don’t have plenty of issues, but when I see one thing I actually like, I purchase it. The home holds plenty of reminiscences.”

Ms. Patitz was born on Might 25, 1966, in Hamburg, in what was then West Germany. She lived in Sweden from age 7 till her budding modeling profession took her to Paris for good, at 17.

Ms. Patitz appeared in quite a few main magazines starting within the Eighties, however she was additionally identified for her work on tv commercials, which typically used her arresting appears to be like for comedian impact.

In a single, for Levi’s in 1988, a hunky younger man sporting an unbuttoned shirt and boxers however no pants walks right into a dingy diner on a sizzling day. She is working the counter. He walks towards her, and there’s a second of sexual chemistry. What he’s actually after, although, are his denims, that are within the fridge behind her. In Britain, a watchdog group demanded that the advert not be proven when kids may be watching.

A 1990 industrial for Stainmaster carpeting featured Ms. Patitz, in night put on, together with a well-dressed man and a desk set with a candlelit dinner; the person is outwardly so distracted by her magnificence that he knocks the entire desk over, the meal spilling onto the stain-resistant carpet. A second commercial featured the identical couple and resulted in a meals combat. “Wall-to-wall pile by no means appeared so horny,” Leisure Weekly mentioned in naming it one in every of 1991’s greatest commercials.

Her work in commercials and music movies introduced Ms. Patitz a handful of movie and tv roles within the Nineteen Nineties, most notably within the crime drama “Rising Solar” (1993), which starred Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes and was primarily based on a Michael Crichton novel.

“For Swedish newcomer Tatjana Patitz — the supermodel-turned-actress who at 26 is a useless ringer for a younger Lauren Bacall — a largely nude efficiency because the homicide sufferer in twentieth Century Fox’s new launch ‘Rising Solar’ wasn’t precisely how the ingénue imagined she would break into the enterprise,” The Los Angeles Instances wrote in 1993. Her character dies throughout a sadomasochistic sexual encounter.

“I believed, ‘Oh my God, I don’t need my dad and mom to see it,’” she informed the newspaper.

The supermodel period pale within the mid-Nineteen Nineties, however Ms. Patitz continued to work sometimes. An animal lover since childhood, she devoted appreciable time to her canines, cats, horses and birds. Her marriage to Jason Johnson within the 2000s resulted in divorce; their son, Jonah, survives her.

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