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Barbara Stone, who as a top agent nurtured the careers of a host of high-profile models including Cheryl Tiegs, Cybill Shepherd and a young Martha Stewart, died April 26 at a Roslyn hospital , NY, on Long Island. She was 87 years old.

His daughter, Julie Stone, said the cause was congestive heart failure.

It was the early 1960s, still the era of twin sets and pearls, white gloves and white faces on the covers of magazines like Seventeen, Glamor and Vogue, when Ms Stone was hired by Stewart Cowley, a former theater agent, to run his business, Stewart Models. A former cheerleader from Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, she will soon help make Stewart the No. 2 agency in New York – Eileen Ford’s Hertz Opinion, as Michael Gross, author of ” Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women”. this.

Ms Stone had a feel for fresh-faced American blondes, although within a decade Stewart Models had also picked up Twiggy, the angular British brat otherwise known as Lesley Hornby, and Veruschka, the towering German countess. She was strict about behavior and punctuality; firm but kind to her young proteges, many of whom were still in high school; and a reassuring presence to their anxious parents.

She often managed her clients’ money, handing out a weekly allowance, as she did for Lucy Angle, a 16-year-old model then considered an American Twiggy – “the same silhouette without a figure”, as Eugenia Sheppard, the fashion columnist, wrote in 1967 – as well as the plane ticket to Washington to see his mother.