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Barbara Stone, who as an agent nurtured models such as Cheryl Tiegs, Cybill Shepherd and a young Martha Stewart, died April 26 at a hospital in Roslyn, New York, 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 Stone was hired by Stewart Cowley, a former agent theater, to lead his company. , Stewart Models. A former cheerleader from Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, she would soon help make Stewart the No. 2 agency in New York – the Opinion, as Michael Gross, author of “Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women”, at Eileen Ford’s Hertz.

Stone had a feel for fresh-faced American blondes, though 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 figure without a figure”, like Eugenia Sheppard, the columnist of mode, wrote in 1967 – with the plane ticket to Washington to see his mother.

“Barbara was our mother, our model mother,” said Martha Stewart, who was then Martha Kostyra, working to pay for her tuition at Barnard College with her modeling earnings. “The agents at the time were very decent. I remember getting a call from her telling me to iron my clothes. I was in Paris, and someone complained because I showed up wearing a dress I had packed that was crumpled up in the suitcase.Barbara was our mother hen.

But Stone was no pushover. “She wasn’t absurd,” said Bonnie Trompeter, who was 14 when she started modeling (and was the subject of a cover story in Life magazine, “Discovering the Pleasure of Being pretty”), and was only 17 when she was glamorous. girl in advertisements for Parliament cigarettes. “She was running a tight ship. We had to arrive on time, combed and made up. There were no divas back then.

Stone had a good sense of talent. Recruiting models for a TV competition called “Model of the Year” in 1967, for which the winner and two runners-up received one-year modeling contracts, Stone told a reporter how she made her choices.

“It’s really inexplicable,” she says, “like charisma. I can look at a girl and instinctively know she has that quality. It’s just something – a certain thing about certain girls. They have a spirit, a freshness that projects. It’s in their way of walking. They don’t work. They seem to be walking on air.

Baraba Stone had worked for Maybelline. She also published a literary journal, Hampton Shorts, which featured short fiction by writers like Bruce Jay Friedman, Judith Rossner, Joseph Heller, and Spalding Gray. (Source: New York Times)

In 1968, Cybill Shepherd, then only 18 years old, won the competition.

Cheryl Tiegs, the California girl who would become a household name as the face of Cover Girl makeup, was in college when she met Stone. Ford was also courting her, but she chose Stewart Models because, she says, Stone made her feel comfortable.

Barbara Sue Thorbahn was born on November 20, 1933 in Philadelphia. His father, Stewart, was a journalist and editor; his mother, Alice (McGinley) Thorbahn, was a homemaker.

Barbara grew up in Swarthmore and graduated from Swarthmore High School, where she was voted most likely to succeed, before attending Gettysburg College. An early marriage to George Frederic Pelham III ended in divorce. In 1964 she married Richard Stone, who was then a magazine illustrator and later a business manager and painter. He survives her, her daughter and a son, Lucas.

Stone left the modeling business in the mid-1970s. For a time, she had a production company and did short beauty spots for television. She also worked for Maybelline and was a real estate agent briefly. From 1996 to 2003 she published a literary journal, Hampton Shorts, which featured short fiction by writers such as Bruce Jay Friedman, Judith Rossner, Joseph Heller and Spalding Gray.

Back when she was a model – when she was “the vice president” of her agency, as a Daily News reporter once described her – she and her husband lived at the El Dorado on Central Park West , and invariably one or more of his role models would stay with them, an in loco parentis arrangement that began to bear on Barbara Stone’s real family.

Richard Stone remembers waking up one morning eager to put a salmon dip his wife had made the night before on his bagel for breakfast. When he arrived in the kitchen, he found that a dummy had licked the bowl. “It must all be a bit too much,” he said.

Barbara Stone and her husband hosted business parties, intimate omelet dinners in their apartment, and larger parties, including one at a townhouse in Kips Bay, Richard Stone recalls. When a group of young British men arrived at this particular event, things had already gotten out of hand and there was a crush of guests, he recalls, so he turned them away.

“You’re not on the list,” he remembers saying. “You don’t know who we are?” they protested. “I don’t know and I don’t care,” Richard Stone told them. None of the Stones had any idea that the young men were the Rolling Stones.

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