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On Her Birthday, Iconic Shots of Sixties Model Veruschka

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"Veruschka is the most beautiful woman in the world," Richard Avedon said of the East Prussia–born model. Shot by Avedon, Irving Penn, and Helmut Newton, Verushcka landed her first of eleven Vogue covers in 1963. All legs, eyes, and lips, Veruschka exuded sex, bringing an exotic look and new skinny chic ideal to the sixties. Born a German countess in 1939, the aspiring model reinvented herself in New York at the age of 22, changing her name from Vera to Veruschka. Over six feet tall, the model had the natural look of a Bond girl and finally appeared in the series in 2006's Casino Royale, but it was the scene of her writhing on the floor for a photo shoot in the 1966 film Blow-Up that made her a superstar. To celebrate her 74th birthday today, take a look at some of her most gorgeous portraits.

Photo: Franco Rubartelli/Corbis

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