Beverly Johnson

Beverly Johnson

Born: October 13, 1952
Age: 66
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, U.S.
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Biography

Beverly Ann Johnson[1][3] (born October 13, 1952)[4] is an American supermodel, actress, singer, and businesswoman. Johnson rose to fame when she became the first African-American model to appear on the cover of American Vogue in August 1974.[5][6] In 1975, Johnson became the first black woman to appear on the cover of the French edition of Elle.[7] In 2012, Johnson was the star of the reality series Beverly's Full House which aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).[citation needed] The New York Times named Johnson one of the 20th century's most influential people in fashion in 2008.[8]

Born the first of two children to Gloria Johnson[9], a surgical technician, Johnson was raised in a middle-class family in Buffalo, New York. During her youth, Johnson was a champion swimmer and aspired to be a lawyer.[4] Johnson attended Bennett High School[10], graduating in 1969.[1] After high school, Johnson went on to study criminal justice at Northeastern University. While in college, Johnson tried modeling[11] while on summer break in 1971.[4] She quickly landed an assignment with Glamour and began working steadily.[11] She went on to appear on more than 500 magazine covers, including the August 1974 issue of Vogue, becoming the magazine's first African-American cover model.[4] Her appearance on the cover changed the beauty ideal in US fashion, and by 1975, every major American fashion designer had begun using African-American models.[12]

In addition to modeling, Johnson has also written a book, Beverly Johnson's Guide to a Life of Health and Beauty,[13] and embarked on an acting career.[14] She has also had roles in the films Ashanti (1979), The Meteor Man (1993), Def Jam's How to Be a Player (1997), and Crossroads (2002). She has appeared in guest spots on 7 television series, including Martin (TV series), Law & Order, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, The Parent 'Hood and the Super Bowl episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun (1998). She served for two seasons as a celebrity judge on the TV Land series She's Got the Look, a reality series, where women over 35 compete for a modeling contract and magazine spread. At the start of the series in 2008, Johnson shared that she and other models had suffered from anorexia and bulimia during her career.[15] She had a brief singing career, releasing 1 album in 1979 on Buddah Records. Johnson has been a longtime hair and beauty influencer.[16]

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Memoir and accusation against Bill Cosby

Main article: Bill Cosby sexual assault allegations

In late 2014, she wrote an article for Vanity Fair[17] in which she accused Bill Cosby of drugging her in a meeting at his Manhattan residence in the 1980s, although the incident did not result in a sexual assault. Johnson said that Cosby spiked a cup of cappuccino with an unknown drug. As she felt her "body go completely limp," she realized what was happening. Johnson said she then screamed and cursed at him several times before Cosby got angry and dragged her outside and hailed a cab for her. Johnson decided to tell her story in hopes that "by going public" she would "encourage anyone has been sexually victimized to speak out."[18][19] Her memoir, The Face That Changed It All, which discusses the Cosby incident, was released on August 25, 2015.

Subsequently, Cosby started a defamation law suit against Johnson, alleging that she was lying about the drugging incident and contending that Johnson's story, first told in the Vanity Fair article, had been repeated in numerous interviews. It seeks unspecified damages and an injunction preventing the model from repeating her claims and requests they be removed from Johnson's memoir.[20] A friend of Johnson said, “She expected this to happen. She didn’t seem upset 'with the news', but I think she’s prepared to counter-sue.”[21] Cosby dropped the lawsuit on February 19, 2016 to devote more time to his criminal case.[22]

Personal

Johnson has been married twice. Her first marriage was to real estate agent Billy Potter in 1971, later divorcing in 1974. On May 8, 1977,[23][24] Johnson, then 25 married 40-year old businessman and music producer Danny Sims[25][26]. Johnson gave birth to their daughter, Anansa Sims on December 27, 1978 in New York City, New York.[27][28] Johnson and Sims divorced in 1979.

Filmography

Year Title Role Other notes
1976 Deadly Hero
Emergency! TV, 1 episode
1977 The Baron
1978 Crisis in Sun Valley Beverly Television film
1979 Ashanti Dr. Anansa Linderby Alternative title: Ashanti, Land of No Mercy
1980 The Sky Is Gray John Lee's Mother Television film
1990 Hunter Allistar Lang TV, 1 episode
1992-1993 Law & Order Marcela/Salamotu TV, 2 episodes
1993 Martin Ms. Trinidad
Loaded Weapon 1 Doris Luger
The Meteor Man Woman Doctor
The Cover Girl Murders Michaela Television film
A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Wicked Wives Jane Marlowe Morrison Television film
1994 A Brilliant Disguise Barbara
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Mrs. Cox TV, 2 episodes
1995 The Wayans Bros. Miss Kita TV, 1 episode
Ray Alexander: A Menu for Murder Alana Durand Television film
1996 Red Shoe Diaries Lorri TV, 1 episode
Crossworlds The Queen
The Parent 'Hood Mrs. Jordon TV, 1 episode
1997 True Vengeance Lt. Kada Wilson Alternative title: Truth or Consequences
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Fashion designer TV, 1 episode
Def Jam's How to Be a Player Robin
1998 3rd Rock from the Sun Prell TV, 2 episodes
54 Elaine's Patron
2000 Down 'n Dirty Sandra Collins
2002 Crossroads Kit's Mother
Red Shoe Diaries 15: Forbidden Zone Lorri Segment: The Forbidden Zone
2010 Tyler Perry's Meet The Browns Kate 1 episode
2012 Beverly's Full House Herself TV, 8 episodes

Discography

Albums

  • Don't Lose The Feeling(1979)

Singles

  • Don't Lose The Feeling(1979)
  • Don't Run for a Cover(1979)

[ Source: Wikipedia ]