Babette March

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Babette March (born 1941 (age 75–76)), pronounced Marx, born Barbara Marchlowitz, formerly Babette Russell, or simply Babette,[1] who is now known by the name Babette Beatty,[2] was the first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model.[3][4][5] She was on the swimsuit issue cover of the January 20, 1964 issue.[6]

Early life[edit]

According to Sports Illustrated, she was born in Berlin and raised in Brazil, Germany and Canada.[1] According to her website, March was born in Berlin in 1941, moved to Rio de Janeiro 1949, traveled from 1959 to 1961, lived in Manhattan from 1961 to 1979, lived in Montreal from 1979 to 1986, resided in Palm Beach, Florida and Naples, Italy from 1986 to 1992 after which she moved to Halfway Oregon.[7]

Modelling career[edit]

She started modelling in early 1962, beginning with a shoot for Weekend Magazine[citation needed]. By 1963 she was working for leading fashion magazines[citation needed]. She moved to a Park Avenue New York City apartment; eventually, they both settled in New York City.[8][9]

According to a Sports Illustrated retrospective and other corroborating sources[specify], in her prime, she was the "highest-paid model of her day" while working for Ford Models.[1][not in citation given][8] In the mid-1960s, she was earning $85,000 a year.[9] Eileen Ford describes March as the first elite photographic model that she recalls with gapped teeth.[10] She was known for living the high life and for partying with the likes of Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol.[2][11]

After modelling[edit]

In 1976, she retired from modelling, then moved to a 54-acre (22 ha) farm outside Montreal where she raised pedigreed cattle, 40 sheep, 80 chickens and ducks, three horses, 14 dogs, and 18 cats.[1][11] She then married Dale Beatty, an architect, and settled in Halfway, Oregon, where she and her husband opened a bakery, restaurant, and art gallery.[11] She has become a highly regarded chef, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.[12] Her renovation, restoration and rejuvenation of the landmark bed & breakfast, art centre, bakery and restaurant was featured on a 30-minute Home & Garden Television channel show.[13] Her art work has been featured on the label of a line of wines.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d Lidz, Franz (7 February 1989). "The Pixie Pioneer: Impish Babette March put on that white bikini and launched an institution". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  2. ^ a b "Cover model Babette Beatty holds the Jan. 20, 1964 Sports Illustrated". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  3. ^ Curtis, Bryan (2005-02-16). "The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue: An intellectual history". Slate. Washington Post Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC. Archived from the original on 27 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  4. ^ Hoover, Elizabeth D. (2006-07-05). "60 Years of Bikinis". American Heritage Inc. Archived from the original on 13 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  5. ^ "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues 1964–2006". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  6. ^ "SI Cover Search: 1964 swimsuit". Time Inc. 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  7. ^ ""Exuberant" "Inspiring" "Captivating"". Babette Beatty. Archived from the original on 2009-08-21. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  8. ^ a b Klyn, Doyle (1965-10-15). "Three Girls On The Go". Ottawa Citizen. p. 16. Retrieved 2010-02-01. [dead link]
  9. ^ a b Anita, Epstein (1967-03-18). "The Joys of Being Flat-chested". The Montreal Gazette. p. 48. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  10. ^ Ford, Eileen (1970-09-29). "That Impish Look". Chicago Tribune. p. A2. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  11. ^ a b c Young, Amalie (5 March 2000). "Former fashion model plunges wholeheartedly into Halfway". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  12. ^ "Episode 324: Thursday March 28, 2002". Oregon Art Beat. Oregon Public Broadcasting. 2002-03-28. Archived from the original on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  13. ^ Nicholas, Jonathan (1998-06-17). "Sexiest Woman In America Goes Half, Not All, The Way". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  14. ^ "Divas - of Treasure Valley winemaking". The Idaho Statesman. 5 June 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 

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