Roseanne "Rosie" Vela
December 18, 1952
|Occupation||Model, actress, singer-songwriter|
|Height||5 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1.74 m)|
Early life, education and modeling career
Vela was born in Galveston, Texas. Her family later moved to Arkansas, where she attended the University of Arkansas. While studying art and music, Vela also began modeling. She married the Arkansas born musician, Jimmy Roberts, but he died of cancer shortly after. Following this, Vela moved to New York where her modeling career took off and she graced the covers of magazines including Vogue and Newsweek from 1975 onwards, and appeared in numerous television commercials and films such as Michael Cimino’s ‘Heaven’s Gate’ and Jack Nicholson’s ‘Two Jakes’ and another with Michael Madsen.
Turning her attention to music, Vela built a home recording studio for herself and signed a recording contract with A&M Records. She released her debut album Zazu in 1986. The entire album was written or co-written by Vela and was produced by Gary Katz. It is also notable for the fact that it included contributions from both Donald Fagen and Walter Becker (two of Vela's musical heroes) - almost 10 years after they had disbanded their group Steely Dan. Though the album was critically acclaimed, it went largely unnoticed in the U.S. It fared better in Europe and a single from the album Magic Smile was a Top 30 hit in the UK Singles Chart. The album itself peaked at #20 in the UK Albums Chart and was certified silver by the BPI in March 1987. Further singles "Interlude" and "Fool's Paradise" met with less success.
It has been reported[by whom?] that Vela recorded a second album entitled Sun Upon the Altar, but the album remains unreleased.
Following Zazu, Vela did not release any further recordings, but has since become a backing vocalist for other musicians including Electric Light Orchestra on their 2001 album Zoom. Vela also performed a few shows with the band and was (for 7 years) in a relationship with ELO's lead singer Jeff Lynne. Vela co-wrote "A Woman Like That" with Lynne for a 1998 British movie called Still Crazy.
Vela has also appeared in several films including Heaven's Gate (as the "beautiful girl" who makes Kris Kristofferson's character fall in love during Harvard's graduation ceremony scene), The Two Jakes and Inside Edge opposite Michael Madsen.