Barbara Stone, Modeling Agent to American Beauties, Dies at 87

In 1968, Cybill Shepherd, then only 18, won the pageant.

Cheryl Tiegs, the California girl who later became a household name for Cover Girl’s makeup, was in college when she met Ms. Stone. Ford courted her too, but she picked Stewart Models because Ms. Stone reassured her:

“I was painfully shy and she was warm and took me under her wing. There were certain photographers that she said about, “No, I don’t want you to go there.” She would speak to my parents. That was helpful for the mothers, because back then we seldom picked up the phone and called home.

“Barbara let me be who I was,” continued Ms. Tiegs, “which I found uncomfortable and shy. Much later, when I went to Ford because Barbara was turning away from her business, I sent her a letter to let her know. I knew if I saw her in person she would talk me out of it, and I wasn’t strong enough to beat Barbara Stone. “

Barbara Sue Thorbahn was born in Philadelphia on November 20, 1933. Her father Stewart was a newspaper reporter and editor; Her mother Alice (McGinley) Thorbahn was a housewife.

Barbara grew up in Swarthmore and graduated from Swarthmore High School, where she was most likely voted for success, before attending Gettysburg College. An early marriage to George Frederic Pelham III ended in divorce. In 1964 she married Richard Stone, who was then an illustrator and later a commercial director and painter. He survived her along with her daughter and a son, Lucas.

Ms. Stone left the modeling business in the mid-1970s. She ran a production company for a while, doing short beauty spots for television. She also worked for Maybelline and was a brief real estate agent. From 1996 to 2003 she published a literary magazine, Hampton Shorts, which included short stories by writers such as Bruce Jay Friedman, Judith Rossner, Joseph Heller, and Spalding Gray.

In her modeling days – when she was “the vice president” of her agency, as a male reporter for The Daily News once described her – she and her husband lived in El Dorado in Central Park West and without exception one or more of them would be their models stay, an in-loco Parentis arrangement that was beginning to affect Ms. Stone’s real family.

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