Tatjana Patitz, A Star In The Supermodel Era, Dies at 56

Tatjana Patitz died on Wednesday. She was a supermodel who was seen everywhere in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including on fashion runways, magazine covers, and TV ads. She turned 56.

Corinne Nicolas of Model CoOp in New York, who was her agent, wrote about her death on Facebook. In her post, Ms. Nicolas didn’t say when or where Ms. Patitz died, but she told the website Insider that cancer was the cause.

Ms. Patitz, pronounced “pah-TEETZ,” started her career as a model when she was a teenager in the early 1980s. She went on to reach the top of her field.

In 2016, she told Prestige Hong Kong magazine, “I fell into it by accident.” “When I was 15, I was found by someone who took pictures of me and sent them to modeling contests. I was a finalist in one, and they sent me to Paris because I came in third. “Everything began there.”

Still, she said, it took her a while to build a modeling career.

“It wasn’t like things just fell into my lap,” she said. “Getting introduced to the business was hard.

It was the height of the MTV era, and the video with the models lip-syncing the song got a lot of play, which, according to a 1995 article in the British newspaper The Mail, “burned the girls into the brainpans of every adolescent popster from Minsk to Montevideo.”

Tatjana Patitz Dies At 56
Tatjana Patitz Dies At 56

Ms. Patitz went all over the world for photo shoots. In 1999, the British newspaper The Sunday Telegraph wrote about her and her home near Malibu, California.

“If you look around, you can almost see where my work has taken me,” she told the newspaper, pointing out bowls and Buddhas from Bali, kilims from Morocco, cushions from India, and a wooden suitcase from Montana that she was using as a table. “I don’t have much, but if I see something I like, I buy it. “There are many memories in the house.”

Ms. Patitz was born in what was then West Germany, in the city of Hamburg, on May 25, 1966. She lived in Sweden from when she was 7 until she moved to Paris for good when she was 17.

In one, for Levi’s in 1988, a handsome young man walks into a dirty diner on a hot day wearing a shirt with undone buttons, boxers, but no pants. She is at the counter. As he walks toward her, there’s an instant of s*xual attraction. His jeans, which are in the fridge behind her, are what he really wants. In Britain, a group that looks out for people’s rights said that the ad shouldn’t be shown when kids might be watching.

Ms. Patitz appeared in a Stainmaster carpeting commercial in 1990, dressed for the evening, with a well-dressed man and a table set with a candlelit dinner; the man is so distracted by her beauty that he knocks the entire table over, spilling the meal onto the stain-resistant carpet. A second advertisement featured the same couple and ended in a food fight. “Wall-to-wall pile never looked so sexy,”. Entertainment Weekly said that it was one of the best ads of 1991 because “wall-to-wall pile has never looked so hot.”

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In the 1990s, Ms. Patitz got a few film and TV roles thanks to her work in commercials and music videos, most notably in the crime drama “Rising Sun” (1993), which starred Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes and was based on a novel by Michael Crichton.

In 1993, The Los Angeles Times wrote, “For Swedish newcomer Tatjana Patitz, a supermodel-turned-actress who, at 26, looks exactly like a young Lauren Bacall, a mostly naked performance as the murder victim in 20th Century Fox’s new release “Rising Sun” wasn’t exactly how the young actress thought she’d break into the business.” During a sadomasochistic sexual act, her character dies.

She told the newspaper, “I thought, ‘Oh my God, I don’t want my parents to see it.'”

Around the middle of the 1990s, the supermodel era started to end, but Ms. Patitz continued to work sometimes. Since she was a child, she has loved dogs, cats, horses, and birds. She spent a lot of time with them. In the 2000s, she got a divorce from Jason Johnson. Their son, Jonah, will live on after she dies.

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