SI Vault
Older and Better
Curry Kirkpatrick
February 07, 1989
So what if Cheryl Tiegs is 41. She looks terrific and is doing just great
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
February 07, 1989

Older And Better

So what if Cheryl Tiegs is 41. She looks terrific and is doing just great

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Cheryl...and Peter Beard, that dynamite duo, spent the Easter weekend holed up in the Carlyle with only Rory, Cheryl's darling dog, as chaperone...For Easter, Peter Rabbit Beard gave Cheryl a soft squeeze-me toy called "Security Bunny," a warm and wonderful crib and traveling companion. Hophophop!
—Suzy, New York Daily News, April 10, 1980

President Carter entered the Blue Room, where the council was meeting, shook Cheryl's hand, shuffled his feet and said, "Oh God, you 're so beautiful." In a sincere, not a lustful way. Then he blushed, and then Cheryl blushed. Without further ado, the President addressed the meeting—without notes and without blushing. Just thought you'd like to know.
—Suzy, New York Daily News, Aug. 1, 1980

Cheryl...arrived at Xenon the other night on the arm of Sir Gordon White (who used to squire Mary Tyler Moore around town). After dancing with Sir Gordon, the supermodel chatted with Superman Chris Reeve—until she ran into director Stan Dragoti. He remembers her from when she was just a poster girl. She was also his wife at the time.
—New York Post, April 29, 1982

Cheryl Tiegs is alive and swell and coping with the World Beyond Suzy And Studio 54. For an old lady tending to her knitting, she's also in fairly good health. Just thought you'd like to know.

Why, here's Cheryl now, in the midst of a private aerobics workout, walking the back stairs of her new East Side apartment house. Up a couple of flights, down one. Up three more flights, down one. Several different tours of the stairs, just like that. A lot of stairs. Would Tiegs, all sweaty and shimmering in skintight Lycra and rainbow colors, with tiny weights on her wrists and ankles and Elton John wailing in her headphones, be a spectacular vision come to life, or what? Back at her old apartment a couple of dozen blocks south, where she lived until a month ago, Scotty the superintendent, along with the painters and the garbagemen and assorted other maintenance types, just happened to hit the back stairs about three o'clock—"Oh, hi, Miss Tiegs," they would say. "We'll be out of your way in just a sec"—every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon when she did her workout. Is Manhattan an isle of joy or what?

"It got to be a joke between me and the workmen," says Tiegs. "Yeah, I guess I look great on the stairs, but I feel like a rat in a maze." (If you're reading this, Minnie Mouse, you're history.)

Just pause for a moment. In fact, if you're faint of heart or susceptible to shock, better stop and turn to the Mexico story right now.

Cheryl Tiegs is 41 years old. Four one. F-o-r-t-y o-n-e.

Read it and weep, ladies. Old enough to be your mom, fraternity guys. Head for the hills or at least to the Golden Door, America the non-beautiful. And better hit those exercise tapes a little harder, baby boomers. One of your very own—that pulchritudinous legend off the dormitory walls and the factory engine rooms whose wildly glamorous yet unthreatening, chameleon looks remain in the time capsule of a couple of faded decades—yeah, the fantasy calendar girl, Cheryl Tiegs, is f-o-r-t-y o-n-e. And never looked better in a bathing suit.

If it seems hardly possible that Cheryl Tiegs is 41, try imagining this: Tiegs, the former dance-all-night disco princess, now low-keys it at home, reading whole shelves of books, taping public service messages for the Wilderness Society and, swear to goodness, practicing needlepoint. Tiegs, the former belle de gossip whose life was defined by columnists reporting everything from crazed suitors shooting arrows onto her hotel balcony to a puma biting her bottom during a photo shoot, now attends power lunches with the likes of Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan and Barbara Walters. Tiegs, the lush, windblown California girl whose ultimate legacy was that she brought the chest back to modeling, has become a monster businesswoman, empress of fashion and the designer of women's wear for the largest retailer in the U.S.

Continue Story
1 2 3