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Veruschka von Lehndorff


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Veruschka was born in 1939 in East Prussia as Countess Vera Gottliebe Anna von Lehndorff. For a short time, she enjoyed a wealthy lifestyle residing in East Prussia in a 100-room house on an enormous estate that had been in her family for centuries. Her father, Count Heinrich Graf von Lehndorff-Steinort, was a wealthy landowner and German army reserve officer who became a key member of the German Resistance after witnessing Jewish children being beaten and killed. When she was just a child, Heinrich Graf von Lehndorff-Steinort was executed for attempting to assassinate Adolf Hitler in the July 20 Plot. After his death, the remaining family members spent their times in camps until the end of World War II. By the end of the war, her family was left homeless. Her traumatic childhood experiences later triggered heavy depression in 1974

She studied art in Hamburg and then to Florence where she was discovered at age 20 by the photographer Ugo Mulas and became a full-time model. Back then tall models were not considered desirable in Paris, but there she met Eileen Ford, head of the prestigious Ford Modeling Agency. In 1961, she moved to New York City, but she did not score any booking. To make her stand out she returned to Munich and told people that she was really from Russia and changed her name to create a mysterious persona, which earned her many bookings. She had also garnered attention when she made a brief yet powerful five minute appearance in the cult film Blowup by Michelangelo Antonioni in 1966. In the same year, she did her first shoot wearing nothing but body paint, which she would continue to do for years. She once worked with Salvador Dal

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