Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

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Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby Lanelk » Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:46 pm

    

This post is dedicated to Margaret Gardiner- Miss Republic of South Africa and Miss Universe 1978.
Beyond The Crown- AS THE ONLY SOUTH AFRICAN TO EVER WEAR THE MISS UNIVERSE SASH, THIS FORMER MODEL WENT ON TO BECOME
A BEAUTY QUEEN, MOTHER, GRADUATE AND JOURNALIST. AND SHE HAS PLANS TO ADD YET ANOTHER TITLE TO HER NAME

Marie Claire - january 2013: WORDS VANESSA MCCULLOCH
https://s3.amazonaws.com/cuttings/cuttingpdfs/155690/497e6f88c8c1632d50d84399924bd0fa.pdf

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When I get in touch with Margaret in LA to set up an interview, there’s a slight problem. It’s not that she’s unwilling – she seems genuinely touched to be the focus
of such interest – it’s just that she’s busy. Really busy. She’s dropping off stuff for the homeless and then going to interview Joaquin (yes, Phoenix), then she’s interviewing Lindsay. Then there’s dinner with her 17-year-old son Brandon, and back out for Denzel Washington’s new movie Flight.

Tomorrow’s no good as she’s got interviews with Spielberg, Sally Field and Daniel Day Lewis. Saturday she’s interviewing Denzel and then, after some precious family time, heading to London for Thor 2. ‘It’s no big deal,’ she says. ‘This is my life. It doesn’t slow down.’

When we make contact again, Margaret tells me that she knew she wanted to be a writer since she was a little girl. She appears not in the least starstruck. ‘I love focusing on other people,’ she says, adding that she used to be ‘horribly shy’. Despite an extensive modelling career and being crowned Miss Universe in 1978 – still the only South African to do so – she pauses when asked about the highlight of her career. ‘It’s hard to say. When I was 15 a poem of mine was published in the Cape Argus. I was pretty psyched about that.’

‘Margaret is determined and very grounded,’ says her older sister Sandy, who lives in Cape Town and runs her own modelling school, Sandy B Models. ‘She’s warm and she draws people in. The fact that she meets famous people so often is by the way, like a doctor with patients.’

But then, of course, she has had her own experience of stardom. In 1978, when an 18-year-old Margaret returned to Cape Town after being crowned Miss Universe, crowds gathered at the airport. Later that day, there was a parade down Adderley Street in her honour.

Margaret was ‘mortified’, thinking that nobody would turn up but a beauty pageant win, at this international level, was a headline event that captivated the nation. ‘It was like the man on the moon had arrived!’ says photographer Bernard Jordaan, remembering the streets filled with streamers and people hoping to get a glimpse of their home-grown star. Margaret was ‘proud to have won for SA’ and also ‘amazed at the kindness of strangers and their interest in me’.

Bernard, who worked for Rapport, one of the sponsors of Miss SA and then Miss RSA, spent six weeks a year covering the stories of the winners. He first played a part in Margaret’s career when he ‘discovered’ her aged 15 at a small beauty competition, where he was a judge. ‘She wasn’t the typical beauty girl,’ he says. She was very tall (taller than was fashionable at the time) with long legs and the most beautiful blue eyes.’ But it was illness that initially pushed Margaret into the beauty world.

‘I had TB when I was young and I entered my first pageant as a pick-me-up for the treatment,’ she explains. ‘My family has always supported me, in everything. I had one of the best childhoods.’

Margaret grew up in Woodstock, Cape Town, with her parents and two older sisters Sandy and Beverly, all three years apart in age. ‘I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have the amazing sisters I have,’ says Margaret, who describes her home as ‘a house of females, all strong, opinionated and hard-working’.

Sandy jokes over the phone, ‘Our poor father! Even the dog was a girl.’ She proudly recalls how everyone remarked on Margaret’s beauty, and how she excelled at school, especially at History and English. Their mother, Dawn, was a stay-at-home mom who Margaret describes as ‘super strong, caring and giving’ while their father was a lithographer and silk screener. ‘He was the strong, silent type,’ says Sandy. ‘He was good-looking, very supportive of us all – he was Margaret’s hero.’

‘The lessons I learnt growing up at home have allowed me to carry myself with dignity amongst leaders of the world and people in poverty,’ says Margaret, whose trajectory has placed her alongside everyone from the homeless to celebrities who are multiproperty owners.

Interestingly, Sandy was the first in the family to start modelling. ‘I felt so proud standing in the audience,’ wrote Margaret in her 1994 book Winning in Modelling and Beauty Competitions. ‘I never dared hope that I could follow in her footsteps.’ Later that year Margaret got her first job as a model for American Swiss. The shoot took place early in the morning in Greenmarket Square, and she made it just in time for school.

Then, a famous model scout for Elite, Johnny Casablancas arrived in Cape Town on a recruiting drive. It was Bernard who took Margaret to meet him at the Mount Nelson – after Sandy had done her make-up for her, and lent her a dress. Casablancas asked Margaret, then 16, if she wanted to go to Paris, and two weeks later she was off. Two weeks after that she shot her first cover for French magazine Jacinthe.

Following a job for Dior, she was booked for her second magazine cover. Despite being a teenage model in Paris and far from home, Margaret stayed on the straight and narrow. In Winning in Modelling, she warns about the ‘dangers’ of her chosen profession, recounting how a model friend in Europe became an alcoholic at 17 and also about seeing girls turn to bulimia to stay thin. That was a path Margaret was not going to follow. ‘She was innocent and inexperienced,’ says Sandy, ‘but she remained true to herself all the way.’

Margaret was rewarded at 18, when she postponed a modelling job in Italy to enter the Miss Republic of South Africa competition. It was at the height of apartheid, but this new pageant, sponsored by Rapport, was the first non-racially segregated competition of its kind in South Africa. ‘It was something I believed in,’ says Margaret.

She had already experienced discrimination for being South African, while working in Paris, but was unprepared for the level of scrutiny that she received in Mexico for the Miss Universe competition. ‘Everyone expected me to be racist, which was disconcerting as I had practically been raised in Bishop Tutu’s St George’s Cathedral,’ Margaret says.

After battling to get a visa for Mexico, her national costume (with its ostrich-feather headpiece) was held back by customs and the South African flag was banned from the auditorium. Against all odds, Margaret won and the crown was awarded to her by the first black Miss Universe, Trinidad’s Janelle Penny Commissiong.

While Margaret felt proud to have won for her country, she describes her following year as Miss Universe as one ‘that kind of gutted me on fame’. She was refused entry to many countries, experienced demonstrations against her and struggled with the labels associated with being a ‘beauty queen’. ‘You couldn’t be pretty and strong and enter a pageant. You had to be dumb and exploited.’ However, she admits that the benefits, such as ‘the education of world travel and the exposure’, far outweighed the challenges. And she still retained her sense of fun.

Sandy remembers how Margaret, who was often recognized in the streets and asked for her autograph, would sometimes swap identities with her. ‘Passersby would say, “Look! There’s Margaret Gardiner!” and Margaret would walk up to me and tap me on the shoulder and say “Hello Margaret Gardiner!” to confuse people. We had a lot of fun.

Soon enough, her year as Miss Universe was over. ‘Go gracefully,’ she wrote in Winning in Modelling of handing over your crown. ‘Never let other people’s expectations hold you back.’

After the competition, Margaret moved to New York and continued her modelling career. She hints at partying with the rich and famous although her lips are respectfully sealed about the details. ‘There were lots of parties, of course. Rubbing shoulders with the powerful and the famous,’ she says, neatly navigating around the question of whether she’s dated any A-listers. ‘Sometimes you encounter people who you adore and connect with. That they happen to be all those other things is not what’s best about them.’

Margaret remained in the US and in her mid twenties she graduated from Charleston College in South Carolina with a degree in Psychology and International Politics.

In the years that followed, she returned to Miss Universe regularly as a judge or a commentator.

But it was as a judge at a local beauty pageant in Stellenbosch, ‘Miss Matieland’, that Margaret’s life took its next turn when she met her future husband Dr André Nel. The couple married on 14 February 1987, at St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, and two years later when André was offered a position at the University of California they moved to LA.

In 1995, their son Brandon was born. ‘Nothing had prepared me for the unselfish, pure love that a mother feels for a child,’ explains Margaret, who had suffered a dangerous ectopic pregnancy and miscarried a few years earlier. ‘I’d always been ambitious, but [when my son was born] my ambition disintegrated.’ From then on, her career came second: she was first and foremost a mother.

Four years later, Margaret faced what she calls her ‘biggest challenge’. While shooting a TV ad in LA, the director noticed a mark on her chest and urged her to get it checked out. It was a rare type of skin cancer. It took a 10-hour operation that left her with a five-inch scar on her chest, to remove the tumour. ‘My son was four at the time and because I had a skin graft I wasn’t able to use my arms,’ she told Algoa FM last year. ‘It changed my life dramatically.’

Her advice to other cancer patients: ‘Hang onto your strength and feed your soul whenever you can.’ Once she’d recovered, her career took a new turn. After doing a stint as a correspondent host on Good Morning South Africa and having published her book, she was approached by the entertainment magazine TVPlus to be interviewed and then asked to do her first published interview (‘I think it was on Sandra Bullock, but might have been Jen Aniston or Sharon Stone,’ she says).

Soon after, she was invited to join the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. She is now a respected entertainment journalist writing for a range of publications from Rooi Rose to Longevity. Out of all the celebrities she’s interviewed, she says Angelina Jolie stands out the most – ‘Here is a woman who is smart, beautiful, lives courageously, is talented and takes on projects in third-world countries that people would rather forget about. She gets a bum rap from people.’ Margaret’s job now involves red-carpet interviews and invites to the Golden Globes, which she describes as ‘hard work but a total blast – the last couple of years I worked seating the stars. It’s live but laid-back and the stars are very social, and then of course there are the afterparties when all the pressure is off.’

Designers including Oliver Tolentino have offered to make her dresses for the Golden Globes, but Margaret is still as grounded as ever: ‘If I’m not doing a televized interview, I buy an off-the-rack dress for nothing. I take absolute delight in the fact that stars who have spent thousands will come up to me saying, “Who is that you’re wearing?”’ She seems unfazed by the celebrities she sees ‘at parties, at the gym or in the grocery store. This is LA – that’s just life here.’

Now 53 years old, Margaret remains eye-catchingly beautiful and is still as amazed by people’s reactions to her as she was 34 years ago, in the Adderley Street parade.

‘When a woman comes up to me and says something lovely to me about how I look, I’m in awe that anyone noticed enough to tell me,’ she says. ‘I think everyone is their own kind of beautiful. Everyone has something special.’

I think of Margaret, now on the next leg of her trip: in New York and then Rome and then back to New York for more interviews. When I asked her what’s left on her wish list, she told me that she hope one day to write ‘quality fiction, with an unusual voice’. Considering that this once-shy girl from Woodstock has achieved everything else that she’s ever set her mind to – I think she just might.


Lanelk
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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby Lanelk » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:03 pm

Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978
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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby Lanelk » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:11 pm

Margaret Gardiner - Miss Universe 1978

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Last edited by Lanelk on Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby Lanelk » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:21 pm

Margaret Gardiner - Miss Universe 1978
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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby Lanelk » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:28 pm

Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978
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Margaret with Bernard Jordaan, who "discovered" her

https://bernardjordaanblog.wordpress.co ... rousel-294
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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby danksa » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:32 pm

Margaret was stunning during the Miss Universe 1978 and a hands-down winner!!
Where can i send the Bench GC's so you can buy a decent underwear? Act of charity ko na s pagiging basher mo!!!
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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby Lanelk » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:37 pm

Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby MarcelG91 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:55 pm

Incredible woman. I wonder if ever I'll get the oppertunity to witness a South African crowned as Miss Universe in my lifetime. I really thought Melinda Bam had it in 2012...
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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby Colonel Sanders » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:13 pm

Classy beauty!
.

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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby Lanelk » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:40 pm

Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978
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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby Lanelk » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:43 pm

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Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978 and her family

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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby Lanelk » Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:55 pm

Recent pictures of Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby Lanelk » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:03 pm

Recent pictures of Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978
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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby Lanelk » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:08 pm

Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978 - recent photo's

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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby TamilliO » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:55 am

:-O :-O :-O

At 57, her body is still banging!!! Many girls would kill for those legs
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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby madamebovarry » Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:46 pm

She live in the Usa?
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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby PR-Beauty » Fri Sep 30, 2016 3:20 am

ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MISS UNIVERSE IN HISTORY! :hx :hx :hx
SHE WAS A GODDESS IN HER PRIME!
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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby Stoichio » Fri Sep 30, 2016 12:32 pm





One of the TOP 5 Most Beautiful Miss Universe in my book!
TO PLACE: Invite the reigning queens or vote! vote! vote!
TO WIN: Sit in the judging panel and cheat.

YASSS!
“I”
did it!
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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby PAULO SANTANDER » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:02 am

:hx
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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby HowDoYouKnow » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:21 am

MarcelG91 wrote:Incredible woman. I wonder if ever I'll get the oppertunity to witness a South African crowned as Miss Universe in my lifetime. I really thought Melinda Bam had it in 2012...


Now you have! :D/
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Re: Margaret Gardiner- Miss Universe 1978

Postby aldoteng » Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:22 am

I recently read this article https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/th ... 400db8afd3 only to realize it was written by Margaret. Then I found she has written other equality-related articles, easily found on google.

She also didn't mention her Miss Universe title in her bio: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/margaret-gardiner

I thought it interesting because she does not distance herself from the Miss Universe brand - she has appeared many times in reunions of Miss Universe winners.
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