Supermodel Tatjana Patitz, best known for her appearance in George Michael’s video for his monster hit “Freedom ’90,” has died at age 56. She died on Jan. 11 of breast cancer, her agent confirmed.
The German-born Patitz was considered one of the original supermodels. She entered her first modeling contest at age 17 in Stockholm, taking third place. But a session with fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh that followed launched the main part of her career.
Singer George Michael saw her in British Vogue in 1990, and subsequently cast her for his “Freedom ’90” music video alongside Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista.
“I was in my own zone,” she said of filming the “Freedom ’90” video, which did not see her even meet Michael. “I had to kind of slide up and down the wall for part of the day. The feel of the set was so run-down, this big, loft kind of vibe. There was another setup with me laying on a chaise lounge with a black smoking jacket. I think I may have had a bustier on. And I was smoking, even. People still smoked in videos then and even in films.”
No information on survivors or a memorial was immediately available.