Tatjana Patitz: 5 Things To Know About The Legendary Supermodel Who Has Died At 56

The iconic supermodel's passing was announced on Wednesday. She was 56. Find out everything you need to know about Tatjana here.

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  • Tatjana Patitz was a model and actress, who appeared in numerous publications, movies, and music videos.
  • She had one son.
  • Tatjana’s death was announced on Wednesday, January 11.

Tatjana Patitz has died at 56 years old. Her cause of death is not yet known, but her passing was reported by Vogue on Wednesday, January 11. The German model was one of the most well-known people in the fashion and beauty worlds throughout the 80s and 90s. Vogue global editorial director Anna Wintour paid tribute to the late star in the outlet. “Tatjana was always the European symbol of chic, like Romy Schneider-meets-Monica Vitti,” she said. “She was far less visible than her peers—more mysterious, more grown-up, more unattainable—and that had its own appeal.”

Find out more about Tatjana here.

Tatjana passed away at 56 on January 11. (ColdreyJames/Action Press/Shutterstock)

1. Tatjana was a model who rose to fame in the 80s and 90s

Tatjana began her modeling career at 17 in 1983, and she quickly began to make a living at it. She was featured on the cover of British Vogue for the first time in 1985. Many of her most iconic photos were taken by photographer Peter Lindbergh, who she worked with for decades. She was also featured in other, now-beloved fashion images, including a 1990 cover of Vogue with other supermodels Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington, per VogueThroughout the 90s and beyond, Tatjana was featured in many runway shows, as well as portraits and campaigns for products like L’Oreal.

2. She dabbled in acting

Besides modeling, Tatjana also did a little bit of acting work. She appeared in the films Rising Sun and Restraining Order. She also made appearances as herself in both the movie Ready to Wear and on The Larry Sanders Show. Despite her movie work, Tatjana’s acting was perhaps most famous in music videos. She notably appeared in Duran Duran’s videos for “Skin Trade” and “Burning The Ground” in 1987 and 1989, respectively. She also starred in nu-metal band Korn’s 2000 video for “Make Me Bad” as her final acting role. Still her most famous appearance was probably her appearance in George Michael’s “Freedom ’90” music video in 1990, per IMDb

3. She was a vegetarian

Besides her modeling, Tatjana was an outspoken animal rights activist and was so dedicated that she was even a vegetarian, via International Vegetarian Union. Aside from animal rights, Tatjana was committed to fighting for many different social causes, including LGBTQ+ rights, HIV rights, and gender equality, per W MagazineShe notably campaigned for the American Wild Horses campaign and opened up about it in a 2019 interview with Mercedes AMG’s 63 Magazine“There are more wild horses in corrals than in the wild. What happens in those corrals is often terrible and sad. The American Wild Horse Campaign is trying to maintain a habitat for the animals, to set them free, and to protect them,” she said.

Tatjana was one of the most famous models of the 80s and 90s. (Willi Schneider/Shutterstock)

4. She had one son

Tatjana is survived by her one son Jonah, 19, who was born in 2004. The supermodel spoke about how important her son was to her during the interview with 63 Magazine. She spoke about the values she tried to instill in him. “I would like to send an empathetic person with a big heart out into the world. Jonah should always have the self-belief to be himself and to embody and articulate his own attitude and opinions,” she said. “My son is my source of happiness in life. My friends, my animals, and nature give me balance and satisfaction – the feeling of being connected.”

5. She spoke openly about aging as a model

Tatjana spoke about how getting older, she was happy that more women were embracing aging. She spoke fondly about the 90s nostalgia in a 2019 interview with C Magazine. “The inclusivity of aging has changed as there is demand from women who want someone to relate to,” she said.

The supermodel also said that she was proud to get older in the aforementioned 63 Magazine interview. “I am proud of my wrinkles. I worked for each one and they belong to me. Growing older is beautiful. You become wiser and more mature. For me, giving away or changing that gift is not an option,” she said.

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