Saturday, October 18, 2008

Featured Pipe Smoker: Andie MacDowell

Rosalie Anderson "Andie" MacDowell (b. 1958)

Andie MacDowell (imdb link) was born in South Carolina. During her teen years, her mother died, and she worked low-paying restaurant jobs to help support her family.

She attended Winthrop College (now Winthrop University) in South Carolina but dropped out in 1978 to pursue a career in modeling, and became successful as a model for L'Oreal. In 1984 she made her film debut in Greystoke - The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (although Wikipedia says her voice was re-recorded by Glenn Close).

The film that pretty much established her as an actress was Sex, Lies, and Videotape in 1989. As of this writing, lists her as an actress in 39 films.

She currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina. She is one of the very few famous female pipe smokers who I know of.

It's sometimes difficult to tell if some celebrities actually smoked a pipe off-screen or if the photo I have found is just some movie still or publicity photo "stunt pipe." One indication is to look closely at the pipe. In this picture, it is obvious that there is smoke coming from the pipe. The bowl is still full enough that a tiny bit of what appears to be tobacco leaves--or at least, something--is in the bowl. The end of the stem is in her mouth. She's smoking the pipe.

There are some reports on the internet that at some point she became "a closet cigarette smoker." She enjoyed smoking, but was embarrassed to be "outed." She was born and raised in tobacco country. All these things lead me to believe that yes, she is really smoking the pipe.

I can't ID the pipe, but it is interesting in that it has an unusual square shank and stem.

By the way, for an example of an actor who obviously wasn't a pipe smoker, try to catch the episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show called "The Meerschatz Pipe." First of all, the word is "meerschaum," not "meerschatz." And throughout the entire episode, Maury Amsterdam carried that pipe around like it was a dirty diaper or something. He had obviously never touched one before in his life. It was a wonder he didn't break the thing, the way he was slinging it around by its stem.

Also by the way, "meerschaum" means "sea foam." So I think you can guess what "meerschatz" would mean. (No, it doesn't really mean what it sort of sounds like. It means "sea treasure").

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post, and for sharing the photo. Women pipe smokers have always been interesting to me, and I'm pleased to say that our pipe club now has a couple serious women smokers.