The Incredible Life of Audrey Munson – America’s First Supermodel

In the 1915 silent film Inspiration, Audrey Munson did something that no other movie actress before her had ever done. Audrey was not famous for being an actress, she was an actress for being famous. Yet, for all the “Grecian perfection” of her figure, why does her life story read like a Greek tragedy? Click the link below for this week’s episode of The State of Greater Western New York Report to see what you need before you get started.

Historian Christopher Carosa spins a tale of youth, beauty, and murder. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Born in Rochester, Audrey Munson achieved what today we would call a “supermodel.” She was the original jet-setter before jets (and barely planes) existed.  Listen and she finds herself discovered in New York City through her literally becoming the poster child at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, before ending at the top of the world in Hollywood.

In the second half of the show, Carosa tells of Munson’s slow then spectacular decline. [Warning: This portion of the show contains classical nudity.] After making history in Hollywood, a similar live performance in St. Louis ends in handcuffs, and things go downhill from there. When Audrey died in 1996 at the age of 105 (well, almost), we are left with one question: Why hasn’t Hollywood made a movie about Audrey’s life?

Our guest happily answered questions from the live audience. In fact, these are probably some of the same questions you had. Would you like to be a live audience member so you can ask our guests questions? Click here to join the growing number of members who share your feelings on because then we can automatically send you the link to watch our shows live.

Theme music by “mansardian” courtesy of under Creative Commons License Attribution 3.0

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