The Most Beautiful People in Las Vegas: 2009
Thu, Apr 30, 2009 (midnight)
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Get an eyeful of Las Vegas Weekly's annual look at the city's most beautiful men and women. Intelligent, sexy and strong (both physically and mentally), these people aren't just fun to look at, they're contributors to the local landscape that remind us of Las Vegas' incredible complexity and excitement. And, of course, they're easy on the eyes, too.
And while you're enjoying the view, take a look at last year's beautiful people, or our behind the scenes video of this issue's Beautiful People cover shoot.
Zsuzsanna Jakabos | UNLV Swimmer
She’s ready for her Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue close-up. Oh, did we mention she’s also an amazing athletic talent? So what if there’s a bit of a language barrier? Hungarian-born Zsuzsanna Jakabos, 20, has been making waves, both in the pool and on land, since joining the UNLV swimming program in January. If people don’t notice her magnetic visage, they’re sure to notice her Amazonian, 6-foot-1-inch frame, which she says makes her a better swimmer. Her record certainly backs that up—she competed for Hungary in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games. She finds Las Vegas a perfect fit, and her immediate goals are “swimming and eating—maybe tanning.” Hey, we’ve always said majors are overrated, anyway.
Tre’von Willis | UNLV Basketball Player
Tre’Von Willis holds his head high on the basketball court. It’s an air of confidence, not defiance, that sets him apart. You first notice his smattering of tattoos and an expression that bleeds intensity, but when the ball’s in his hands, Willis is composed, almost peaceful, and so are the Runnin’ Rebels. Whether he’s flying through the lane with a dancer’s grace, launching a teardrop three-pointer from the wing or threading a no-look pass between defenders, good things happen when Willis is on the court. His presence makes each teammate better, and what could be more beautiful than that?
Pamela Jenkins | Owner, The Cupcakery
What could go better with all-American cupcakes than classic, all-American good looks? Pamela Jenkins is the founder, owner and face of the Cupcakery, a bastion of deliciousness with locations on the east and west sides of town. Her look, which she describes as “cutesy, pin-up, polka dot, striped,” is an important part of promoting the brand, and she’s happy to be out there putting her beautiful smile to good use. “When you look like a piece of dessert, it goes along with what you’re trying to sell,” she laughs.
Michael Cornthwaite | Owner, Downtown Cocktail Room
Jennifer Harrington | Owner, Henri + Odette Gallery
Beautiful independently, beautiful together. One half of Downtown’s own beautiful power couple, Jennifer Harrington seems as enamored of her boyfriend Michael Cornthwaite’s inner beauty as she is of his physical attributes: “He just has this lovely, quiet perseverance that’s really very contagious.” As owner of the Downtown Cocktail Room, regarded by many as mayor of Downtown’s burgeoning Fremont East district, “[Michael] has this style that’s just his, and it wouldn’t work on anyone else,” Jennifer observes.
Michael is at no loss for words to describe the tall, lithe, bohemian-chic Henri + Odette Gallery owner: “Selflessness. She’s dedicated, sweet, giving, passionate, determined, independent [pauses to sigh and touch her hair] witty, has a great sense of humor … She’s very sharp.” And of course, “Her legs are pretty nice, too!”
David G. Schwartz | Director, UNLV Center for Gaming Research
David Schwartz is beautiful in many ways: He’s brainy, engaging and fit, and has a great smile. After being the youngest Ph.D. in UCLA’s history department, he came to Vegas in 2001 to direct UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research. Since that time, he’s webified the history of gaming in Vegas at gaming.unlv.edu, published three gaming history books and drawn tons of fans to his news and reviews website dieiscast.com. “I’m happily married and have a beautiful daughter who luckily takes after her mother,” he says.
Maryam Haddad | Singer, Chemical Ex
Shy and polite, Maryam Haddad seems the picture of modesty. But the minute you get her in front of a crowd, she’s a whole different person. The founder and frontwoman of local dark-wave group Chemical Ex undergoes a change onstage, becoming a firebrand of emotion enveloped in subtle sexuality. “I’m pretty shy socially, but music allows me to express my feelings,” she says. But do yourself a favor and don’t compare her to actress Rosario Dawson—she really hates that. “People say it all the time. I don’t know where they get it from.”
Wes Myles | Owner, The Arts Factory
Talk about vision. In 1992, when Wes Myles bought the building that was to become the Arts Factory, it was pretty rough. “It was not until the summer of ’96 we had A/C or heat,” says Myles. On a block dominated by furniture stores and bail bondsmen, the multiuse facility has since spurred a renaissance as the cornerstone of the arts district, home to galleries and design studios, including Myles’ own Studio West Photography. Myles not only has vision—he is a vision. Ever curious about that dashingly dapper man in glasses at all the Arts Factory events? Yup—that’d be Downtown’s very own renaissance man.
Daniel Samaniego | Artist
If you see Daniel Samaniego at an art opening, try not to look directly at him; it’s kind of like looking at the sun. That exterior beauty is surpassed only by the lovely man who resides within. His drawings are achingly gorgeous, he giggles on a dime, he helps old ladies cross the street, and he reads Camus just for fun. Can you say “dreamboat”? Bask in the pleasure of his presence now, because soon he is off to San Francisco’s Art Institute to pursue his MFA. What will he miss most about his hometown? “Its naked, in-your-face desire. Desire is beautiful.” It certainly is.
Kristen Hertzenberg | Actress, Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular
With Kristen Hertzenberg, it’s all about the voice. Yes, she’s stunning—you don’t get to portray the ingénue in Phantom by being homely—but while the show hides her blond hair under a wig, it lets her voice shine. Trained as an opera singer, Hertzenberg has a clear soprano with the strength to keep the high notes rooted in emotion. Furthermore, she uses her voice offstage, too—participating in and promoting charity events, and using her blog broadwayvegas.blogspot.com to get the word out on all the musical goings-on in Vegas. Yeah, we’re gonna say it: She’s beautiful because she hits all the right notes.
Bekah Just | Singer, Bekah Just and the Ex-Boyfriends
Photographer and performer Bekah Just isn’t afraid of the F word, and her swing-meets-gangsta-rap act and art project Bekah Just and The Ex-Boyfriends (think Cherry Poppin’ Daddies meet 2 Live Crew) uses the four-letter foul word like it’s going out of style. But obscenity, olde-tyme guitar licks and Just’s ability to rattle off Snoop Dogg lyrics like she came from Watts Avenue aside, her nontraditional but stunning physical beauty, as well as her absolute personal beauty to her friends and students, are two things that we could all learn a little something from, even when she’s singing “Me So Horny” in the process.
Dave “DaveO” Garcia | CEO, Calamity of Noise
This self-proclaimed nightlife jack of all trades/professional partier is anywhere and everywhere in Vegas—as long as there’s good house music. Garcia’s responsibilities range from producing events to talent management and promotions. He substitutes the industry standard of pretentious power suits and mass quantities of hair product for what he calls a “laid-back rocker” style … and as you can see, it’s totally working for him. Garcia lives by a quote from John Wooden: “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
Dorimar “Dori” Bonilla | Choreographer/dancer, CatHouse
“I think what most people don’t realize is how intelligent and creative she is.” CatHouse co-owner Seth Yudof makes a very good point. As a former magician, Yudof understands how, when someone uses their body to express their creativity and talent just as CatHouse choreographer and lead “Coquette” Dorimar Bonilla does, people don’t always look for what intelligence and creativity lie beneath such physical beauty. The feisty and vibrant former performing-arts-school principal left Puerto Rico to pursue her professional dance aspirations, which have lead Bonilla to invent a whole new breed of dance shoe that she is currently patenting. Beauty, brains and balance.
Heath Burgett | Singer, Mosaic
Maybe it’s his Southern charm. Or perhaps it’s his multiple community charity projects. Then again, it’s always easy to form a crush on a boy in a band (but remember, Mosaic is not a boy band). “Anytime you tell people you’re a singer or something like that, that automatically gives you points with the ladies—or the men, if you like that sort of thing.” Burgett’s sense of humor doesn’t hurt his attractiveness, either. “Old ladies love us, too,” he says of his a cappella group. “We’re always getting Depends thrown at us onstage.”
Yoomi Lee & Kyudong Kwak | Dancers; owners, Kwak Ballet Academy
At its core, ballet is a deception. The refinement and elegance dancers project onstage masks the taxing physical demands inherent in the art form. Power lifters and tennis players can grunt, and you often hear heavy breathing from gymnasts, but ballet dancers create an illusion, a world that appears effortless ... and graceful ... and lovely. Yoomi Lee and Kyudong Kwak, two of the most popular artists in the local dance scene, embody the beauty of dance whether they are performing, choreographing or teaching.
Olga Rios | Singer and Actress
There’s something about a lady in a silver lamé jumpsuit. It speaks of confidence, it speaks of danger—and it usually says something funny. Even though her own personal style runs to the gothic, Olga Rios brought down the house as a Bette Midler wannabe in Las Vegas Little Theatre’s The Ritz. A goth girl in ridiculous ’70s clothes, and pulling it off? Hot. But what really sealed the deal was some serious geek cred. How many women do you know who would get excited about meeting an obscure superhero animator at Comic-Con? Goth, funny, geeky—beautiful.
Jean-Paul Labadie | Chef, Marche Baccus
Sure, the bad-boy chef is an overused stereotype, but few embody it as deliciously as Marche Bacchus’ Jean-Paul Labadie. The Puerto Rican Emeril vet sports long, wavy hair, a smattering of tattoos, thick silver rings and a mischievous smile. His ride of choice? A Harley, of course. But J-P says his look is helpful as well as handsome. “A lot of your staff is somewhat rough, and you have to be able to enforce the rules once in a while and flex your muscles.” Mmm. Did someone say “flex”?