Richard Dean; Model and Photographer Appeared on TV's 'Cover Shot'

By Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Richard Dean, 50, a model turned fashion and advertising photographer who played a role last year in the TV reality show "Cover Shot," died of pancreatic cancer Dec. 27 at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.

Mr. Dean, who was born Richard Cowen in Bethesda and lived in New York, joined model Frederique van der Wal on TLC's makeover show, which takes women with ordinary appearances and drastically changes their looks. Mr. Dean photographed the women's transformation, and the resulting shots were displayed on billboards in Times Square.

"To take a normal, non-model woman, and within 48 hours, understand her, make her over, come up with a cool photo-shoot concept and then make it all come together with top hair, makeup and styling is very complicated," Mr. Dean wrote on TLC's "Cover Shot" Web site. "On top of all that, to find the unique combination of that individual's talent, heart and passion and capture it in the camera was definitely a challenge.

"It was amazing to see all the elements fall into place for the shoot -- first the hair, then the makeup, and then the perfect outfit. At each stage, I felt a real moment when I saw the difference in our subject."

Mr. Dean graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac and the Lawrenceville School in Princeton, N.J. He attended the University of Delaware on a football scholarship and, after graduating in 1980, played professional football in the Canadian Football League.

In the mid-1980s, he worked as a fashion model. He spent the past 15 years as a fashion and advertising photographer, after having taught himself how to take high-profile pictures. Over the years, he worked with such clients as Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Yves St. Laurent, Reebok, Nike, Fujifilm, Beck's beer, Miller Brewing, Michelob, Fila, Champion, Playboy, TV Guide, FHM Sport, Cosmopolitan and Harper's Bazaar. His work included numerous national and international magazine cover subjects, including diplomats, celebrities and athletes.

Before joining "Cover Shot," Mr. Dean was a guest on UPN's "America's Next Top Model" with Tyra Banks.

He enjoyed helping turn "supermoms" into "supermodels" on the television reality makeover show, TLC officials said.

"Richard's energy, creativity and sheer commitment to his work [were] incomparable. He embodied the spirit of Cover Shot so fully -- helping to pick people up who felt that maybe some of the color in their lives had faded," David Abraham, TLC executive vice president and general manager, said in a statement. "The final scene of each show, when he revealed the billboard of each woman's 'supermodel' look, was always a moment of colorful and unforgettable TV magic."

Survivors include his mother, Juanita Cowen of Bethesda; his father, Chet Cowen, and stepmother, Beverly Tunis, of Rockville; and a sister, Cindi Clark of Rockville.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company