Founder of a widely known Omaha modeling school dies
BY JASON KUIPER
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
Most of the girls who went through Nancy Bounds Studios never went on to lead glamorous lives parading down the runways of New York and Paris.
They just went on to become better people, Bounds' daughter said.
Omaha fashion icon Nancy Bounds died Tuesday at Lakeside Hospital from complications from pneumonia. She had been ill for the last three months.
Bounds, who believed ladies never revealed their age, left her Arkansas home at 15 to pursue a singing career. She went on to a career in dancing and modeling. She founded the school that bore her name in 1959.
"Girls would come in looking face down, not looking you in the eye, and by the time they left, they'd be walking down the runway with their arms waving in the air," said Ronnie Bounds, Nancy Bounds' daughter.
Ronnie Bounds said her mother had an average of 200 students a year in the school's nine-month course. The school closed three years ago.
"She taught women to be women and be proud of being women," Ronnie Bounds said. "It was fabulous to be feminine, she would say."
Model agency owners and scouts from the fashion world came each year to watch the school's graduation at the Orpheum Theater, Ronnie Bounds said.
Bounds taught her students a distinct "model walk," her daughter said. Even scouts in Paris recognized the walk, Ronnie Bounds said.
"She taught the best model walk there ever was," she said.
Among her famous graduates is actress Jamie King.
Bounds also volunteered her time as a fundraiser for the Uta Halee Girls Village and developed the Heart Fund Auction.
A memorial service will be at 6 p.m. Friday at John A. Gentleman Chapel, 141st and Pacific Streets. She will be buried in Calico Rock, Ark.
Published in Omaha World-Herald on March 16, 2007