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Twiggy Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (22) | Personal Quotes (8)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 19 September 1949Neasden, England, UK
Birth NameLeslie Hornby
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Twiggy is a top model of the late 1960s, who made skinny an "inny", along with other famous skinny models such as Jean Shrimpton ("The Shrimp"), Veruschka von Lehndorff, and Penelope Tree ("The Tree"). She was born Leslie Hornby on September 19, 1949, in Twickenham, Middlesex, England, one of three daughters of 'Nell Hornby' (née Nellie Lydia Reeman), a factory worker, and Norman Hornby, a master carpenter and joiner. By blending pop art with fashion, the doe-eyed, pouty-lipped gamine with the angelic puss and boyish crop took the industry by storm at age 17 defining the age of "flower power". She originally was nicknamed "Sticks" because of her reed-thin figure, but then switched it to "Twigs" and, finally, "Twiggy." A model for a scant four years, she had never even walked the runways by the time she exploded onto the scene. Educated at the Kilburn High School for Girls, her look and image was an instant globular sensation. She was even imitated by Mattel when they issued a "Twiggy Barbie" in 1967 and by Milton Bradley who created a board game out of her. Lunch boxes, false eye lashes, tights, sweaters, tote bags and paper dolls -- all these bore her famous moniker. In her prime she graced the covers of Vogue and Tatler, and even had her own American publication "Her Mod, Mod Teen World." The "psychedelic '60s" would not have been the same without her.

In 1970, Twiggy was able to parlay her incredible success into a respectable career in film and TV and on the musical theater stage. It was the iconoclastic director Ken Russell who instilled in her the ambition to move away from modeling and study acting, voice and dance. An extra in his movie The Devils (1971), Russell ushered her front-and-center with the jazz-age musical The Boy Friend (1971), his homage to the Busby Berkeley Hollywood musicals. Taking on the role originated on stage by Julie Andrews, Twiggy was awarded a Golden Globe for her efforts.

Her second feature, the thriller W (1974) cast her with future husband Michael Witney, who was nearly two decades her senior. They married in 1977 and later appeared together in There Goes the Bride (1980). She also cameoed in The Blues Brothers (1980) with Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. Following Witney's untimely death in 1983, she appeared in The Doctor and the Devils (1985) and the comedy Club Paradise (1986) with Robin Williams before meeting her second husband, actor Leigh Lawson, while filming Madame Sousatzka (1988) in which she played a singer.

Though Twiggy has worked from time to time on TV, her exposure has been somewhat limited. She hosted a couple of self-titled shows in England and co-starred in the very short-lived sitcom Princesses (1991) here in America, but not too much else. The singing stage is a different story. She made her West End debut as "Cinderella" in 1974 and played Eliza Doolittle in a legit performance of "Pygmalion" in 1981. In 1983 she reunited with her "Boy Friend" co-star Tommy Tune and together dazzled Broadway audiences as a tapping twosome with "My One and Only," a warm, nostalgic revamping of the Gershwin classic "Funny Face." The charming waif went on to appear in a 1997 London revival of Noël Coward's "Blithe Spirit," then played star Gertrude Lawrence alongside Harry Groener's Coward in the song-and-sketch musical "Noel and Gertie" (later retitled "If Love Were All"), which focused on the close "blendship" between the two icons all to the accompaniment of 20 Coward songs.

Back to her modeling ways, Twiggy came out of retirement to be photographed by the likes of John Fwanel and Annie Liebovitz in the 90s and has recently joined the professional elite of judges led by Tyra Banks on the reality show America's Next Top Model (2003), her warmer, more unassuming demeanor filling in for the aggressive, vitriolic Janice Dickinson.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (2)

Leigh Lawson (23 September 1988 - present)
Michael Witney (14 June 1977 - 30 November 1983) (his death) (1 child)

Trade Mark (1)

Blonde pixie haircut

Trivia (22)

Model/actress
Her manager was Justin de Villeneuve.
Daughter, Carly Witney, born 1978.
Was named "The Face of 1966" by the Daily Express.
Is an avid supporter of animal rights organizations and breast cancer research groups.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1983 Tony Award as Best Actress (Musical) for "My One and Only."
Was ranked #9 in Channel 5's "World's greatest supermodel."
Is an accomplished singer and theater star.
Met her second husband Leigh Lawson on the set of Madame Sousatzka (1988) in 1988.
Started a clothing line through Great Universal called the Twiggy Collection for spring/summer 2006.
Was regarded as "the face of 1966" in swinging London and gained her nickname from her stick-thin pubescent figure.
Made her return to modeling by fronting a major new TV, press and billboard campaign for Marks & Spencer, the chain department store of the UK. Her appearance alongside Erin O'Connor, Laura Bailey and other younger models is intended to portray the wide variety of choices of the M&S clothing range, as well as the fact that older women are equally entitled to look good.
Her first marriage, to American actor, Michael Witney, ended with his sudden death from a heart attack.
She was the youngest person to ever be surprised by the Big Red Book on This Is Your Life (1955) , aged 19 at the time.
Attended Cynthia Lennon's wedding to Roberto Bassanini.
She is a friend of Fran Drescher and it was Drescher's interaction with Twiggy's children that was used as the basis for Drescher's hit show The Nanny (1993).
Appeared with David Bowie on the cover of his "Pin Ups" album, and is mentioned in his song "Drive in Saturday" from his Aladdin Sane album.
She credits Jean Shrimpton as her greatest idol and considers her the world's first supermodel.
Youngest daughter of Norman Hornby (a carpenter on Planet Patrol (1963)) and his wife Nell Hornby (née Nellie Lydia Reeman).
Is one of 20 actresses who did not receive an Oscar nomination for their Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical Golden Globe-winning performance; hers being for The Boy Friend (1971). The others, in chronological order, are: June Allyson for Too Young to Kiss (1951), Ethel Merman for Call Me Madam (1953), Jean Simmons for Guys and Dolls (1955), Taina Elg and Kay Kendall for Les Girls (1957), Marilyn Monroe for Some Like It Hot (1959), Rosalind Russell for A Majority of One (1961) and Gypsy (1962), Patty Duke for Me, Natalie (1969), Raquel Welch for The Three Musketeers (1973), Barbra Streisand for A Star Is Born (1976), Bernadette Peters for Pennies from Heaven (1981), Kathleen Turner for Romancing the Stone (1984) and Prizzi's Honor (1985), Miranda Richardson for Enchanted April (1991), Jamie Lee Curtis for True Lies (1994), Nicole Kidman for To Die For (1995), Madonna for Evita (1996), Renée Zellweger for Nurse Betty (2000), Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), and Amy Adams for Big Eyes (2014).
Has a sister Shirley who is 15 years older.
Dated Warren Beatty.

Personal Quotes (8)

I'm not as skinny as I used to be, thank God. I'd look very strange if I was. I'm slim. I eat healthily because that's the way I prefer to eat and I'm sure it helps keep the weight off.
I love exercise but I find it boring doing the same thing all the time, so I fluctuate between going to the gym, doing Pilates and taking dance lessons.
[Disputing Janice Dickinson as the world's first supermodel]: I think it's up for grabs, really. I certainly was around before her and before me there was Jean Shrimpton. For me, the world's first supermodel is probably Shrimpton because she was my idol.
[on Mumford & Sons] I first saw them on Jools Holland, they absolutely blew me sideways, I love Marcus Mumford's voice.
[on Adele] She really is so extraordinary, to be that talented at so young an age. Her voice really makes me cry, it's so emotive.
As every teenage girl, I was absolutely obsessed with The Beatles and the first record I bought was Please Please Me. I'd have been 13 at the time. My parents wouldn't let me go into the West End on my own, so I'd have bought it from a little shop in Neasden where I grew up.
[on Joni Mitchell] Her voice, so unique and her songs still amaze me. She's the queen of writing about unrequited love and broken hearts. Every singer songwriter owes her a nod.
[on her favourite album] I've got about 20, but if it's just one, it's got to be Sgt. Pepper. I was in London when it was released, and everywhere you went, they were playing Sgt. Pepper, it was the soundtrack to our lives. Two close seconds are Blue by Joni Mitchell and Harvest by Neil Young.

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