Christie Brinkley is an American model, actress and entrepreneur. Brinkley gained worldwide fame with her appearances in the late 1970s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues, ultimately appearing on an unprecedented three consecutive covers starting in 1979. She spent twenty-five years as the face of CoverGirl, has appeared on over 500 magazine covers, and has signed contracts with major brands—both fashion and non-fashion.
Brinkley went on to work as an actress, illustrator, television personality, photographer, writer, designer, and activist for human and animal rights and the environment.
Brinkley was born Christie Lee Hudson in Monroe, Michigan on February 2, 1954, the daughter of Marjorie (née Bowling) and Herbert Hudson. Her family moved to Canoga Park, Los Angeles, California, where her mother Marjorie later met and married television writer Donald Brinkley in Bel Air, Los Angeles. Donald adopted Christie and her brother Greg Brinkley. During this time, the family lived in Malibu and then the Brentwood neighbourhoods of Los Angeles. Furthermore, Brinkley was educated at Paul Revere Junior High School. There she attended Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles from 9th to 12th grade. After graduation since 1973, she moved to Paris, to study art.
Brinkley was discovered in 1973 by American photographer Errol Sawyer in a post office in Paris. Additionally, he took her first modelling pictures and introduced her to John Casablancas of Elite Model Management agency in Paris. Brinkley stated later: “I was basically a surfer girl from California.
Moreover, Brinkley played her first role as an actress in the 1983 film National Lampoon’s Vacation as “The girl in the red Ferrari” opposite Chevy Chase; she reprised that role in the 1997 sequel Vegas Vacation. And later spoofed it in a 2008 DirecTV commercial using with footage from Vacation, and again in a 2015 Infiniti commercial as the wife in the Infiniti. (The blonde in the convertible for this spoof is model Scarlett Burke.) Since 2011, she appeared as herself in the documentary, King of the Hamptons, which was produced by filmmaker, Dennis Michael Lynch. The film premiered since 2010 Hamptons International Film Festival.
Since 1982, Brinkley had a romantic relationship with Olivier Chandon de Brailles, heir to the Moët-Chandon Champagne fortune. Likewise, the two met at Studio 54 in New York City at a party promoting a calendar in which Brinkley appeared. Chandon died a year later in a crash at a private pre-season practice session car race.
Similarly, in September 2015, it was widely reported that John Mellencamp was in a new relationship with Brinkley. In August 2016, the couple announced their separation after almost a year of dating.
- Full Name: Christie Lee Hudson
- Date of Birth: February 2, 1954
- Age: 65
- Birth Place: Monroe, Michigan, U.S.
- Occupation: Model, actress, entrepreneur
- Years active: 1973–present
- Home town: Los Angeles, California
- Height 5 ft 9.5 in (1.765 m)
- Children: Sailor Lee Brinkley-Cook, Alexa Ray Joel, Jack Paris Brinkley Cook
- Spouse(s): Jean-François Allaux (1973–1981), Billy Joel (1985–1994), Richard Taubman (1994–1995), Peter Cook (1996–2008)
- Net worth: US$ 80 million (2019)
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