Twiggy (born Lesley Hornby September 19, 1949) is an English supermodel, actress, and singer, now also known by her married name of Twiggy Lawson. A 1960's pop icon known for her big eyes, long eyelashes, and thin build, she is regarded as one of the most famous models of all time. Twiggy went on to star in movies, and is currently a judge in the reality show, America's Next Top Model.
Twiggy was born in the London suburb of Neasden to William Norman, a master carpenter, and Helen Hornby, a counter girl at Woolworth's. She attended Kilburn Grammar School, in Kilburn.
In 1966, Nigel Daves noticed the young Lesley Hornby working in a hair salon and offered her a modelling contract. She was only sixteen and weighed 6½ stone (91 lbs). Daves advised her to go by her childhood nickname, Twiggy, and renamed himself Justin de Villeneuve.
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She first arrived in New York in March 1967. It was believed that the Twiggy craze would die down within a month. However, Twiggy became an instant icon and supermodel.
Known for the high fashion mod look created by Mary Quant, Twiggy revolutionised the world of fashion. Where most women fashion models were full-figured with traditionally feminine hairstyles, Twiggy was famous for her slender, short-haired androgynous look. Her style, particularly her extremely thin body, has dominated the runways for forty years.
Twiggy was regarded as the face of 1960s Swinging London, along with other models such as Celia Hammond.
In 2005, Twiggy joined the cast of the TV show America's Next Top Model as one of four permanent judges. She also returned to modelling, fronting a major new TV, press and billboard campaign for Marks & Spencer, a British department store chain. In 2006, she portrayed herself as a nineteen year-old in the radio play Elevenses with Twiggy for BBC Radio 4's Afternoon Play series.
Life after modeling
After four years of modeling, Twiggy retired, claiming "You can't be a clothes hanger for your entire life!"
She embarked on an award-winning acting and singing career, including Ken Russell's 1971 film version of Sandy Wilson's musical, The Boy Friend, for which she won two Golden Globe Awards. Since then she has played a variety of roles on stage and screen, including My One and Only and as Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, opposite Robert Powell, in a 1981 television production.
Twiggy married the American actor, Michael Witney in 1977. They had one daughter, Carly, born in 1978. That marriage ended with his sudden death in 1983 from a heart attack. She met Leigh Lawson on the film Madame Sousatzka, and married him in 1988. They reside in London.
1967 Mattel issued a 'Barbie'
1971 Film debut as an extra in Ken Russell's "The Devils"
1971 First leading role in features as Polly in Ken Russell's adaptation of Sandy Wilson's pastiche of 1920s musicals "The Boy Friend"; initial collaboration with Tommy Tune
1974 Made West End stage debut in "Cinderella"
1974 Made second feature, the thriller "W / I Want Her Dead"; co-starred with future husband Michael Whitney
1974 Hosted own British TV series, "Twiggs" (later renamed "Twiggy")
1980 Made cameo appearance in "The Blues Brothers"
1981 Starred as Eliza Doolittle opposite Robert Powell in Yorkshire TV production of "Pygmalion"
1983 Broadway debut in the musical, "My One and Only", starring and co-staged by Tune; earned a Tony nomination
1987 Played a vaudeville performer in the British TV special "The Little Match Girl"
1988 Had supporting role in "Madame Sousatzka", opposite second husband Leigh Lawson
1989 Cast as Hannah Chaplin, mother to Charles, in the British TV-movie "Young Charlie Chaplin"; aired in US on PBS' "Wonderworks"
1991 Co-starred in the ill-fated CBS sitcom "Princesses"
1997 Acted in London stage revival of Noel Coward's "Blithe Spirit"
1998 Played Gertrude Lawrence in the biographical stage musical "Noel and Gertie" at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, Long Island
1999 Returned to New York stage as Lawrence in Off-Broadway production "If Love Were All", a revised version of "Noel and Gertie", directed by Lawson; what set this edition apart were its tap numbers in period style; starred opposite Harry Groener as Coward
2001 Co-hosted the English magazine program "This Morning"
The Boy Friend (1971)
There Goes The Bride (1979)
The Blues Brothers (1980)
The Doctor And The Devils (1985)
Club Paradise (1986)
The Little Match Girl (1986)
Madame Sousatzka (1988)
The Diamond Trap (1988)
Sun Child (1988)
Young Charlie Chaplin (1989)
Istanbul (Keep Your Eyes Open) (1990)
Body Bags (1993)
Something Borrowed, Something Blue (1997)
Edge of Seventeen (1998)
ShakespeaRe-Told: The Taming of the Shrew (2005)
The Muppet Show (1976) (1 episode)
Victorian Scandals (1976)
The Donna Summer Special (1980)
A Gift of Music (1981)
Princesses (1991) (2 episodes)
Tales from the Crypt (1992) (1 episode)
The Nanny (1994) (1 episode)
Heartbeat (1994) (1 episode)
Absolutely Fabulous (2000-2001)
This Morning (presenter in 2001)
America's Next Top Model (judge, Cycle 5-) (2005-)
The Boy Friend (1971)
Twiggy And The Girlfriends (1972)
Cole Porter In Paris (1973)
Please Get My Name Right (1977)
Captain Beaky And His Band (1977)
Pieces Of April (1978)
My One And Only (1983)
The Doctor And The Devils (1985)
The Boy Friend & Highlights From Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1990)
Twiggy And The Silver Screen Syncopaters (1995)
A Hollywood Christmas (1996)
London Pride - Songs From The London Stage (1996)
Beautiful Dreams (1997)
Dead Man On Campus (1998)
The Best Of Twiggy (1998)
If Love Were All (1999)
Peter Pan (2000)
Midnight Blue (2003)
Twiggy & Linda Thorson - A Snapshot Of Swinging London (2005)
Twiggy is prominently mentioned on the song "Twiggy Twiggy (Twiggy vs. James Bond)" by Japanese band Pizzicato Five.