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Christie Brinkley Biography

On February 4, 1954, Christie Lee Hudson was born in the land of the rich and famous, Malibu, California. Her father was a television writer, who worked on shows such as The Virginian and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. She obviously had an artistic nature imprinted in her genes. After having attended a French-American high school, Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles, Christie moved to Paris. At the tender age of 18, she enrolled in art school. After graduation, she worked as an illustrator for three years. And that's where the fairy tale begins. Like a plot her father could have written, an American photographer spotted her on the streets of Paris. Although he convinced her that she had what it takes to be a model, she was hesitant to leave her creative job. Still, she gave in and became part of the famous Ford modeling agency. On catwalks everywhere, she was an instant hit.

In 1976, she signed a contract with the cosmetics line Cover Girl that began their 20-year partnership, a feat as yet unsurpassed in the modeling industry. In 1979, she appeared on the cover of the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated. The editors liked her so much that they asked for a repeat performance the two following years as well another industry first. Christie has appeared on over 500 magazine covers around the world. A bona fide superstar, magazines like Vogue, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Cosmopolitan and Time, all wrote articles about her. Her presence on the cover of Life magazine made it their best-selling issue of all-time. In addition, she lent her face to such products as Prell shampoo and Chanel perfume.

In 1981, she and her husband of eight years, Jean-Francois Allaux, divorced. But Christie hadn't given up on love. In 1985, she married famous piano man Billy Joel and soon they had a daughter, Alexa Rae. Christie appeared in a number of the singer's music videos and was the inspiration for his major hit "Uptown Girl." She even had her artwork featured on the cover of his River of Dreams album. Unlike other supermodels, she had no aspirations of becoming a movie star. However, she did appear as Chevy Chase's fantasy girl in the blockbuster National Lampoon's Vacation in 1983; she reprised her role in the 1997 sequel, Vegas Vacation. In 1992, she joined CNN, where she hosted Living in the '90s with Christie Brinkley, a short-lived show where she introduced filmed segments, and two years later, she appeared as herself in a top-rated episode of Mad About You.

As the '80s faded away, and her All-American looks ceased to be in great demand, Christie turned her attention elsewhere. In 1997, she hosted the most profitable infomercial in America for Total Gym. The following year, she launched her own perfume, Believe. She also wrote a best-selling fitness book, and is also a gifted photographer. In addition to having had her work published in periodicals like Autosprint and American Photographer, she participated in a number of major boxing events for Don King, as ring photographer. What's more, she has designed a line of women's eyewear and holds patents for toys for toddlers. Since having divorced Billy Joel in 1994, she has been married twice and has conceived two more children. She is currently married to architect Peter Cook, and when she's not busy working, she spends her time supporting causes like nuclear disarmament and the Make-A-Wish Foundation


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