“If a person lies to you about what's in their bank account, they'll lie to you about other things as well.” Christie Brinkley
Supermodel Christie Brinkley rose to fame in the 1970s when she became the first woman to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition for three consecutive years (1979-1981). She also had one of the longest-running modeling contracts in history with her contract to CoverGirl, which lasted from 1976 until 1996.
Besides having been on the cover of more than 500 magazines and endorsing the most profitable infomercial in America for ADCO “Total Gym” Fitness with Chuck Norris, Brinkley also appeared as the mysterious girl in the Ferrari movie "National Lampoon's Vacation" (1983) and "National Lampoon's Vegas Vacation" (1997).
This 5' 9'' effervescent blonde, blue-eyed beauty has been married four times, once to Jean-François Allaux, musician Billy Joel (she also starred in the music video of his major hit single “Uptown Girl”), Richard Taubman, and Peter Cook. From those marriages, she has two daughters and one son.
“I now use makeup for a healthy looking glow because a real one isn't that healthy.” Christie Brinkley
Childhood and Family:
Born in Detroit, Michigan, on February 2, 1954, to Donald Hudson, a television writer who worked on shows like “The Virginian” and “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” and Marge Hudson, Christie Lee Hudson was raised in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, where her family moved in the early 1970s. His brother is actor Greg Brinkley.
Christie went to Palisades High School in Los Angeles and graduated in 1972. She was also educated at the Lycée Français de Los Angeles, a bilingual French-American school. Fluent in French, Christie went on to study art in Paris after graduation and found work as an entry level illustrator.
In 1973, Christie married her first husband, Jean-François Allaux, but they divorced in 1981. She then had a relationship with Olivier Chandon de Brailles, heir to the Moët-Chandon Champagne fortune, whom she met in 1982 at Studio 54 in New York City. The pair quickly became engaged, but Olivier died in an auto racing accident in 1983.
On March 23, 1985, Christie married her second husband, rock musician Billy Joel (born May 9, 1949), but this marriage also ended in divorce on August 25, 1994. In March 1994, Christie and Richard Taubman survived a helicopter crash near Telluride, Colorado, and the two married nine months later on December 22, 1994, near the spot of the crash.
She recalled, “I have this helicopter crash and I fall in love with this man who was in the crash with me. I must have been suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.” Christie Brinkley
Their marriage only lasted for one year and Christie married her fourth husband, Peter Cook, an architect, on September 21, 1996. She filed for divorce on July 11, 2006, two months after reports surfaced about his alleged affair with an 18-year-old employee. During this time, singer Samantha Cole also told the press that she had been seduced by Cook when she was 19 years old, prior to Cook's marriage to Christie. Cook later blames Christie's lack of emotional support for his affair. Following a stressful week in her ongoing divorce trial with Cook, Christie spent the holiday weekend with second husband Billy Joel.
Christie has three children: daughter Alexa Ray Joel (born December 29, 1985) with Billy Joel, son Jack Paris (born June 2, 1995) with Richard Taubman (who was later adopted by Cook), and daughter Sailor Lee (born July 2, 1998) with Peter Cook. She now lives on Long Island in Sag Harbor, New York.
“I'm always looking at all my children and feeling so lucky and so blessed.” Christie Brinkley
Christie is a vegetarian and a supporter of animal rights and long time PETA member. She has previously spoken out against the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on behalf of PETA. She also endorses the Total Gym along with martial artist and action star Chuck Norris.
While working as an illustrator in Paris, Christie Brinkley was spotted by an American photographer who helped her become part of the famous Ford modeling agency. The newcomer soon walked the runways and became an instant hit.
From 1975 to 1977, Brinkley appeared in the print ads for Houbigant's Chantilly fragrance. She also signed with cosmetics giant CoverGirl in 1976 and the contract continued to be renewed until 1996, making it the longest model contract ever.
During this time, Brinkley appeared in print ads for Black Velvet blended Canadian whiskey and appeared on the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover in 1979. She later appeared on the cover again in 1980 and 1981, making her the first model to appear on 3 consecutive covers. Christie has since appeared on over 500 magazine covers around the world, including Vogue, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Cosmopolitan, and Time. Her appearance on the cover of Life magazine also made it their best-selling issue of all-time.
Brinkley, who has lent her face to such products as Prell shampoo and Chanel perfume, also appeared in print ads for Noxell's CoverGirl BlushMates color and highlights kit, CoverGirl's Long 'N Lush Mascara, and CoverGirl Clean Make-up by Noxzema in the early 1980s.
Christie made her acting debut as Chevy Chase's fantasy girl in the blockbuster “National Lampoon's Vacation” (1983), and would later reprise her role as the mysterious girl in the red Ferrari in the sequel “Vegas Vacation” (1997). She then became the inspiration for second husband Billy Joel’s major hit “Uptown Girl” (1983) and appeared as the title character in the music video. She also played the red haired girl in Billy Joel's “Keepin' The Faith” music video and appeared as herself in various other Billy Joel music videos, including “River Of Dreams,” “A Matter Of Trust,” and “Leningrad.” She even had her artwork featured on the cover of his “River of Dreams” (1993) album.
In 1983, Brinkley wrote the best selling fitness book, “Christie Brinkley’s Outdoor Beauty and Fitness.” Four years later, she appeared in print ads for CoverGirl Luminesse Nailcolor (1987).
1992 saw Brinkley host the short lived CNN show “Living in the '90s with Christie Brinkley.” Afterward, she appeared as herself in an episode of the NBC comedy, “Mad About You” (1994) and in print ad for Milk (milk mustache) in 1995. She also signed with NuSkin International in 1996 to become the company’s first spokesperson for their personal care division.
Entering the new millennium, Brinkley lent her voice in the TV commercial for Little Tikes (2002) and once again signed with CoverGirl in 2005 to appear in magazines and commercials for their mature skin line. She then appeared in print ads for CoverGirl Advanced Radiance age-defying makeup (2006-2008).
Meanwhile, along with Chuck Norris, she became a spokesperson and co-hosted an infomercial for the "Total Gym" Fitness program. Wesley Snipes, Kurt Thomas, and Janine Turner also appeared in the program. During this time, Brinkley also became a model in print ads for the Sag Harbor clothing line (2007).
“I wish my butt did not go sideways, but I guess I have to face that.” Christie Brinkley