Christie Brinkley had the style that everyone coveted in the vivid and outgoing 1980s.
Christie has experienced a great deal of drama in her life, despite the stunning exterior and all the glitz. The supermodel has endured horrific losses and once came dangerously close to passing away in a helicopter crash.
So what is the famous model doing these days? She is still as stunning as ever at the age of 68, which is hard to comprehend.
A surfer girl from California
On February 2, 1954, Christie Lee Brinkley was born in Monroe, Michigan. She eventually relocated to California with her family, and Christie spent her formative years there.
Christie developed relationships with people in Hollywood and the entertainment business early in life. Marjorie, her mother, wed writer Donald Brinkley, a well-known name in the television business. Donald wrote nearly 400 teleplays, but he is most known for creating hit programs like Trapper John M.D. and Medical Center.
Later, Donald would formally adopt Christie and Greg. Instead of calling him their stepfather, they called him their father.
Christie relocated to Europe in 1972 after earning her diploma from the French School of Los Angeles in order to pursue art in Paris and “to be so bohemian.” After a few years of working as an apprentice illustrator, she appeared to have found her footing.
However, when American photographer Errol Sawyer found the blonde beauty in 1973, the relocation to Paris would change her life irrevocably. Sawyer saw Christie holding her puppy in a basket as she walked down the street to call a vet. Her lengthy and prosperous career as a model began when the photographer requested if he may take some modeling photos of her.
But Christie could never imagine that her face would end up on thousands of magazine covers worldwide.
”I was basically a surfer girl from California. I never looked like a model,” she mentioned in 2008.
Landing a 25-year contract
Errol Sawyer put Christie in touch with various modeling agencies. Later, she met for lunch with Eileen Ford, who was in charge of one of the biggest modeling agencies in the world. Following that, Christie agreed to carry out three significant national advertising campaigns all around the United States.
Many jobs followed. A record-breaking contract with the cosmetic company CoverGirl was inked by the young model, who was featured on the cover of Glamour.
One of the longest ever created model contracts, the agreement lasted for 25 years. Christie was on the classic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover from 1979 to 1981; this was the first time the same model graced the cover for three consecutive years.
”When I started out, I remember very clearly a group of successful models saying, ‘You will be burned up and thrown away by the time you’re 30,” Christie explained in 2011.
Christie, who personifies the ideal of American beauty, also received two of her own calendars from Sports Illustrated. She basically had her face on display everywhere in the early 1980s, so we scarcely need to mention it.
She actually came to represent the whole decade. According to New York Magazine, Brinkley embodied the Cold War era under Reagan and possessed “a kind of aggressively innocent American sunniness.”
The female driving a red Ferrari
Christie wanted to try acting and set for Hollywood after her debut in modeling. She starred opposite Chevy Chase as “The girl in the red Ferrari” in the 1983 film National Lampoon’s Vacation, which served as her acting debut.In 1997, she reprised her role as the blonde beauty with the red Ferrari in another Vacation film.
Christie has made numerous television appearances and has been in numerous music videos, the most well-known of which is undoubtedly Billy Joel’s classic “Uptown Girl.”
Many people also recognize her as Gayle Gergich from the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, where she plays the wife of Garry Gergich, a worker for the parks department.
Christie made another risky move in 2010 when she made her Broadway theatrical debut as Roxie Hart in the classic musical Chicago. The famous model most recently participated in a popular show as a contestant. The Masked Singer.
Christie Brinkley first husband
You might be hesitant to ask Christie for relationship advise given that she has gone through four divorces.
However, when considering her ex-husbands and all she has gone through, there are undoubtedly a lot of intriguing information that would be worth telling.
In the 1970s, Christie planned to leave the United States and lead a free-spirited life in Paris, as she has previously indicated. most potent representation of this, perhaps? Jean-François Allaux, a French artist, was her husband. Although they were married from 1973 until 1981, the pair never had children.
Tragic love story
Following the divorce, Christie began dating Oliver Chandon de Brailles, a fellow Frenchman. Oliver was the heir to the Mot-Chandon Champagne fortune, therefore he hailed from a very different world than Christie’s ex-husband.
In 1982, at an event when Christie was promoting her Sports Illustrated calendar, the couple met at New York’s famed Studio 54.
At the time, Olivier commented on the relationship and told the media that he loved his girlfriend’s beauty, but “her simplicity is very important to me”. However, Christie felt that she had to interject and said: “He doesn’t mean simpleminded!”
But their love story would have a very tragic end. Oliver Chandon de Brailles, a race driver and skydiver, died in 1983 after a horrific car crash on a racetrack in West Palm Beach, Florida.
On the day Oliver died, Christie and Oliver, who were frequently seen together and being trailed by photographers, were going to meet. Just an hour prior to the fatal collision, she had called to set up their rendezvous in Palm Beach. But she decided to remain in California after learning about the horrible incident.
Billy Joel and Superstar Model Christie were introduced in 1983 while visiting the Caribbean island of St. Barts. They later got married. She was his senior by five years.
The Grammy-winning musician reportedly created the popular song “Uptown Girl” for Christie after they fell head over heels in love. The celebrity couple wed aboard a yacht on the Hudson River in front of 200 guests two years later.
Christie’s immediate family attended the wedding, along with several other notable guests including the musician Paul Simon and the Stray Cats.
Alexa Ray Joel was born on December 29, 1985, and the two superstars remained together until 1994. One of Billy Joel’s musical heroes, Ray Charles, is referenced in Alexa’s middle name.
Christie and Billy Joel’s marriage, which starred an uptown girl and a piano player, is still famous, and the two are still close friends.
”We had Alexa together and we knew that was going to bind us together for life so we wanted to make our divorce work,” Christie said in The Wendy Williams Showand added:
”Of course as you’re going through it, you know, you can get a little bit raw, but you cannot find him saying a bad word about me or me saying a bad word about him, no matter what happens.”
Christie was introduced to developer Richard Taubman in 1994 while she was still wed to Billy Joel. Even though Christie was already married at the time, he nonetheless made the proposal to her.
The pair tied the knot in Telluride, Colorado, in December 1994. In ski boots and at a height of 12,000 feet, the couple exchanged vows in front of 100 guests.
The newlyweds then skied off into the distance while the sun was setting.
For the supermodel, it was a magical spot. She survived a helicopter crash five miles to the north of the wedding venue just a few months before to her nuptials to Taubman. The unsettling episode happened in April 1994 while the group was out heli-skiing. After their helicopter crashed, Christie, Taubman, and two other people were left for several hours stranded on the mountaintop.
”I don’t know what happened. It felt as if the mountain was sucking us into it,” Christie told Entertainment Tonight in 1994.
At the time of the accident, the media reported that Christie suffered minor injuries. Taubman suffered broken ribs, a broken collarbone and a punctured lung.
Christe had to deal with the scars and trauma for a long time. She suffered years of hip pain due to the crash, and in 2021, she finally had a complete hip replacement. Fortunately, the surgery was successful.
”I had my surgery at Thanksgiving and I was dancing in my kitchen by New Years Eve and today I put on my long fins and explored the coral reefs propelled by my new hip,” she wrote on her Instagram.
The union between Christie and Taubman lasted just one year. Shortly after the birth of their son, Jack Paris Brinkley, on June 2, 1995, they got divorced.
Christie and Peter Halsey Cook, an architect she first met in 1979 while modeling, reconnected in 1996. They reconnected and later exchanged vows at a ranch in Bridgehampton, New York. Billy Joel, Christie’s ex-husband, was among the attendees.
Christe and Peter Cook were parents to one kid. Their 1998-born daughter, Sailor Lee Brinkley Cook, has carried on her mother’s legacy.
In her current capacity as a model, Sailor has appeared in Teen Vogue and the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Christie stated that she had finally found the man of her dreams after three disastrous marriages.
“I finally have what I always wanted – a husband who is so involved in the family, who cares about it with every ounce of his being, who is there for us,” Christie said.
But her union with Peter Cook ended up in a messy divorce and custody battle. In 2006, the couple declared that they were going to separate.
The split ended in a bitter battle in the Long Island courthouse, closely monitored by the TV news and every New York tabloid.
A lot of details emerged. For example, Cook had an affair with a teenager come to light. In 2004, Cook had met a woman named Diana Bianchi in a local toy store when he was buying gifts for his kids. Diana was fresh out of high school, and Cook made a pass at her.
He hired her as an assistant at his firm, and they began a months-long affair. Christie’s husband paid his 18-year-old assistant $300,000 to keep quiet and bought her a lot of expensive gifts.
Christie found out when Bianchi’s stepfather, a police officer, confronted her. Cook “begged for forgiveness” but the fashion model and mother of three was ”in payback mode.”
In 2008, Christie and Cook reached a divorce settlement. Just months before it became public, Cook did an interview with Barbara Walters where he explained his view on the marriage.
Basically, he blamed Christie.
“I wanted a little acknowledgment, a little attention, a little thank-you every now and then for my efforts, for the amount of time I took to care for her and my family, for the wealth I was building…,” he said.
According to the divorce settlement, Christie gained full custody of the children and the couple’s properties. Cook had a financial payment of $2.1 million and ”parenting time.”
”I din’t want this trial. It’s humiliating for all of us,” Christie said.
After breaking up with Christie, Cook started dating another beautiful woman, Suzanne Shaw. But Christie warned her about her ex-husband and his personality. However, Suzanne chose to ignore it.
She married Cook but would later regret that she didn’t listen because Suzanne experienced many of the same things as Christie did, according to herself.
”Christie was wrongly vilified as being an embittered ex-wife. I’m deeply sorry for my part in causing Christie any unnecessary pain,” Suzanne wrote.
Christie Brinkley today
With a career spanning more than three decades, 68-year-old Christie Brinkley still has a lot on her plate. But, today, the former blond bombshell model has turned entrepreneur.
She has her line of beauty products and eyeglasses. In addition to that, she also sells wine under the name Bellissima Prosecco, an organic sparkling wine label.
Christie is also an outspoken activist for animal rights and the environment. She has spoken out against nuclear weapons and power plants at the United Nations, and she has been very engaged in anti-elephant and rhino poaching campaigns.
Christie is an outspoken activist for human and animal rights and the environment. She has spoken out against nuclear weapons and power plants at the United Nations, and she has been very engaged in anti-elephant and rhino poaching campaigns.
Since the age of 13, the Los Angeles native has been a vegetarian, and according to herself, she managed to convince all her children to stop eating meat. Speaking of her children, Christie says that she has a tight bond with her two daughters and her sons.
Her secret recipe for maintaining a good relationship with the kids?
”I think that the key is good real estate—have a house on the ocean and you will see your kids! But in all seriousness, it is just spending time together and there is no replacement for that. It’s being there for them no matter what happens in their life,” she says.
On the South Shore of Long Island, New York, in Suffolk County, Christie calls Bridgehampton home. She spent $3.2 million on her home 23 years ago. The opulent, 20-acre gated estate contains numerous living spaces, a classic kitchen, four bedrooms, and five bathrooms.
”I lived like a gypsy my whole life and this wasn’t supposed to be my house for this long – it was a holding station – but then it turned into this amazing place to raise a family,” she says.
The National Lampoon’s Vacation actress frequently posts images of her house, the lovely surroundings, and occasions when her children visit.
She is a 68-year-old who, as you might imagine, is highly active.
”I like to exercise so I am always able to move and go with the flow, and I like to eat foods that are healthy so I am fueling my body and I must say, usually I am the one still going when people younger than me are fading!” she said in an interview.
Christie once more astounded us by uploading a photo of herself, looking amazingly athletic with her abs and toned legs, only days before her 67th birthday in 2021.
”Turning 50 for the 17th time!,” she joked in her caption.
On Feb. 2, 2022, on her 68th birthday, it was time again.
”About to turn 50 for the 18th time,” she joked and posted a selfie where she looked ridiculously fit for a 68-year-old.
Her youthful appearance isn’t entirely natural, though. Christie has admitted that she has tried non-surgical anti-aging techniques and received some assistance over the years. Her cosmetic procedures include the injectable Xeomin, which is frequently referred to as a Botox substitute.
”I wondered if people would think I’m phony and fake But it’s better to be honest and say, ‘Yeah, this is what I do,” she said.
Everyone ages, some better than others. With that said, whatever work Christie has done, she kept it more natural-looking! And to me, she’s as gorgeous as ever! Don’t you agree?