British fashion icon Dame Lesley Lawson DBE (September 19, 1949 —) is an internationally famous model, actress, and singer. Commonly known by the name Twiggy, she was one of the world's first supermodels during the latter half of the 1960s, and transitioned into acting and performing in 1970.

Born Leslie Hornby in London's northwestern suburb of Neasden and waif-thin since childhood, she was nicknamed "Twigs" in school (hence her moniker). At age 16 she was picked out from a lineup of head shots hanging in a hair salon by Daily Express fashion writer Deirdre McSharry, who declared her "The Face of '66". Beyond her distinctive adolescent physique, she was known for a short cropped hairstyle that quickly became the "new look" for young women, and which gave her an androgynous sex appeal then exploding in popularity in the UK (think early David Bowie, Brian Eno). Her signature look included startlingly dark and long eyelashes, partly achieved with three layers of falsies and supplemented in her breakout photo shoot with eyeliner lines drawn on her eyelids (known as "Twiggies").

Twiggy's arrival in New York in 1967 as the "mini-girl" was met with a sensational reaction. Magazines described her as a "phenomenon" and turned up the hype, leading to a merchandising line based on her brand. In spite of her runaway worldwide celebrity, she retired from modeling after four years saying "You can't be a clothes hanger your entire life." She has spoken out against the trend of seemingly anorexic models, explaining "I was very skinny, but that was just my natural build." She appears with Bowie on the cover of his 1973 album Pin Ups and is mentioned as "Twig the wonder kid" in his song "Drive-In Saturday". At her modeling career apex she received fan mail simply addressed "Twiggy, London, England". (300)

After spending time watching movies with director Ken Russell, she transitioned from modeling full time to a career in singing and acting. Russell cast her as an extra in The Devils (1971), and in a leading role of his adaptation of Sandy Wilson's play The Boy Friend, (1971), a pastiche of 1920s musicals. Her collaboration with Tommy Tune won her two Golden Globe Awards in 1972, and she began stage acting in London's West End in 1974, later hosting her own television series. Twiggy has appeared in numerous films, television programmes, and on radio over the subsequent decades, including a 1976 appearance on episode 21 of The Muppet Show and a cameo in the iconic John Landis comedy The Blues Brothers (1980).

In 1977 she married American actor Michael Witney and they had a daughter (Carly) the following year. They were married until his death from a heart attack in 1983. She met and married her second husband Leigh Lawson the following year.

Twig"gy (?), a.

Of or pertaining to a twig or twigs; like a twig or twigs; full of twigs; abounding with shoots.

" Twiggy trees."



© Webster 1913.

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