Pattie Boyd Biography
Sun Sign: Pisces
Also Known As: Patricia Anne Boyd
Born in: Taunton
Famous as: Model, Ex-Wife of George Harrison
father: Colin Ian Langdon Boyd
mother: Diana Frances Boyd
siblings: Colin Boyd, David J. B. Gaymer-Jones, Jenny Boyd, Paula Boyd, Robert Gaymer-Jones
Pattie Boyd is an English model and photographer who was married to Beatles member George Harrison. As one of the leading international models of the 1960s, she, along with Jean Shrimpton, was the embodiment of the British female 'look' of the era. Not only other popular models of the time, like Twiggy, were heavily influenced by her looks, she was also a muse to designer Ossie Clark, who named several of his designs 'Pattie'. She was instrumental in the Beatles' interest in Indian spirituality and had travelled to the country twice, once with her husband and another time with the Beatles. Boyd, who was married to guitarist Eric Clapton for a decade after splitting from Harrison, has been the inspiration for Harrison's songs such as 'I Need You', 'If I Needed Someone', 'Love You To', 'Something' and 'For You Blue', as well as Clapton's compositions like 'Layla' and 'Wonderful Tonight'. She is also famous for her autobiography 'Wonderful Today' and her exhibition 'Through the Eye of a Muse'. She co-founded the charity SHARP with Ringo Starr's second wife Barbara Bach.
- Patricia Anne Boyd was born on March 17, 1944, in Taunton, Somerset, England to Colin Ian Langdon Boyd and Diana Frances Boyd. Due to her father's job in the Royal Air Force, the family moved from place to place until finally returning to England after his discharge in 1953.
- The eldest child of her parents, she has a brother named Colin and sisters named Jenny and Paula. After her parents separated and remarried, she gained two step-brothers, David and Robert Jr., and two step-sisters, Clare and Julia.
- She completed her school degree with three GCE O level passes in 1961. She moved to London the following year and was encouraged to become a model by a 'Honey' magazine staffer who saw her working as a shampoo girl at Elizabeth Arden's salon.
- Pattie Boyd entered the fashion industry as a model in 1962 and worked primarily in London and Paris. Apart from 'Honey' magazine, she got regular assignments from the UK edition of 'Vogue', 'Vanity Fair', and 'Elle' in France, and also appeared on newspaper spreads for 'The Daily Telegraph' and 'The Times'.
- She appeared on the cover of British 'Vogue', and worked with photographers such as David Bailey, Terence Donovan and Brian Duffy. Along with Jean Shrimpton, she became the embodiment of the British female ‘look’ that defined Western fashion for women since her association with the Beatles in the late 1960s.
- In early 1964, she worked with director Richard Lester for a television advertising campaign for Smith's crisps, following which Lester cast her as a schoolgirl in the 1964 Beatles film 'A Hard Day's Night'. During this time she became romantically involved with Beatles' lead guitarist George Harrison, which not only spiked interest in her personal affairs, but also boosted her modeling career significantly.
- She immediately earned further assignments from 'Vogue' and 'Vanity Fair'; did a photoshoot with photographer Jeanloup Sieff for 'Tatler'; and appeared on more commercials for Smith's and L'Oréal, as well as fashion ads. Described as "by far the most glamorous" of all the Beatles' wives and girlfriends, she epitomized "sixties stardom", with women striving "to look like Pattie Boyd rather than Marlene Dietrich".
- Gloria Stavers convinced her to write a column for the American teen magazine '16', titled 'Patti's Letter from London', to report on the latest trends in Carnaby Street, including insight into Beatles and Stones wardrobe. However, she had to stop at the request of Harrison after she became the target of Beatles' female fans.
- She then embarked on a joint venture with her sister Jenny, also a model, by opening a boutique named 'Jennifer Juniper' in the Chelsea Market area of London to sell antiques and other art works. She was the buyer while her sister managed the shop.
- In her later modeling career, she promoted designs by Ossie Clark, appeared on several British 'Vogue' covers, and also did a photoshoot with her sisters for the magazine. She worked with photographer Justin de Villeneuve and model Twiggy for a cover shoot for the Italian 'Vogue' magazine.
- On Valentine's Day 2005, she put up her photographs from the 1960s of Harrison and Clapton for exhibition at the San Francisco Art Exchange, naming the show 'Through the Eye of a Muse'.
- In 2011, she held the exhibition 'Yesterday and Today: The Beatles and Eric Clapton' in Santa Catalina Island in California and at the National Geographic Headquarters in Washington, DC.
- As a model, Pattie Boyd is best known for defining the British female 'look' with "mini-skirt, long, straight hair and wide-eyed loveliness". She is equally familiar as a photographer for her exhibitions 'Through the Eye of a Muse' and 'Yesterday and Today: The Beatles and Eric Clapton'.
- Pattie Boyd, who was in a relationship with photographer Eric Swayne, had declined George Harrison's first date proposal after they first met on March 2nd, 1964. However, she soon split from Swayne and went on a date with Harrison to a private gentlemen's club called the Garrick Club.
- After Harrison bought the house 'Kinfauns' in Esher, Surrey, in July 1964, she moved into the house with him. The couple got engaged on December 25, 1965, and subsequently married on January 21, 1966, in a ceremony at Epsom register office.
- Boyd had introduced Harrison to meditation, which led to their six-week-long trip to India during which Harrison took sitar lessons from Indian classical musician Ravi Shankar, while she learned to play the dilruba. Later in February 1968, she and her sister Jenny accompanied Beatles during their visit to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's ashram in Rishikesh, India.
- Soon after their return, Beatles' manager Brian Epstein suddenly died, forcing the musicians to look into the business part of the band, which began to create stress in their relationship. After the Beatles broke up one year later, and Harrison became particularly involved with the Hare Krishna movement, it created further tension between the couple.
- During the early 1970s, she resumed her modeling career, began an affair with Faces guitarist Ronnie Wood, and finally decided to leave Harrison in 1974 following his affair with Ringo Starr's wife Maureen. In 1979, two years after getting divorce, she married guitarist Eric Clapton, who had proclaimed his love for her in his song 'Layla' while she was still with Harrison.
- She eventually left Clapton in 1987 and divorced him in 1989 due to his alcoholism and numerous affairs, including one with Italian model Lory Del Santo. She later developed a relationship with property developer Rod Weston in 1991 and got married to him on April 29, 2015.
- She published her autobiography, 'Wonderful Today', titled 'Wonderful Tonight' in the United States, in August 2007. Co-written with journalist and broadcaster Penny Junor, it debuted at the top of the 'New York Times' Best Seller list in the US.
- In early 1965, while attending a party held by her dentist, John Riley, Pattie Boyd took a drink spiked by the host with LSD. Under the influence of the drug, she reportedly threatened to break a store window while returning home with then-husband Harrison.
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