Twiggy Biography

(English Model and Actress Who a British Cultural Icon During the 1960s)

Birthday: September 19, 1949 (Virgo)

Born In: Neasden,Middlesex, England

Dame Lesley Hornby Lawson a.k.a. Twiggy is an English model, singer and actress who was a British cultural icon in her heydays. She got her nickname Twiggy because she was as thin as a ‘twig’. A sensation during the 1960s, her USP was her androgynous looks, combined with her short hair and big eyes. Her fluttering thick lashes that were achieved by using three layers of fake ones was amongst her signature feature. She is considered to be one of the first few supermodels. So much so that within one year of working as a model she was already featured in more than 15 magazines, and was the cover girl for the prestigious Elle and Vogue. A short- lived modelling career, followed a long stint as an actor, host and singer on television, Broadway and Hollywood. She has also penned several autobiographical books and designed clothing for brands like ‘Marks & Spencer.’ A disciplined individual, Twiggy believes in staying fit, and prefers cooking at home. Considered to be a master at the art of diversifying, Twiggy is living life queen-size and still creating content that is engaging and enthralling for her audience.

Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In September

Also Known As: Dame Lesley Lawson, Lesley Hornby

Age: 74 Years, 74 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Leigh Lawson, Michael Witney

father: William Norman Hornby

mother: Nellie Lydia Hornby

siblings: Shirley Hornby, Vivien Hornby

children: Carly Witney

Born Country: England

Models Actresses

Height: 5'6" (168 cm), 5'6" Females

City: Middlesex, England

Childhood & Early Life

Twiggy was born on 19 September 1949, to William Hornby and Nellie Lydia in suburban London. She was the third child, having two elder sisters, Shirley born in the year 1934 and Vivien born in 1942.

She was very close to her mother, and learnt how to sew from her. But, it is believed that Nellie suffered from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) which left Shirley with the responsibility to raise Twiggy.

She completed her education from Brondesbury & Kilburn High School, in Queen’s Park, England.

She started working with a hairdresser at the age of 16, and was selected to pose for a photo shoot sporting one of his new hair-cuts he wanted to promote. These pictures caught the attention of a fashion journalist Deirdre McSharry and catapulted Twiggy into the world of modelling.

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Spanning only four years, Twiggy’s modelling career is an envious journey. She worked with photographers like Helmut Newton, Bert Stern, Richard Avedon, Barry Lategan and Terence Donovan.

Although she ‘hated’ how she looked, she turned designer and launched her eponymous line of clothing for women similar to her look, in 1967.

Twiggy excelled in her movie career, winning multiple awards. She featured in films like The Boy Friend in 1971, W in 1974, There Goes the Bride and The Blues Brothers in the year 1980, The Doctor and the Devils in 1985, Club Paradise in 1986, Madame Sousatzka in 1988, and Istanbul in 1990.

She also worked in a few TV movies, such as The Little Match Girl (1986), The Diamond Trap and Sun Child (1988), Body Bags (1993), Something Borrowed, Something Blue (1997), and Brand New World (1998).

Twiggy has had an illustrious television career that includes acting, singing and hosting. Twiggy (1975), The Muppet Show (1976), A Gift of Music (1981), Young Charlie Chaplin (1989), and Absolutely Fabulous (2000) are few of them. She has been a judge on reality TV show America’s Next Top Model from the year 2005 to 2007.

She has also launched music albums. These include: Twiggy (1976), Please Get My Name Right (1976), Romantically Yours (2011).

Her acting and singing has graced Broadway and several stage shows, such as My One and Only (1983), which got her a Tony nomination, Cinderella (1974), Blithe Spirit (1997), If Love Were All (1999) to name a few.

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, she launched her podcast Tea With Twiggy in 2020 where she has some intimate conversations with guests like Myleene Klass, Gyles Brandreth, David Threlfall, Elaine Page, and Chritopher Biggins.

Major Works

Twiggy’s four years of modelling career from 1966 to 1970, was her one-way ticket to fame. At the age of 16, she not only grabbed eye-balls, but was instrumental in bringing about a fashion revolution. Gone were the days when women bodies were required to be voluptuous and curvy, the new look was modern and androgynous. It became the statement look of the swinging sixties. Although her look was criticized by many, she was adorning cover pages of fashion magazines like Vogue, Queen, McCall’s and Elle across the globe.

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Her first movie The Boyfriend released in 1971, saw her in the lead role of Polly Browne. This movie won her much adulation and several awards.

Awards & Achievements

Twiggy shot to fame after being named as the Face of’66 by the newspaper The Daily Express on 23rd of February 1966.

She was the first model to have a wax statue in the Madame Tussauds museum.

She received the Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress and New Star in the year 1972, for her movie ‘The Boy Friend’.

Twiggy received honorary Damehood in 2019, for her contribution to fashion, acting, singing and her philanthropic causes.

Family & Personal Life

Hairdresser Justin de Villeneuve, was Twiggy’s boyfriend before she started her career and was her manager from 1966 to 1970. After which they broke-up.

She got married on the 14th of June 1977 to Michael Witney, an American TV and Film actor.

The couple had a daughter, Carly on 1st December 1978. However, their marriage was believed to be struggling due to Michael’s alcohol dependency.

They were together until the untimely death of Michael on 30th November 1983. He passed away due to a heart attack, while he was with Carly in McDonald’s.

In 1984, Twiggy met Allan Leigh Lawson, an actor, writer and director, and they tied the knot on 23rd of September 1988, on Long Island. They presently live in London.

Twiggy is involved in many philanthropic causes. She supports campaigns against animal abuse, usage of fur in fashion, and contributes towards research and awareness about breast cancer.


She was the youngest person (20 years old) to feature on the biographical TV show ‘This is Your Life’ in 1969.

There is a species of rose that has been named after her, to celebrate her sixtieth birthday.

Twiggy Movies

1. The Blues Brothers (1980)

  (Crime, Action, Comedy, Music, Musical)

2. The Boy Friend (1971)

  (Musical, Romance, Comedy)

3. W (1974)


4. Heartbeat (1992)

  (Comedy, Drama, Crime)

5. Madame Sousatzka (1988)

  (Music, Drama)

6. There Goes the Bride (1980)


7. Club Paradise (1986)


8. The Butterfly Ball (1977)



Golden Globe Awards
1972 Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical The Boy Friend (1971)
1972 Most Promising Newcomer - Female The Boy Friend (1971)

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