The Eternal "It" Girl —
13 Darling Pictures of Julie Christie
In 1941, Julie Frances Christie was born on a tea estate in British India. Just a quarter century later, she'd find herself at the epicenter of the youth culture explosion in "swingin' sixties" London. She was the fresh embodiment of the zeitgeist, the “It” girl with hair and clothes that swung right along with the music of the era.
Christie was a rebellious youth. After an early childhood spent on the plantation run by her father, she was sent to a convent school in England, from which she was expelled for telling an off-color joke. She then went on to another convent school, and another expulsion. We would have loved her even then!
After studying at Central School of Speech and Drama, Christie embarked on something of an accidental acting career—at first. Rejected for a small role in the 1962 Bond film “Dr. No” because she was not sufficiently curvy, she went on to be cast by default in the two roles that made her a star when the original actresses dropped out: first “Billy Liar,” and then “Darling” (1965).
“Darling” was originally slated for Shirley MacLaine, which in terms of unfortunate casting, is on a par with George Raft over Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca” (1942). The twist of fate turned out to be fortuitous. Christie won a Best Actress Oscar for her turn as an amoral fashion model, leading an empty life that only looks charmed.
Given her immense popularity, it was no surprise that 1965 was dubbed by Life magazine “The Year of Julie Christie.” But it was only the beginning of a career that has seen extraordinary work in every decade since, leading up to the Oscar-nominated “Away From Her” in 2006, a movie she had to be talked into doing.
Stunning as she is physically, Julie Christie's allure is all about what's beneath the surface. She was never a simply a pin-up or a starlet, but a gifted actress of depth and intelligence, who just happened to be beautiful.
Here is our tribute to this free, and ageless, spirit.
We'd shadow her all day.
Those lips, those eyes.
Who needs Bond girls?
“Darling” thinks it over, with Dirk Bogarde.
Two Julies at the Oscars, 1966.
The haircut that shook the world.
Whichever man that shirt belongs to...is one lucky devil.
She was it: the full package.
This blonde should have more fun.
Riding high on the set of “Far from the Madding Crowd” (1967).
Brimming with talent.
Julie Christie, as fresh as springtime.