Famous beauty. Deeply troubled. Muse to Andy Warhol. Edie Sedgwick–proclaimed It Girl of 1965–was the 1960s response to perhaps the greatest sex symbol of all time, 1950s Marilyn Monroe. Where Monroe was soft curves, Evie was angular and boyish. But both had the innate ability to ilicit an erotic response with their wide, blinking eyes, little girl voices and screen presence that dared any man to look away.
Here are 10 facts about one of most famous faces of the 1960s, It Girl, Edie Sedgwick.
1. She came from an established and wealthy family of artists, actors and musicians.
After an isolated and abusive, yet privileged, childhood on a 3,000 acre Santa Barbara ranch, Edie moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to study sculpture with her cousin and party with the young men attending Harvard.
2. Actor Kyra Sedgwick is her first cousin, once removed.
3. In 1965, Edie met Andy Warhol at a birthday party for Tennessee Williams.
Film producer and mutual friend, Lester Persky introduced them knowing Andy was on the lookout for his next famous face – and Edie, with her leg in a cast from crashing her father’s Porsche, was just his type.
4. Her first Warhol film appearance, was in Vinyl.
The film was Warhol’s adaptation of A Clockwork Orange and was supposed to be all-male until a last minute decision had Edie sitting on a trunk and smoking, making everyone ask, “Who’s that girl?”
5. Just a few weeks after meeting Edie, Andy invited her on a trip to Paris with him for his Flowers exhibition.
She arrived at the airport wearing a t-shirt with tights and a white mink coat, carrying a little suitcase holding only a second, identical white mink coat, delighting Warhol and sealing their bond.
6. Her friendship and movies with Warhol made her famous, as did her signature look of black leotards, short dresses, big earrings and heavy eye-makeup.
7. Bob Dylan came calling too.
The rumor is he wrote “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” and “Just Like a Woman,” about her.
8. Her vulnerable beauty inspires men to write songs about her.
9. From her teens into her adulthood, Edie spent time in and out of mental hospitals.
She battled eating disorders and other mental health issues while indulging in the drug culture of that time.
10. Edie’s last film was the avant garde Ciao! Manhattan, a sort of documentary about a day in her life.
The film was released posthumously. Edie died at the age of 28 of a barbituate overdose (like Marilyn) shortly before production completed.
Edie Sedgwick spent a short, volatile life in this world, peaking in a decade that was larger than life. But her poise and influence still lingers, sprinkling pop culture, past and present, like stardust.