Twiggy For the outre fashion designer, see Twiggy (performance artist). Twiggy (born Leslie Hornby on September 19, 1949) is a British supermodel, actress, and singer, now usually known by her married name of Twiggy Lawson.
Twiggy was born in the London suburb of Neasden to William Norman (a master carpenter) and Helen Hornby (a half Jewish counter girl at Woolworth's). Twiggy became famous at the age of sixteen, under the influence of her boyfriend and manager, Justin de Villeneuve. Soon she was regarded as "the face" of swinging 1960s London, and gained her nickname from her stick-thin pubescent figure. She was also known for the highfashion mod look that she created. As she matured, she left Villeneuve and broadened her horizons, appearing as an actress and singer, notably in Ken Russell's 1971 film version of Sandy Wilson's musical, The Boy Friend. Since then she has played a variety of roles on stage and screen, including My One and Only and as Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, opposite Robert Powell, in a 1981 television production. In May 2005, Twiggy was announced as a replacement for Janice Dickinson on UPN reality series America's Next Top Model, one of UPN's hottest shows.
Her first marriage, to the American actor, Michael Witney, ended with his sudden death from a heart attack. In 1988, she married the actor Leigh Lawson.
Comedienne Fran Drescher went on a cruise with friend Twiggy and Twiggy's family. The culture shock Drescher experienced inspired her to create her hit sitcom The Nanny.
In 2005, as well as appearing as a permanent judge on cycle 5 of America's Next Top Model, Twiggy returned to modelling, fronting a major new TV, press and billboard campaign for Marks & Spencer, the UK department store chain. Her appearance alongside Erin O'Connor, Laura Bailey and other younger models was intended to portray the breadth and choice of the M&S clothing range, as well as the fact that older women are equally entitled to look good (see boho-chic).