Friday, 7 June 2013
Pattie Boyd - one of the first fashion models to become a household name, was the eldest of four children born to Colin Ian Langdon Boyd and Diana Frances Boyd. She grew up partly in Kenya before returning to England in the fifties. In 1962 she moved to London and worked as a shampoo girl before embarking on a modelling career.
In 1964 she was cast as a schoolgirl on the train in the Beatles film, A Hard Days Night. She caught the eye of George Harrison, who asked her out. At the time she was 'semi-engaged' to photographer, Eric Swayne, so initially declined, but shortly after broke off her engagement and started dating George. Not long after Pattie moved in with George into Kinfauns, their psychedelic bungalow in Esher, Surrey. They married in 1966 with Paul McCartney as best man. In 1969 George wrote the Beatles song, Something about her.
Pattie's modelling career went from strength to strength and she was photographed by David Bailey and Terrance Donovan. She modelled for Mary Quant, Vogue and other famous fashion houses and magazines, sometimes working with her sister, Jenny Boyd. Unfortunately, George was not too keen on Pattie working so by the end of the sixties her modelling career had dwindled down to only a handful of one off photo shoots.
Following some problems, not least the fact she and George were unable to start a family together, Pattie's marriage to George began to break down. She met Eric Clapton (George's friend) and after she rejected him a few times, they began a passionate affair. Eric wrote the song Layla about his love for Pattie. George and Pattie broke up in the early Seventies and Pattie eventually married Eric in 1979. Eric also wrote the song, Wonderful Tonight about her.
Pattie and Eric's marriage was sadly to fall apart too. Eric struggled with alcohol and drug addiction. Pattie became depressed and admitted to drinking and taking drugs too, although she never becoming reliant on them in the way Eric did. Feeling trapped in another stay-at-home-wife style relationship, she left Eric in 1984 and they divorced in 1988.
Following two turbulent marriages to rock stars, Pattie took herself out of the limelight somewhat. She began to pursue a career as a photographer and began to do charity work. She co-founded drugs charity, SHARP with Ringo Starr's wife, Barbara Bach in 1991.
In 2007 Pattie published her autobiography, Wonderful tonight - her memoir of a remarkable life in the 60s and 70s.