Angie Bowie

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Angie Bowie
Born Mary Angela Barnett
(1949-09-25) 25 September 1949 (age 66)
Ayios Dhometios, Nicosia, Cyprus[1]
Nationality American
Occupation Model, actress, journalist
Spouse(s) David Bowie (m. 1970; div. 1980)
Partner(s) Andrew Lipka (1979–1982)
Michael Gassett (1993–present)
Children 2

Angela "Angie" Bowie (born Mary Angela Barnett; September 25, 1949) is a Cypriot-American cover girl, model, actress, and musician who along with her husband influenced the glam rock culture and fashion of the 1970s and by being open about one's bisexuality.[citation needed]

She was married to English musician David Bowie (whom she assisted in conceptualizing the costumes for the Ziggy Stardust stage show[citation needed]) until their divorce in 1980. The couple had one child, film director Duncan Jones.

Early life and education[edit]

She was born Mary Angela Barnett, an American citizen, on September 25, 1949 in Cyprus. She is of English and Polish descent,[2] and she was brought up as a Roman Catholic. She has one older brother (born 1945). Her father, Col. George M. Barnett, a United States Army veteran,[3] was a mining engineer and ran a mill for Cyprus Mines Corporation. Her mother was Helena Maria Galas. Both her parents died in 1984.[4]

Educated in Cyprus, Switzerland, and the UK (Kingston Polytechnic), she briefly attended Connecticut College until she was expelled after an affair with someone of the same sex, which she wrote about in Free Spirit.[5]


Film and television[edit]

She auditioned for the leading role in what dates show to have been the ABC-TV telefilm Wonder Woman which aired on March 12, 1974, and starred Cathy Lee Crosby (not as often reported for the later television series Wonder Woman, which eventually went to Lynda Carter).[6][7] Newsweek hypothesised in their February 11, 1974, issue that she lost the part because of her refusal to wear a bra.[6]

Later in 1975, Angela bought the television rights to Marvel Comics' characters Black Widow and Daredevil, hoping to develop and sell a series featuring the two heroes. Angela desired to play Black Widow, and actor Ben Carruthers would fill Daredevil's suit. The series failed to secure a studio deal and it never went beyond the development stage.[8][9]

In addition to working as an actress appearing as herself in the Ziggy Stardust film (1973) and Glitter Goddess of Sunset Strip (1991), her film work includes credited acting roles in at least four films: Eat the Rich (1987, as Henry's wife), Demented (1994), Deadrockstar (2002, as Bartender) and La Funcionaria Asesina (The Slayer Bureaucrat, 2009, as Helen Price/Constance).[10]

On 5 January 2016, Bowie appeared on the seventeenth series of Celebrity Big Brother.[11] On 10 January, Bowie was informed off screen of the death of her former husband, although initially chose to stay, but then voluntarily decided to leave the house on 19 January, with medical grounds as well.[12][13] During her stay in the house, Bowie revealed that she was estranged from her son.


Bowie has written two autobiographies, Free Spirit (1981, including samples of the author's poetry),[14] as well as the bestseller, Backstage Passes: Life On the Wild Side with David Bowie, published in 1993 and updated in 2000. It detailed her alleged drug-fueled and openly bisexual lifestyle with her former husband and many other well-known musicians.[15][16][17] In 2014, she produced a large book about sex entitled Pop Sex, as well as a coloring book about her cats entitled Cat-Astrophe.[18][19][20]


A CD maxi-single, "The World Is Changing", with six mixes, including prominent vocal support by Dabonda Simmons, was credited to Angela Bowie with co-composers David Padilla, Morgan Lekcirt, Tom Reich, Jim Durban and D.J. Trance. It appeared in 1996 on New York label Warlock Records (distributed in Europe through Music Avenue on the Nite Blue label).[citation needed] The cover featured a logo of the Bowie name clearly modeled on the one seen on her former husband's Let's Dance releases. An album, Moon Goddess, was released in 2002 on Subterraneans' record label The Electric Label.[21][22]

She sang with Subterraneans vocalist Jude Rawlins on a version of the Rolling Stones song "The Last Time", subsequently included on the 2003 Subterraneans album Orly Flight.[23][24] She is currently working on her second album, Fancy Footwork.[citation needed]


Bowie has reinvented herself as a journalist specializing in gender issues. She served as a "roving reporter" for the transgender lifestyle bimonthly, Frock Magazine.[25][26] In 2002, she wrote a Pocket Essentials book entitled Bisexuality.[27][28]

Personal life[edit]

She met musician David Bowie in London in 1969, at the age of 19. According to her, they met through their mutual friendship with record executive Dr. Calvin Mark Lee.[29] She married Bowie one year later, on March 20, 1970 at Bromley Register Office in Beckenham Lane, London. On May 30, 1971, David and Angie Bowie had a son, Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones, who later preferred to be known as Joe or Joey, although now he has reverted to the name Duncan Jones. Angie and David Bowie separated after nine years of marriage, and divorced on February 8, 1980,[30] in Switzerland.[31]

David Bowie wrote the songs "The Prettiest Star", "Golden Years", and "Cracked Actor" about her (during a backstage sequence in the D.A. Pennebaker concert film Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, David calls her by the name "Star".)[citation needed] She often accompanied him on his international concert tours.[citation needed] She appeared as a guest on The Tonight Show, hosted by Johnny Carson on November 16, 1973 [32][33] Angela also performed on The Mike Douglas Show in early 1975.[34]

She had a long term relationship with punk musician Drew Blood (born Andrew Lipka); they had a daughter, Stacia. She later lived in Tucson, Arizona.[21][35]

She has been in a long term relationship with Michael Gassett since 1993.[36]

Rolling Stones - Angie[edit]

Angie Bowie has long claimed to have inspired the The Rolling Stones' hit song "Angie" from their 1973 album Goats Head Soup.[37][38][39][40] However, the songwriters Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have consistently denied this.[40] In 1993, in the liner notes to the Rolling Stones' compilation album Jump Back: The Best of The Rolling Stones, Richards said that the title was inspired by his newborn daughter, Dandelion Angela.[41] Later, in his 2010 memoir Life, he said that he had chosen the name at random when writing the song and that "[i]t was not about any particular person."[42] According to NME, the lyrics of the song were inspired by Jagger's breakup with Marianne Faithfull.[38]

Fictional portrayals[edit]

Mandy, portrayed by Toni Collette in the film Velvet Goldmine was based upon her. Velvet Goldmine presents a fictional account of fictional characters based on Bowie and Iggy Pop.[43][44]


  • Angela Bowie Free Spirit, Published by Mushroom Books, 1981 (name appears as "Angie Bowie" on cover)
  • Angela Bowie Backstage Passes, Published by Jove Books, The Berkeley Publishing Group, 1993


  2. ^ Angela Bowie "Backstage Passes", pp. 29–30
  3. ^ Bowie, p. 29
  4. ^ Angela Bowie, Backstage Passes, p. 30
  5. ^ Bowie, p. 30
  6. ^ a b "Angela Bowie profile". Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  7. ^ Bowie, pp. 168–70
  8. ^ "Angie Bowie's Daredevil and the Black Widow?". 2012-01-22. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  9. ^ Gwynne Watkins, "The Black Widow Movie That Almost Happened", Yahoo! Movies, September 25, 2014.
  10. ^ "Angie Bowie". IMDb. 
  11. ^ "David Bowie's ex-wife Angie opens up about their 'terrible' break-up as she heads into Celebrity Big Brother house". Daily Mirror. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  12. ^ "Celebrity Big Brother: Angie Bowie, David Gest and the bleakest farce". The Guardian. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  13. ^ "Angie Bowie has left the Celebrity Big Brother House". 
  14. ^ Cynthia Rose, "Bowie For Breakfast: Angie Bowie’s Free Spirit", New Musical Express, July 4, 1981, available here [1] at Rock's Backpages (subscription required).
  15. ^ Backstage Passes (review), Publishers Weekly, January 4, 1993.
  16. ^ Lynn Van Matre, "Bitter But Ho-hum Memories Of Life With A Rock Legend", Chicago Tribune, January 25, 1993.
  17. ^ Steve Morse, "Angela Bowie's shocking stories", The Boston Globe, January 19, 1993  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  18. ^ Rick Broussard, "Q&A With Angie Bowie: Angie Bowie is a bona fide icon. She helped kick off the glam rock era by encouraging her then-husband, David Bowie, to take his bisexual glitter persona on the road as Ziggy Stardust." New Hampshire, June 2014.
  19. ^ Danny Scott, "David Bowie's ex-wife Angie: 'I wanted to play a comic heroine'", Sunday Express, April 20, 2014.
  20. ^ "Bowie's ex to write sex book", Toronto Sun, June 18, 2012.
  21. ^ a b Kevin Courtney, "Then & Now: Angie Bowie", The Irish Times, September 12, 2012  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  22. ^ The Electric Label official website (accessed 2014-01-12).
  23. ^ Jude Rawlins, Cul de Sac: Lyrics, Prose and Poems 1987–2004 (Hampstead House Press, 2004), ISBN 978-1-4116-0895-5, p. 17. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  24. ^ Subterraneans official discography (accessed 2014-01-12).
  25. ^ Angie Bowie in Frock Magazine.
  26. ^ "Angie Bowie In-Depth with Al Pillay", Frock Magazine, September 23, 2012 ("In each issue, Frock’s roving reporter and legend, Angie Bowie, goes 'in-depth' with somebody."
  27. ^ "Selected Gay & Lesbian Titles, June 2002—January 2003", Publishers Weekly, August 26, 2002.
  28. ^ Oscar Raymundo, "Angie Bowie Tells Us Everything", SF Weekly, March 17, 2011.
  29. ^ Bowie, pp. 5–7
  30. ^ Moser, Margaret; Crawford, Bill (1998). Rock Stars Do the Dumbest Things. New York City: St. Martin's Press. p. 23. 
  31. ^ Van Matre, Lynn (1993-03-17). "Bowie's Ex Takes Biting Look 'Backstage'". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  32. ^ Bowie, pp. 168–73
  33. ^ "The King of Late Night". Johnny Carson. Archived from the original on May 7, 2010. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  34. ^ Bowie, pp. 247–49
  35. ^ Emine Saner, "Why I Gave Up My Son Zowie", London Evening Standard, March 17, 2006.
  36. ^ "The bitterness of Mrs Bowie: She claims he forced her into a debauched open marriage – then 'poisoned' their son against her. Now Angie Bowie's hitting back in viciously indiscreet style". The Daily Mail. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  37. ^ Schragis, Steven (August 1987). "Love Was a Many-Splendored Thing". Spy. New York City: Thomas L. Phillips, Jr. p. 20. Retrieved 2016-01-26. Jagger, it was rumored, had earlier written 'Angie' (Goats Head Soup, 1973) for David Bowie's wife, Angela. 
  38. ^ a b "Revealed - The Stories Behind The Rolling Stones' Classic Songs: 'Angie'". NME. London. 2010-10-12. Retrieved 2016-01-26. Rumored to be inspired by Angie Bowie, it was actually inspired by Marianne Faithful after her relationship with Jagger collapsed. 
  39. ^ Brown, Adam Tod (2008-06-26). "6 Famous Songs That Don't Mean What You Think". Demand Media. Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  40. ^ a b McPherson, Ian. "Track Talk: Angie". Archived from the original on 2009-02-09. Retrieved 2016-01-26. 
  41. ^ Richards, Keith; Sandall, Robert (1993). Interview, Jump Back: The Best of The Rolling Stones (Liner notes). Hollywood, California: Virgin Records. 72438-64682-2-2. "The basic melody and the title were mine...I'd recently had my daughter born, whose name was Angela, and the name was starting to ring around the house. But I'm into writing about my babies. Angie just fitted. I mean, you couldn't sing 'Maureen'... 
  42. ^ Richards, Keith; Fox, James (2010). Life. New York City: Back Bay. p. 323. ISBN 978-0316034418. While I was in the [Vevey drug] clinic, Anita was down the road having our daughter, Angela. Once I came out of the usual trauma, I had a guitar with me and I wrote Angie in an afternoon, sitting in bed, because I could finally move my fingers and put them in the right place again...I just went, 'Angie, Angie'. It was not about any particular person; it was a name, like 'ohhh, Diana'. I didn't know Angela was going to be called Angela when I wrote 'Angie'. 
  43. ^ Richard Harrington, "Gone Glam Digging; `Velvet Goldmine' Unearths '70s Tale", The Washington Post, November 6, 1998  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  44. ^ Joshua Clover. "Fables of the Self-Construction", Spin, November 1998, pp. 94ff.


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