Angie Bowie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Angie Bowie
Mary Angela Barnett

(1949-09-25) September 25, 1949 (age 72)
Alma materKingston University
  • Model
  • actress
  • journalist
(m. 1970; div. 1980)
  • Andrew Lipka (1979–1982)
  • Michael Gassett (1993–present)
Children2, including Duncan Jones

Angela Bowie (born Mary Angela Barnett; September 25, 1949) is an American model, actress and journalist who, along with her ex-husband David Bowie, influenced the glam rock culture and fashion of the 1970s.

She was married to Bowie (whom she assisted in conceptualizing the costumes for the Ziggy Stardust stage show)[2] from 1970 until their divorce in 1980. The couple had one child, film director Duncan Jones.

Early life and education[edit]

Angie Bowie was born as Mary Angela Barnett, an American citizen, on September 25, 1949, in Cyprus to Col. George M. Barnett, a United States Army veteran,[3] and his wife, Helena Maria Galas Barnett, a naturalized Canadian. Her father was a mining engineer and ran a mill for Cyprus Mines Corporation. She has one brother, who is 16 years older than her. Both her parents died in 1984.[4][5]

She is of English and Polish descent,[6] and she was raised as a Roman Catholic. However, she has identified as a Cypriot, writing in 2000: "I am a Cypriot by disposition. I don't have a passport or Cypriot nationality but my heart is Cypriot, not Greek or Turkish Cypriot, just Cypriot."[7]

Educated in Cyprus, Switzerland, and the UK (Kingston Polytechnic), she briefly attended Connecticut College until she was expelled after an affair with a girl, an event mentioned in her 1981 autobiography Free Spirit.[8]


Film and television[edit]

During the 1970s, Angie Bowie occasionally appeared as a guest on television talk shows. She appeared on The Tonight Show, hosted by Johnny Carson on November 16, 1973.[9][10] She also performed on The Mike Douglas Show in early 1975.[11]

She auditioned for the leading role for the television movie Wonder Woman which aired on March 12, 1974, and starred Cathy Lee Crosby (not as often reported for the later television series Wonder Woman, in which the title role was played by Lynda Carter).[12][13] Newsweek hypothesized in its February 11, 1974 issue that she lost the part because of her refusal to wear a bra.[12]

Later in 1975, Bowie bought the television rights to Marvel Comics' characters Black Widow and Daredevil, hoping to develop and sell a series featuring the two heroes. She planned to play Black Widow, with actor Ben Carruthers as Daredevil. The series failed to secure a studio deal, and it never went beyond the development stage.[14][15]

In March 1982, Bowie appeared on the television program The Old Grey Whistle Test, reciting poetry, while Mick Karn, from the band Japan, played bass. Her performance was lambasted by the British media.[16]

Bowie appeared as herself in the D.A. Pennebaker concert film Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973) and Glitter Goddess of Sunset Strip (1991). She also has had 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).[17]

On January 5, 2016, Bowie appeared on the seventeenth series of Celebrity Big Brother.[18] On January 10, she was informed off screen of the death of her former husband David Bowie. Although she initially chose to stay in the house, she voluntarily decided to leave on January 19, in part on medical grounds.[19][20]


Bowie has written two autobiographies: Free Spirit (1981, including samples of the author's poetry),[21] 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.[22][23][24] In 2014, she produced a large book about sex titled Pop Sex as well as a book about cats titled Cat-Astrophe.[25][26][27] In 2015, she released the book Fancy Footwork: Poetry Collection.


The CD maxi-single "The World Is Changing", with six mixes, including prominent vocal support by Dabonda Simmons, was credited to 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. The album Moon Goddess was released in 2002 on the record label The Electric Label.[28][29]

She sang with Subterraneans vocalist Jude Rawlins on a version of the Rolling Stones song "The Last Time", also included on the 2003 Subterraneans album Orly Flight.[30][31]


Bowie has reinvented herself as a journalist specializing in gender issues. She served as a "roving reporter" for the transgender and drag monthly Frock Magazine.[32][33] In 2002, she wrote a Pocket Essentials book titled Bisexuality.[34][35]

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 Calvin Mark Lee.[36] The couple married one year later, on March 19, 1970, at Bromley Register Office in Beckenham Lane, Kent. They had an open marriage. She stated that they were not in love, and the union was a marriage of convenience. She told the Evening Standard "We got married so that I could work [to get a permit]. I didn't think it would last and David said, before we got married, 'I'm not really in love with you' and I thought that's probably a good thing."[37] Their son Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones was born on May 30, 1971. He later preferred to be known as Joe or Joey but has reverted to the name Duncan Jones. After nine years of marriage, Angie and David Bowie separated, and they divorced on February 8, 1980,[38] in Switzerland.[39] In the divorce settlement, she received £500,000 paid in installments and a 10-year gagging clause. Not wanting to fight over custody, she left their son with David. She stated that David's drug habit had become so out of control that she believed giving him the responsibility of raising their son would stabilize him.[37]

During her marriage, she often accompanied her husband on his international concert tours.[citation needed] He wrote the song "The Prettiest Star", about her.[40] (During a backstage sequence in the concert film Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, David calls Angie by the name Star). After the divorce, Bowie said she was blackballed from the entertainment industry and was so depressed that she considered suicide.[41]

Following her divorce, Angela Barnett had a long-term relationship with punk musician Drew Blood (born Andrew Lipka); they had a daughter, Stacia Larranna Celeste Lipka (also referred to as Stasha). She later lived in Tucson, Arizona.[28][42]

Since 1993, she has been in a relationship with Michael Gassett, an electrical engineer nearly 20 years her junior.[41] They live in Acworth, Georgia.[43]

Estrangement from Duncan Jones[edit]

Bowie is estranged from her son Duncan Jones, saying in a 2010 interview that a reconciliation was unlikely.[5] She also mentioned the estrangement during her 2016 appearance on Celebrity Big Brother. She previously said that, although she has not seen her son since he was 13, he had been in very brief contact with her daughter Stasha in the early 2000s. "He emailed me and I didn't know what to say. So I put them together. They corresponded for a bit and then that stopped. He is cold, like his father. David cut me off. Zowie, or Duncan, cut me and Stasha off," she said.[44]

When asked by The Times in 2017 whether she had been in touch with her son since David Bowie's death the year before, she responded "My son? No, why should I be? I'm not interested. It stopped when my father changed his will to not include an educational trust fund for Zowie because David divorced me. When my father did that, I followed precedent. It's over. Nothing. Nothing to do with me."[41] In a 2018 interview for Marc Maron's WTF podcast, Jones reiterated that they never had reconciled saying she was a "corrosive person."[45]

Rolling Stones song "Angie"[edit]

Angie Bowie has long claimed to have inspired The Rolling Stones' hit song "Angie" from their 1973 album Goats Head Soup.[46][47][48][49] However, the songwriters Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have consistently denied this.[49] 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.[50] Later, in his 2010 memoir Life, he said that he had chosen the name at random when writing the song and that it "was not about any particular person."[51] According to NME, the lyrics of the song were inspired by Jagger's breakup with Marianne Faithfull.[47]

Fictional portrayals[edit]

The fictional character of Mandy, portrayed by Toni Collette in the film Velvet Goldmine, was based upon Bowie.[52][53]


  • Angela Bowie Free Spirit. The book was published by Mushroom Books, in 1981 (name appears as "Angie Bowie" on the cover).
  • Angela Bowie Backstage Passes. The book was published by Jove Books, The Berkeley Publishing Group, in 1993.


  2. ^ Carruthers, Bob (director) (2006). David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust. Ammo Content, Classic Rock Productions. ASIN B07H1C7RWK.)
  3. ^ Bowie, p. 29
  4. ^ Angela Bowie, Backstage Passes, p. 30
  5. ^ a b McGrath, Nick (April 9, 2010). "Angie Bowie: My Family Values". The Guardian. London. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  6. ^ Angela Bowie "Backstage Passes", pp. 29–30
  7. ^ Bowie, Angie (2000). "Cyprus: Land of Passion". Angie Bowie. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  8. ^ Bowie, p. 30
  9. ^ Bowie, pp. 168–73
  10. ^ "The King of Late Night". Johnny Carson. Archived from the original on May 7, 2010. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
  11. ^ Bowie, pp. 247–49
  12. ^ a b "Angela Bowie profile". Archived from the original on January 15, 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
  13. ^ Bowie, pp. 168–70
  14. ^ "Angie Bowie's Daredevil and the Black Widow?". January 22, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
  15. ^ Gwynne Watkins, "The Black Widow Movie That Almost Happened", Yahoo! Movies, September 25, 2014.
  16. ^ "POETRY SLAM: ANGIE BOWIE AND MICK KARN ON 'THE OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST,' 1982". Dangerous Minds. April 3, 2015.
  17. ^ "Angie Bowie". IMDb.
  18. ^ "David Bowie's ex-wife Angie opens up about their 'terrible' break-up as she heads into Celebrity Big Brother house". Daily Mirror. January 5, 2016. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  19. ^ "Celebrity Big Brother: Angie Bowie, David Gest and the bleakest farce". The Guardian. January 13, 2016. Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  20. ^ "Angie Bowie has left the Celebrity Big Brother House".
  21. ^ 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).
  22. ^ Backstage Passes (review), Publishers Weekly, January 4, 1993.
  23. ^ Lynn Van Matre, "Bitter But Ho-hum Memories Of Life With A Rock Legend", Chicago Tribune, January 25, 1993.
  24. ^ Steve Morse, "Angela Bowie's shocking stories", The Boston Globe, January 19, 1993  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ Danny Scott, "David Bowie's ex-wife Angie: 'I wanted to play a comic heroine'", Sunday Express, April 20, 2014.
  27. ^ "Bowie's ex to write sex book", Toronto Sun, June 18, 2012.
  28. ^ a b Kevin Courtney, "Then & Now: Angie Bowie", The Irish Times, September 12, 2012  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  29. ^ The Electric Label official website (accessed January 12, 2014).
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ Subterraneans official discography (accessed January 12, 2014).
  32. ^ Angie Bowie in Frock Magazine.
  33. ^ "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.")
  34. ^ "Selected Gay & Lesbian Titles, June 2002—January 2003", Publishers Weekly, August 26, 2002.
  35. ^ Oscar Raymundo, "Angie Bowie Tells Us Everything", SF Weekly, March 17, 2011.
  36. ^ Bowie, pp. 5–7
  37. ^ a b Saner, Emine (March 17, 2006). "Angie Bowie: 'Why I gave up my son Zowie'". Evening Standard.
  38. ^ Moser, Margaret; Crawford, Bill (1998). Rock Stars Do the Dumbest Things. New York City: St. Martin's Press. p. 23. ISBN 9781429978385.
  39. ^ Van Matre, Lynn (March 17, 1993). "Bowie's Ex Takes Biting Look 'Backstage'". The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore, Maryland. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  40. ^ "The Prettiest Star by David Bowie Songfacts". Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  41. ^ a b c Hodgkinson, Will (May 19, 2017). "Angie Bowie: 'I didn't care about David's lovers as long as they realised I was the queen'". The Times.
  42. ^ Emine Saner, "Why I Gave Up My Son Zowie", London Evening Standard, March 17, 2006.
  43. ^ Ruggieri, Melissa (January 11, 2016). "David Bowie's ex-wife, Angie, still maintains Georgia ties". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  44. ^ "Angie Bowie: "My Son Is Nothing to Do with Me"". Radio X. May 21, 2017.
  45. ^ "Episode 892-Duncan Jones/Bredon Small". WTF with Marc Maron Podcast. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  46. ^ Schragis, Steven (August 1987). "Love Was a Many-Splendored Thing". Spy. New York City: Thomas L. Phillips, Jr. p. 20. Retrieved January 26, 2016. Jagger, it was rumored, had earlier written 'Angie' (Goats Head Soup, 1973) for David Bowie's wife, Angela.
  47. ^ a b "Revealed - The Stories Behind The Rolling Stones' Classic Songs: 'Angie'". NME. London. October 12, 2010. Retrieved January 26, 2016. Rumored to be inspired by Angie Bowie, it was actually inspired by Marianne Faithful after her relationship with Jagger collapsed.
  48. ^ Brown, Adam Tod (June 26, 2008). "6 Famous Songs That Don't Mean What You Think". Demand Media. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  49. ^ a b McPherson, Ian. "Track Talk: Angie". Archived from the original on February 9, 2009. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  50. ^ 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'...
  51. ^ 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'.
  52. ^ Richard Harrington, "Gone Glam Digging; `Velvet Goldmine' Unearths '70s Tale", The Washington Post, November 6, 1998  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  53. ^ Joshua Clover. "Fables of the Self-Construction", Spin, November 1998, pp. 94ff.


External links[edit]