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Jean Shrimpton

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Jean Shrimpton
Shrimpton in 1965
Jean Rosemary Shrimpton

(1942-11-07) 7 November 1942 (age 81)
High Wycombe, England
Other namesJean Cox,[3] The Shrimp, Jeannie Shrimpton
  • Fashion model
  • actress
  • hotelier
  • innkeeper
  • antique shop owner
  • antique dealer
Michael Cox
(m. 1979)
RelativesChrissie Shrimpton (sister)
Modelling information
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1][2]
Hair colourBrown
Eye colourBlue

Jean Rosemary Shrimpton (born 7 November 1942)[4] is an English model and actress. She was an icon of Swinging London and is considered to be one of the world's first supermodels.[3][5][6][7] She appeared on numerous magazine covers including Vogue,[8][9] Harper's Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Elle, Ladies' Home Journal, Newsweek, and Time.[10] In 2009, Harper's Bazaar named Shrimpton one of the 26 best models of all time,[11] and in 2012, Time named her one of the 100 most influential fashion icons of all time.[10] She starred alongside Paul Jones in the film Privilege (1967).

Early life


She was born in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and educated at St Bernard's Convent School, Slough. She enrolled at Langham Secretarial College in London at age 17. A chance meeting with director Cy Endfield led to an unsuccessful meeting with the producer of his film Mysterious Island (1961). Endfield then suggested she attend the Lucie Clayton Charm Academy's model course.[12] In 1960, aged 17, she began modelling, appearing on the covers of magazines such as Harper's Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and Vogue.[13]



Shrimpton rose to prominence through her work with photographer David Bailey. They met in 1960 at a photo shoot that Shrimpton, who was then an unknown model,[14] was working on with photographer Brian Duffy for a Kellogg's corn flakes advertisement.[15] Duffy told Bailey she was too posh for him, but Bailey was undeterred.

Shrimpton's first photo session with Bailey was in 1960 (either for Condé Nast's Brides on 7 December 1960[16][17] or for British Vogue).[18] She started to become known in the modelling world around the time she was working with Bailey.[19] Shrimpton has stated she owed Bailey her career,[1][19] and he is often credited for discovering her[1][20][21] and being influential in her career.[1][16][20][22] In turn, she was Bailey's muse, and his photographs of her helped him rise to prominence in his early career.[23][24][25][26][27]

During her career, Shrimpton was widely reported to be the "world's highest paid model",[19][28][29][30] the "most famous model"[29][31][32] and the "most photographed in the world".[29][31] She was also described as having the "world's most beautiful face" and as "the most beautiful girl in the world".[19][7][33][34][35] She was dubbed "The It Girl", "The Face",[32] "The Face of the Moment",[19] and "The Face of the '60s".[1][6][36] Glamour named her "Model of The Year" in June 1963. She contrasted with the aristocratic-looking models of the 1950s by representing the coltish, gamine look of the youthquake movement in 1960s Swinging London,[23] and she was reported as "the symbol of Swinging London".[19] Breaking the popular mould of voluptuous figures[37] with her long legs and slim figure, she was nicknamed "The Shrimp".[38] Shrimpton was also known for her long hair with a fringe,[1][39][40] wide doe-eyes,[41][42][43] long wispy eyelashes,[1] arched brows,[44] and pouty lips.[1][45]

1965 ABC news report on Jean Shrimpton's visit to the Melbourne Cup.

Shrimpton helped launch the miniskirt.[1][35][46] In 1965, she made a two-week promotional visit to Australia, sponsored by the Victoria Racing Club and a local synthetic fibre company who had her promote a range of new dresses made of Orlon. She was paid a fee of £2,000, an enormous sum at the time.[7] She caused a sensation in Melbourne when she arrived for the Victoria Derby wearing a white shift dress made by Colin Rolfe which ended 5 in (13 cm) above her knees. She wore no hat, stockings or gloves, and sported a man's watch, unusual at the time. Her hairdresser was Lillian Frank. Shrimpton was unaware she would cause such reaction in the Melbourne community and media.[3][7][35][47]

In her article "The Man in the Bill Blass Suit", Nora Ephron wrote that when Shrimpton posed for a Revlon advertisement in an antique white Chantilly lace dress by Blass, minutes after the lipstick placard was displayed at the drugstores, Revlon received calls from women demanding to know where they could buy the dress.[48]

Shrimpton was photographed in 1971 by Clive Arrowsmith, again for British Vogue.[49]

Personal life


Shrimpton and Bailey began dating soon after they began working together, and subsequently had a four-year relationship that ended in 1964.[1][14] Bailey was still married to his first wife Rosemary Bramble when the affair began, but left her after nine months and later divorced her to be with Shrimpton.[22]

Shrimpton's other romances included actor Terence Stamp[44] and photographer Terry O'Neill.[50] In 1979, she married photographer Michael Cox[51] at the register office in Penzance, Cornwall, when she was four months pregnant with their son Thaddeus, who was born that same year.[52] They own the Abbey Hotel in Penzance,[36] now managed by Thaddeus and his family.[53]

In the media


Shrimpton is namechecked (as "Jeannie Shrimpton") in The Smithereens song "Behind the Wall of Sleep" (1986).[54]

The story of Shrimpton's relationship with David Bailey is dramatised in a 2012 BBC Four film We'll Take Manhattan, with Karen Gillan playing the part of Shrimpton.[55][56][57]


  • Shrimpton, Jean (1964–1965). My Own Story: The Truth About Modelling. Bantam Books. OL 13345124W.
  • Shrimpton, Jean; Hall, Unity (1990). Jean Shrimpton: My Autobiography. London: Ebury. ISBN 0852238584.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Jean Shrimpton, the Famed Face of the '60s, Sits Before Her Svengali's Camera One More Time". People. 7 (21). 30 May 1977.
  2. ^ Cohen, Susan & Cosgrove, Christine (2009). Normal at Any Cost: Tall Girls, Short Boys, and the Medical Industry's Quest to Manipulate Height. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-58542-683-6.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ a b c Magee, Antonia (18 October 2009). "Model Jean Shrimpton recollects the stir she caused on Victoria Derby Day in 1965". Herald Sun.
  4. ^ "Jean Shrimpton". Biography. Archived from the original on 16 November 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  5. ^ Mansour, David (2005). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McMeel. p. 430. ISBN 0-7407-5118-2.
  6. ^ a b Busch, Charles (24 January 1995). "He's Every Woman". The Advocate: 60.
  7. ^ a b c d "Jean Shrimpton in Melbourne". Milesago.com. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  8. ^ "Vogue Magazine June 1962". Vogue (UK). Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2009.
  9. ^ "Vogue Magazine May 1963". Vogue (UK). Archived from the original on 27 August 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2009.
  10. ^ a b Berry, Allison (2 April 2012). "All-Time 100 Fashion Icons: Jean Shrimpton". Time.
  11. ^ Harper's Bazaar Staff (23 March 2009). "Best Models of All Time". Harper's Bazaar.
  12. ^ Wade, Alex (30 April 2011). "The Saturday interview: Jean Shrimpton". The Guardian.
  13. ^ "Twiggy and The Shrimp – By Bill Harry". Retrosellers.com. Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  14. ^ a b "PDN Legends Online: David Bailey". PDNGallery.com. Archived from the original on 24 December 2009.
  15. ^ Bumpus, Jessica (3 March 2010). "The Shrimpton Story". Vogue. Archived from the original on 6 March 2010.
  16. ^ a b Muir, Robin (17 March 2007). "Two take Manhattan". The Guardian.
  17. ^ Muir, Robin (29 June 2002). "'That Bob Richardson was commissioned for Brides is like finding Charles Manson...(subscription required)". The Independent.
  18. ^ Alexander, Hilary (6 November 2006). "Bailey rolls back the years for Vogue at 90". Telegraph.
  19. ^ a b c d e f Bocca, Geoffrey (8 January 1967). "The girl behind the world's most beautiful face". Family Weekly.
  20. ^ a b Collette, Adrian (16 February 2003). "The shortest century and the greatest party". The Age. Melbourne.
  21. ^ "In the raw". Guardian. 17 September 2005.
  22. ^ a b Hauptfuhrer, Fred (26 September 1977). "The Women David Bailey Photographs Become His Lovers, and Marie Helvin Is the Latest". People. 8 (13). Archived from the original on 13 November 2010.
  23. ^ a b Jean Shrimpton in London of Sloane Street coat, 1964, by David Bailey Forbes.com
  24. ^ Louth, Sean.Initially Bailey... British Journal of Photography.
  25. ^ NY JS DB 62 by David Bailey Archived 8 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine Steidlville.com
  26. ^ David Bailey and Martin Harrison. Birth of the Cool: 1957–1969
  27. ^ "David Bailey: Godfather of cool". BBC News. 15 June 2001.
  28. ^ Polly (12 June 1967). "Shrimp shines up Londonderry hair". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  29. ^ a b c Hammond, Fay (19 August 1968). "Not the Very Model of a Modern Major Mannequin". Los Angeles Times.
  30. ^ "American designs best 'London Look'". Milwaukee Journal. 8 June 1967.
  31. ^ a b Cloud, Barbara (11 June 1967). "Most photographed model reticent about her role". The Pittsburgh Press.
  32. ^ a b Morris, Ann (23 June 2001). "A womb with a view". Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008.
  33. ^ Cloud, Barbara (9 June 1967). "Ex-window designer London Look winner". The Pittsburgh Press.
  34. ^ "Clippings on 3 March 1969". Independent. Los Angeles. 3 March 1969. p. 24.
  35. ^ a b c McKenzie, Sheena (1 November 2012). "Melbourne Cup memories: The legs that stopped a nation". CNN.
  36. ^ a b "Being 'ordinary' has its rewards". The Miami News. 30 June 1980.
  37. ^ Orbach, Suzie (January 2005). Hunger strike: the anorectic's struggle as a metaphor for our age. Karnac Books. p. 53. ISBN 9781855753778.
  38. ^ Changes in culture and society in the sixties[permanent dead link] nelsonthornes.com
  39. ^ Mansour, David (2005). From Abba to Zoom: A Pop Culture Encyclopedia of the Late 20th Century. Andrews McMeel. ISBN 0-7407-5118-2.
  40. ^ "'Funny Girl' Can Become Beautiful Girl". The Evening Independent. 23 January 1969.
  41. ^ Menkes, Suzy (28 February 2005). "A striking combo:broadtail and fringe". The New York Times.
  42. ^ Alexander, Hilary (28 February 2005). "The Look bounces back in Milan with 'Shrimp Clones'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013.
  43. ^ "He focused on the most fashionable faces of the '60s". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 18 February 1984.
  44. ^ a b Glossary: Season 1 The Advocate p. 38. 20 November 2001.
  45. ^ Cloud, Barbara (18 January 1989). "Pout power Fashionable lips are getting fuller now, just like Ms. Hershey's kisses". Chicago Tribune.
  46. ^ Style icon: Jean Shrimpton Archived 27 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine 18 September 2006. Fabsugar.com
  47. ^ Meacham, Savannah (13 August 2022). "Melbourne socialite Lillian Frank dies aged 92". 9news.com.au. Retrieved 14 August 2022.
  48. ^ Ephron, Nora (2007). "The Man in the Bill Blass Suit". Wallflower at the Orgy (Reprint of the article ed.).
  49. ^ "The Legendary Jean Shrimpton (1971)". Clive Arrowsmith Photographer. 4 September 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  50. ^ "Terry O'Neill obituary". The Times. 17 November 2019.
  51. ^ Jones, Jerene (14 June 1982). "Once the Face of the '60s, Jean Shrimpton Is Now the Model of An English Innkeeper". People. 17 (23).
  52. ^ Smyth, Mitchell (29 September 1985). "The Shrimp's running a hotel". Toronto Sun.
  53. ^ "The Abbey Hotel FAQ". Archived from the original on 2 September 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  54. ^ "Especially for You (1986)". officialsmithereens.com. Archived from the original on 14 October 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
  55. ^ "We'll Take Manhattan". BBC News. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  56. ^ Carpenter, Julie (2 August 2011). "Return of the Shrimp". Daily Express.
  57. ^ We'll Take Manhattan. IMDb}. 2012.