Julie Christie, a Timeless Beauty

AN ELGIN EXCLUSIVE FEATURE BY CHAYANIKA DUBEY

The glamorous face of the sixties with memorable performances in multiple classic films, British actress Julie Christie has a deep-rooted connection with the dreamy Northeast India.

Image by BFI National Archive

After watching her performance in Dr. Zhivago, Al Pacino named Julie Christie as the actress he would most like to work with stating that ‘she is the most poetic actress’.

Making a professional headway as the female lead in ‘Billy Liar’, and later in the 1965 film ‘Darling’ as a beautiful but bold model, Julie Christie launched to stardom. The major success of Doctor Zhivago, adapted from an epic romance novel, also in 1965 added to her fame.  Julie Christie has had a thriving career, laden with the most prestigious accolades, the Oscar, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe award, and plenty nominations. Consequently, 1965 was regarded as ‘The Year of Julie Christie’ by the popular American magazine ‘Life’. The Elgin Fairlawn, Kolkata proudly hosted Julie Christie while she was filming for the Romantic-Drama, ‘Heat and dust’.

The globally renowned actress, Julie Frances Christie was born in Assam, British India on the tea plantation run by her father. While she soon moved to England, it seems that India does hold a special place in her heart as certain tabloids have reported that the famously recluse actress also got married at a private ceremony in India.

Image by Bruce Weber/Italian Vogue.

Julie Christie had to be aged and de-beautified by the make-up department for her role as an Alzheimer’s victim for the film Away from her (2006).

As a symbol of the Swinging Sixties revolution that took place in Britain, Julie Christie became an ideal woman defining class over crass. A strong spirited, ambitious, and flourishing actress furthering moral seriousness was an uncommon sight. For years, she participated in demonstrations for animal rights, environmental protection and against nuclear power. She also advocated for the Medical Foundation for Victims of Torture, the Palestine Solidarity campaign, and for the closure of Guantanamo Bay prison.

Image by Chris Farina/Corbis via Getty Images.

Julie Christie at the 2008 Academy Awards nominated in the Best Actress category for ‘Away from her’ sporting a pin to highlight the plight of Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

Often found at odds with the glittering culture of tinseltown, Julie Christie switched places from walking over the red carpet and living in Hollywood mansions to living at a farm in Wales in unrecognizable baggy clothes and wellies. She has always preferred to live a relaxed, hedonistic lifestyle and claimed that acting took her away from real life to a pretend life and she wanted the real life back. Although she left Hollywood towards the end of the 70s for ‘de-celebritisation’, Julie Christie makes on and off appearances in movies and award functions every few years, causing quite a stir being radiant as ever.