I first knew of Anjelica Huston as the striking and rather tall woman on the arm of Jack Nicholson. Then later, as director John Huston’s daughter.
As an actress, however, I didn’t know of her until I saw Woody Allen’s brilliant Crimes And Misdemeanors, her performance as the neglected mistress was a real scene-stealer (I recall her being increasingly desperate in an 80’s jumper).
Final tweaks from HALSTON left
Stephen Frear’s ‘The Grifters’ is another favourite, where she played a psychopathic, absent mother in a deliberately bad white wig.
Like all of my favourite style/beauty ‘icons’ with eclectic backgrounds, Ms Huston’s choices of men, movies and style are very distinct.
Born in 1951 in America to John Huston and prima ballerina Enrica Soma, she grew up in Galway, Ireland and at 10, moved to London and went to Holland Park School (non-fee-paying, then-boho comprehensive), which I remember was the coolest school in West London (and with the most subversively- dressed teenagers).Above with Jerry Hall
Like most of her contemporaries during this time, she went on protest marches (I have a soft spot for activists).
Then, apparently, at her father’s insistence, she took her first film role in his historical drama ‘A Walk With Love And Death’ and followed this with being Marianne Faithfull’s understudy in Hamlet.
Once the play was over, and with less going on in her life, this well-connected young lady got asked by Richard Avedon (as you do) to model, and went on to become a firm favourite of his along with THE other great, Helmut Newton.
She was also romantically involved with photographer Bob Richardson (father of Terry).
A most striking muse.
Anjelica has what I love about often-photographed women such as Erin O Connor, Verushka, Grace Jones, Kate Moss, Debbie Harry and even Lady Gaga.
It’s that ability to elegantly confront, rather than simply model submissively, and in doing so, override the physical stereotypes of female beauty, creating another kind of reference which then becomes part of the fashion vernacular.
Many may know her only because of her fabulously comic turn in ‘The Addams Family’.
Years later I ended up doing her make-up in Claridges Hotel.
She was one classy lady, full of panache.
So perhaps it’s this: Jack Nicholson ‘used to go out with Anjelica Huston’, and John Huston is ‘Anjelica Huston’s father’.
WATCH THIS: Vintage footage of Anjelica modelling for AVEDON featuring hairdressing legend Ara Gallant, make-up legend Way Bandy and modelling legend Pat Cleveland ‘playing stylist’.