Linda McCartney

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Linda McCartney : biography

24 September 1941 – 17 April 1998

Photography

McCartney started work as a receptionist for the Town & Country magazine, and was the only unofficial photographer on board the SS Sea Panther yacht on the Hudson River who was allowed to take photographs of The Rolling Stones during a record promotion party. Although she had previously only studied the photography of horses in Arizona at an arts centre with a teacher, Hazel Archer, she was later asked to be the house photographer at the Fillmore East concert hall, and supposedly became a popular groupie. She photographed artists such as Aretha Franklin, Grace Slick, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton, Simon & Garfunkel, The Who, The Doors, The Animals, John Lennon, and Neil Young. She photographed Young in 1967—the picture was used for the front cover of Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House 1968, in 2008.

She photographed Clapton for Rolling Stone magazine, becoming the first woman to have a photograph featured on the front cover (11 May 1968). She and McCartney also appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone on 31 January 1974, making her the only person both to have taken a photograph, and to have been photographed, for the front cover of the magazine. Her photographs were later exhibited in more than 50 galleries internationally, as well as at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. A collection of photographs from that time, Linda McCartney’s Sixties: Portrait of an Era, was published in 1993. She also took the photograph for the cover of McCartney and Michael Jackson’s single, "The Girl Is Mine".

Portrayals on screen

Both she and McCartney appeared as themselves in an episode of Bread in 1988, and an episode of The Simpsons, called "Lisa the Vegetarian", in 1995. After her death, The Simpsons‘ 200th episode "Trash of the Titans", which aired on 26 April 1998, was dedicated to her memory. Simpsons executive producer Mike Scully said, "It just seemed like the right thing to do. Everyone here was surprised and saddened by her death."

Elizabeth Mitchell and Gary Bakewell played the McCartneys in the 2000 TV movie The Linda McCartney Story. She was portrayed as "Linda Eastman" in the 1985 TV movie John and Yoko: A Love Story.

Early years

Linda Louise McCartney, the second-eldest of four children, was born Linda Louise Eastman in New York City. She had one older brother, John (10 July 1939), and two younger sisters, Laura (born 1947), and Louise Jr. (born 1950). She grew up in the Scarsdale area of Westchester County, New York and Scarsdale High School graduated her in 1959. Her father was born Leopold Vail Epstein, the son of Jewish Russian immigrants, who later changed his name to Lee Eastman. It is an often-repeated urban myth that Linda was related to the George Eastman family of Eastman Kodak fame: this is not the case. Her father was the attorney for songwriter Jack Lawrence, and at his request in 1942, Lawrence, while in the army, wrote a song called, "Linda", in honor of the one-year-old. It was published in 1946, and recorded by Buddy Clark in 1947. John Eastman later became Paul McCartney’s attorney and manager, taking over from his father, Lee Eastman.

Her mother, Louise Sara (Lindner) Eastman—the daughter of Max J. Lindner, founder of the Lindner Company clothing store in Cleveland, Ohio—died in the crash of American Airlines Flight 1 in Queens, New York, in 1962. McCartney later said that because of her mother’s death, she hated travelling by air. McCartney studied for a Fine Art major at the University of Arizona. Her first marriage was to Joseph Melville See Jr., whom she had met at college. They married on 18 June 1962, and their daughter Heather Louise was born on December 31, 1962. They were divorced in June 1965. McCartney later commented that See was a "nice man, a geologist, an Ernest Hemingway type". See committed suicide with a self-inflicted gunshot wound on 19 March 2000, at his home in Tucson, Arizona.