Christie Brinkley: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Icon And Clark Griswold's Crush, Then And Now

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Left: Brinkley in 'National Lampoon's Vacation.' Right: On the cover of the 1979 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Sources: IMDB; Sports Illustrated.

Christie Brinkley became one of the great beauties of the '80s with her multiple Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers, ever-presence in advertising and fashion ads, and appearances in Vacation and Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" music video. At the height of her powers, when she was the face of everything from Noxzema to Diet Coke, there was little doubt that Christie Brinkley was the ideal of human pulchritude. While it's hard to imagine Brinkley as anything but a modeling superstar, there was a time when she wasn't planning on modeling, when she was just a cute California surfer girl. Then, in 1973, the fresh-out-of-high-school Brinkley was "discovered" by some very important people in the world of modeling, and the progression from Vogue to Sports Illustrated to supermodel-dom was underway. 

But Brinkley isn't just a model. As a businesswoman, actress, and humanitarian she's done it all. She even painted the cover to Billy Joel's 1993 album River of Dreams long after the two were an item. If there's one thing to take away from this retrospective of Christie Brinkley's life it's that she's a busy, busy woman.