This film icon Julie Chrisie left Hollywood in her prime – why was she never interested in becoming a celebrity

Julie Christie wowed audiences when she appeared in Darling and, of course, as Lara in Doctor Zhivago. The British actress rose to prominence in the industry, establishing her position in cinema history.

Christie was on top of the world when she abruptly chose to leave Hollywood. Instead, she chose a location that few would have expected.

Why did Julie Christie’s outstanding career come to an end in the midst of it? What is she doing today?

Celebrity status might present difficulties. Sure, money, glitz, and popularity can make it seem alluring, but it can also be time-consuming. High-profile figures should always be accessible to their admirers in some capacity, whether through employment or other public appearances.

Many famous people’s greatest desire is to be able to stroll down the street, perhaps get some milk at the neighborhood supermarket, and then stroll back to their homes. Naturally, that frequently isn’t feasible because so many people would recognize them and then want a photo or an autograph.

Being the face that everyone believes they know is challenging. While some people choose to accept it and make it a part of their daily lives, others decide that enough is enough and work to put the pressure of being in the spotlight behind them permanently.

That is exactly what Julie Christie, a stunning blond British actress with a jawline dubbed as the sharpest in cinema.

Julie Christie – early life

Following her success, Christie abandoned her dream of becoming a Hollywood star. Although she had a long and successful career, her personal life never received the same attention as her professional life.

Contrary to popular belief, Julie Christie was not born in the United Kingdom. She was actually born on April 14, 1941, in colonial Assam, India, where her father ran a tea farm. At that time, it appeared as though she was destined to carry on her mother’s painting career.

Julie’s academic career didn’t get off to the best of starts. She was sent to a boarding school in England at age six. Christie was expelled from multiple schools throughout the ensuing years.

“It would be shocking for you to know how little it took to get expelled in those days,” she said in 2007.

“Once, it was because I had my school dress tucked in my knickers and was accused of enticing village boys.”

Julie has never been interested in praising or talking too highly of herself over the years. She subsequently realized that she was attractive, but as a child, she did not think so. According to Christie’s recall, a nun scolded her, “Stop making faces—you’re ugly enough as it is.” This presumably didn’t make things any easier.

After returning to England and enrolling in acting classes at London’s Central School for Drama, Julie continued her education in Paris, France. As a member of the Frinton Repertory of Essex, she made her stage debut in 1957 at the age of 16, fulfilling a lifelong dream of hers to pursue acting. The young performer then started traveling with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Julie Christie – ‘Darling’ & ‘Doctor Zhivago’

Christie made her acting debut in the science fiction BBC programme A for Andromeda in 1961. Although it may not have been her most impressive performance, producers and directors were intrigued. Julie’s signature look, the “sweet smile,” made it obvious that she was a natural performer.

Christie made a breakthrough in 1963 when director John Schlesinger cast her in his movie Billy Liar after years of performances (and many more parts). Two years later, she would star as the promiscuous model Diana Scott in Darling, which would be her big break.

Christie not only began a new, glitzy life in Hollywood, but she also took home the best actress Oscar. Naturally, this raised her profile in the eyes of numerous other film producers and filmmakers, and it didn’t take long for her to score another hit.

In the 1965 love story Doctor Zhivago, Christie co-starred with Omar Sharif as Lara. Julie Christie became a huge star thanks to the movie, which gained cult status. Everyone wanted a piece of her since she was one of the most promising British actresses since Vivian Leigh, if not the most.

Now, being on set and during filming may seem like extraordinary, thrilling experiences. Julie and the rest of the cast, however, experienced the reverse at that time because they were filming in both Russia and Spain.

“St Petersburgh in mid-Winter in fact was Madrid in a heatwave. We were all waiting, this multi-million dollar epic, was waiting to be made while we were all sweating away in our furs in 100 degrees heat, waiting for the snow which never came,” she told Express.

“I didn’t use to want to be a great star”

“Finally we were saved by the props and set dressers. So they covered the whole of the set in mountains of marble dust and for the long shots, the fields were covered by miles and miles of bed sheets.”

Director David Lean predicted that Christie would become a global star before the premiere of Doctor Zhivago, and he was accurate. Christie had no desire to become renowned or a star, even at that time.

Julie admitted in a 1965 interview that she had declined a number of important roles so she could travel Eastern Europe and the US with The Royal Shakespeare Company. The idea of being renowned, visiting with friends, and sleeping on an air mattress in their house made her feel uneasy.

“I didn’t use to want to be a great star. But I must confess it’s becoming quite attractive to me now. However, I’m afraid I might become unbearable. In fact, now I am sometimes downright rude to people,” Julie said.

“I’m beginning to get spoiled. I’m starting to expect things. When people start predicting big things for you, then you really get terribly spoiled.”

She continued: ” I don’t feel I am a celebrity. No one ever recognizes me wherever I go and I’m just as glad. Success is a trap and you get caught up in it. I’m an incredibly selfish and insecure person.”

Christie, however, persisted in her quest for Hollywood success, whether she liked it or not. She acted in movies including Heaven Can Wait, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Shampoo, and Far from the Madding Crowd. Julie co-starred with her ex-boyfriend in some of those productions.

Julie Christie – relationship with Warren Beatty

It wasn’t just any person, but Warren Beatty. The Hollywood legend had a wild private life and dated plenty of women.

In 1967, Christie and Beatty started dating. A year previously, they had first crossed paths during the screening of the movie Born Free at the Royal Command. The actor apparently fell head over heads for Christie when he witnessed her shaking hands with Queen Elizabeth II.

It didn’t take Christie long to feel the same way, and soon after that, they began dating.

Christie was reportedly very committed to making the connection with Warren Beatty work. People in her immediate vicinity attempted to warn the young actress about the womanizing actor at the same time. He was well known for having public relationships with women. He had relationships with Jane Fonda, Carly Simon, Goldie Hawn, Joni Mitchell, Jackie Onassis, and Madonna in addition to Julie.

Julie had been cast in Billy Liar by director John Schlesinger, who advised her to end her relationship with Warren Beatty. According to reports, he claimed that the actor “gets through women like a businessman gets through a dozen oysters.”

Warren and Julie co-starred in a number of movies. They both acted together in Heaven Can Wait, Shampoo, and McCabe & Mrs. Miller. The latter two were primarily produced following their breakup in 1974.

Why Julie Christie suddenly disappeareed from Hollywood

Even though the relationship didn’t work out, Christie didn’t look back and regret her time spent with Beatty. She asserted that it enhanced her life in a Guardian interview.

“He gave me a political perspective, which I am very grateful for. I loved the way, say, that he would go to baseball matches and stand up in the interval and talk about getting rid of guns,” Julie said.

“He would be this little tiny figure in this big baseball stadium, and I would be looking down at him, I thought he was wonderfully courageous for doing that.”

Indeed, Christie and Beatty remained great friends despite breaking up.

“When she and her husband come to Los Angeles, they stay in our guest house. We’re very close and she’s a remarkable person,” Beatty told People in 2016.

Christie had had enough of stardom by 1977 despite becoming a Hollywood superstar. She made the decision to relocate back to England from Los Angeles.

The actress made several small-scale and low-budget appearances after a brief hiatus. However, it was obvious that appearing in big-budget movies wasn’t a priority.

Settled at a farm in Wales

“I was perfectly happy not doing them,” she told the New York Times. “There were just no roles that really appealed to me.”

Christie made her home on a farm in Wales, where she shared quarters with a married couple and their kids. Since she “really had no family of my own,” they became her family. She also discovered other deeply held beliefs, such as feminism and environmental preservation.

Christie didn’t even have a car after returning to the UK; instead, she would make her own bread. In other words, she led a carefree existence. Later, in 1979, she started dating journalist Duncan Campbell. Although they were married, the couple never gave an exact date of their union.

Julie’s fame and status were uncontrollable, but she would eventually make a graceful comeback to the movie business. In the 2006 movie Away From Her, she played an Alzheimer’s patient older.

She received a fourth Academy Award nomination for the exceptional performance, this time for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. Christie doesn’t give fame and money much thought, despite the fact that she has been and continues to be a great figure.

She still insists that the same motivation drove her to leave Hollywood and return to England decades later.

This is Julie Christie today – net worth

“I understand the need for icons,” she said . “I have had idols and there are still people whom I am in awe of because of their talent, so I try to be understanding. But I so hate being a public person rather than a private person – I’m just not as nice as I should be.”

Julie, who is now 82, had disclosed that she had cosmetic surgery in the past. She also asserts that hiring a skilled makeup artist is essential to looking gorgeous.

She underwent a neck lift after being compelled to have her neck taped while filming.

“It saved having to be pinned up and held back with sticky tape,” Julie said. “It was practicality as much as vanity.”

Julie Christie will forever be a true Hollywood icon, even if she’s desperate not to be a part of it. To this day, she looks as beautiful as ever, and is said to have a net worth of around $10 million.

Now, however, Christie says she has “no connection at all” with her young self who portrayed so many good characters during her early work in the film industry.

“That person has gone,” she added.

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