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Christie Brinkley turns 70! Iconic supermodel moments, from swimsuit covers to shooting with her lookalike daughters, in photos

The supermodel has even passed on the good genes to her daughters Sailor and Alexa

Christie Brinkley attends Kenneth, Maria, & Bradley Fishel Celebrate POLO Hamptons With Christie Brinkley at Private Residence on July 24, 2021 in Bridgehampton, New York.
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
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Happy birthday Christie Brinkley! The renowned supermodel turns 70 today, February 2, and shared on social media that she'd already kicked off her big birthday with a trip to their Turks and Caicos vacation home.

Over the decades, the star has graced the cover of more than 500 magazines as an editorial model, collaborated with some of the biggest brands in fashion and luxury, and even boasts acting credits spanning nearly four decades.

Take a look at some of Christie's most iconic moments as a superstar model, from her early days as the freshest on the block, to her present icon status

VIDEO: At home with Christie Brinkley

Early Days

Christie was born and raised in California and moved to Paris at the age of 18 to study art. There, she was discovered by photographer Errol Sawyer in a post office.

American model (and later actress) Christie Brinkley poses, dressed in business attire, against a white background, 1976. She wears a neckerchief, a tweed jacket over a button-down blouse, a corduroy skirt, and boots.© Getty Images
In the 1970s, Christie began her modeling career with successful national campaigns

Not long after, she met with executives at Elite Model Management and, after moving back to California, was quickly signed with them and had booked multiple national ad campaigns.

Breakout Star

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By the late 1970s, Christie was quickly becoming one of the most well-known faces in the fashion industry, thanks to her consistent work ethic and classic all-American look.

SEE: Christie Brinkley resembles a mermaid as she poses in micro-swimsuit

She made a name for herself as a swimsuit model, setting a record as the first model to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue in three consecutive years, from 1979 to 1981.

Christie Brinkley during Christie Brinkley Sighting on the Set of Her New Covergirl Commercial at Tribeca in New York City, New York, United States.© Getty Images
She kickstarted her meteoric rise with a long-running contract with CoverGirl Cosmetics

Around the same time, she became a familiar face in many American households thanks to her partnership with CoverGirl cosmetics, with their 25-year long contract representing one of the longest modeling contracts in history.

MORE: Christie Brinkley causes a stir with unexpected beach selfie

She appeared on the cover of the best-selling issue of Life, multiple covers of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Esquire, and campaigns for Got Milk?, Revlon, Chanel No. 19, and more. Christie, alongside Cheryl Tiegs and Beverly Johnson, was also one of the models featured in dolls created by Matchbox Toys called The Real Model Collection.

Model Beverly Johnson, model Cheryl Tiegs and model Christie Brinkley attend the Toy Fair 1990 - Matchbox Toys unveils their new line of dolls: The Real Model Collection on February 12, 1990 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City© Getty Images
A doll was also made in her likeness in 1989

Christie the Performer

Christie parlayed the success of her modeling career into a career on-screen as an actress, making her movie debut in her best-known role, as "the girl in the red Ferrari" in 1983's National Lampoon's Vacation.

American model and actor Christie Brinkley smiles and wears a bikini swimsuit in a still from 'National Lampoon's Vacation,' directed by Harold Ramis, 1983.© Getty Images
She made her acting debut in 1983's "National Lampoon's Vacation"

She has since reprised the role several times in follow-up films, commercials, and even fan conventions. The star also frequently appeared in other forms of media in cameos, such as TV shows and competitions.

MORE: Christie Brinkley has legs for days sporting sheer tights and lace bodysuit in a throwback

Christie and her ex-husband Billy Joel also developed a long-standing visual partnership during their relationship, with Christie most famously appearing in the music video for Billy's 1983 classic "Uptown Girl."

American singer-songwriter Billy Joel and model Christie Brinkley on the set of the music video for Joel's song 'Uptown Girl', 1983.© Getty Images
Christie appeared in several of then-partner Billy Joel's music videos, starting with 1983's "Uptown Girl"

In 2011, she made her stage debut playing Roxie Hart in the Broadway production of Chicago. She carried on that engagement for a month in the London production before returning to Broadway and notched a total of 182 performances during her time with the National Touring Company of Chicago as well.

Christie Brinkley as Roxie Hart performs in the musical "Chicago" at The Venetian Las Vegas on April 10, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.© Getty Images
She made her stage debut in 2011 as Roxie Hart in "Chicago"

Life as a Parent

Christie is also a loving mom-of-three: she welcomed Alexa Ray Joel, now 35, with Billy; son Jack Paris Brinkley, now 28, with Richard Taubman; and youngest daughter Sailor Lee Brinkley Cook, now 25, with Peter Cook.

MORE: Christie Brinkley's ex Peter Cook, 64, gets married: meet his 24-year-old wife Alba Jancou

Christie Brinkley, Sailor Brinkley-Cook, Alexa Ray Joel for FN and FNAA Christie Brinkley, Sailor Brinkley-Cook, Alexa Ray Joel for FN and FNAA© Getty Images
Christie frequently also models with her daughters Alexa and Sailor

Her daughters Alexa and Sailor, in particular, have followed in her footsteps, with Alexa a singer and performer while Sailor is a model. Mother and daughters have modeled together several times as well.

MORE: Christie Brinkley and her lookalike daughters are glowing in bikini-clad beach photos you can't miss

In an interview with HELLO!, she said that the secret to building a strong relationship with her children was: "good real estate – have a house on the ocean and you will see your kids! 

Christie Brinkley for HELLO! Magazine© HELLO!/Anna Gunselman
Happy birthday, Christie Brinkley!

"But in all seriousness, it is just spending time together and there is no replacement for that. It's being there for them no matter what happens in their life."

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