Edie Sedgwick was the poster girl of Andy Warhol’s Factory and, despite losing her life so painfully early at just 28-years-old, she lived an action-packed life and may have even have been the muse behind Bob Dylan’s magnificent song ‘Like A Rolling Stone’.
The model and actress was born into an incredibly powerful and wealthy family in 1943, one who moved to America from England in the 1600s and went on to become one of the most illustrious families in the whole of North America. Despite the rich successes in the family, depression was prominent in the Sedgwick family and, during this era, the illness was very much a taboo that wasn’t discussed in public—a factor which then had a domino effect which led to more issues including alcoholism which would be Edie’s fate.
Her childhood was not a normal one and, growing up in a family such as her own, it resulted in a lot of trauma due to her unstable and adulterous father whose behaviour would rear it’s ugly head whenever Edie was in adulthood. One instance that scarred the budding actress was when she caught her father in bed with another woman and, instead of owning up, he instead allegedly slapped her and accused her of being insane and suggested that she made the whole thing up. Her father even took her to the doctors to receive medication following the incident in question.
On her twenty-first birthday in 1964, Sedgwick received an $80,000 trust fund from her grandmother which she used to start a new life in New York City. She soon began making a name for herself as a model in the city that never sleeps and, less than a year after arriving in New York, she had met Andy Warhol at a party at Lester Persky’s apartment.
Sedgwick began regularly visiting The Factory in Manhattan and it wasn’t too long before she began appearing in his films, a collection of pictures which saw her live out her dream. She saw Warhol has an unconventional father-like figure, one who was guiding her through a strange time that she had suddenly been thrust into given the limelight and celebrity-like status.
One famous face Sedgwick became friendly with—through a chance meeting at The Factory—was Bob Dylan and she reportedly had an instant infatuation with the singer and, in reaction, it is rumoured that Dylan’s feelings were reciprocal. It is alleged the two of them had a secret whirlwind affair before Dylan married Sarah Lownds.
Her older brother, Jonathan, would even later claim that she became pregnant with Dylan’s child, but had to get an abortion due to her personal drug problems that she needed rehabilitation for and wasn’t ready to become a parent. It’s rumoured that not only ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ but also, ‘Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat’ and ‘Just Like a Woman’ was written with Sedgwick in mind.
Sedgwick would leave the glitz and glamour behind, marrying Michael Post on July 24th 1971 and even got sober but, unfortunately, her sobriety was over by October and Edie passed away the following month following a fatal mix of prescription pills with alcohol.