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Jane Asher: Facts About the Charming Redhead Who Was a ’60s Muse — and So Much More

She dated Paul McCartney and went on to have an eccentric career

In the ’60s, there was no shortage of cool and stylish it girls at the forefront of pop culture. Jane Asher, a redheaded British actress who dated Paul McCartney from 1963 to 1968, was one of the best, and while she’ll always be known for dating Paul, there’s more to her than just this high-profile relationship, and she’s lived a full and fascinating life.

Here are some facts you might not have known about the multitalented ’60s muse.

Jane Asher started out as a child star

Jane Asher got her start as a child actress in the early ’50s. She had small parts in a variety of movies and appeared in shows like The Buccaneers, The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Magical World of Disney. She also played Alice from Alice in Wonderland in a recorded adaptation of the classic children’s story in 1959.

Jane Asher in 1959
Jane Asher as a child actress in 1959Edward Miller/Keystone/Getty

She appeared in a number of classic films in the ’60s and ’70s

In 1964, Asher starred opposite horror legend Vincent Price in The Masque of the Red Death. She then appeared with Michael Caine in the swinging ’60s tale Alfie. In 1970, she starred in the art film Deep End.

Asher still acts today, and has been in countless episodes of British TV shows since she started out.

The actress and Michael Caine in 'Alfie' 1966
Jane Asher and Michael Caine in Alfie (1966)Silver Screen Collection/Getty

She inspired multiple Beatles songs

Asher was just 17 when she met Paul McCartney in 1963. In those early days of the Beatles, McCartney lived with Asher and her family. The adorable young couple became the subject of much media fanfare, and millions of girls around the world wished they could be in her shoes.

Jane Asher and Paul McCartney in 1967
Jane Asher and Paul McCartney in 1967Daily Express/Archive Photos/Getty

Asher inspired much of McCartney’s music, and he wrote a number of songs capturing the highs and lows of their relationship, including “And I Love Her,” “You Won’t See Me,” “I’m Looking Through You,” “What You’re Doing,” “Things We Said Today” and “For No One.”

Paul McCartney and Jane Asher in 1968
Paul McCartney and Jane Asher in 1968Mark and Colleen Hayward/Redferns/Getty

She doesn’t like talking about her famous relationship

Asher and McCartney got engaged in 1967, but called it off the next year, shocking many fans. At the time, tensions had been arising between the high-profile couple due to McCartney’s drug use and the band’s ever-growing fame, and when Asher allegedly found him cheating, it was the last straw.

The actress and Paul McCartney in 1968
Jane Asher and Paul McCartney in 1968Colleen Hayward/Redferns/Getty

While Asher has inevitably been asked about her relationship with McCartney for decades, she prefers not to discuss it.

When asked why she doesn’t like talking about it, she said, “I’ve been happily married for 30-something years, it’s insulting,” and “It may be musical, but my connection to that is personal, so it opens up a whole thing. You have to make a blanket rule and that’s the decision I made, many years ago. And because I made that decision, it’s just easier to stick to it”

In 1981, Asher married illustrator Gerald Scarfe, and they have three children.

Jane Asher and Gerald Scarfe in 1990
Jane Asher and Gerald Scarfe in 1990Georges De Keerle/Getty

Jane Asher has a famous brother

Asher’s older brother is Peter Asher, who was in the ’60s vocal duo Peter and Gordon and went on to be a producer and manager for artists like Linda Ronstadt and James Taylor (he was also said to have inspired the aesthetic of the ’90s movie character Austin Powers!)

Peter and Jane Asher in 1964
Peter and Jane Asher in 1964David Redfern/Redferns/Getty

She’s a pro baker and author

In the ’80s, long before influencers took over, Asher became a lifestyle guru. In addition to acting, she spent the ’80s and ’90s publishing books about cakes, costumes and home decor. On top of that, she ran her own cake-making business for 25 years, had a popular home and cooking column in the UK paper Express and wrote three novels.

The actress with her Shakespeare cake in 2014
Jane Asher poses with her a cake she made to mark Shakespeare’s 450th birthday in 2014Ian Gavan/Getty for Victoria and Albert Museum

Clearly, Jane Asher has done a lot of impressive things since dating McCartney long ago. Who else can say they played Alice in Wonderland, inspired some of the greatest songs of all time and became known for making elaborate cakes?

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