Party girl-turned-columnist-turned-author, Candace Bushnell is the creator and real-life Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City fame.
Bushnell was born in Glastonbury, Connecticut in 1958 and went on to study at Rice University, but dropped out when she was 19. With big dreams, she headed straight to New York, where she became known as a socialite and permanent party-fixture. In between the partying she managed to pen a children's story, which she sold to Simon & Schuster but was never published. She eventually landed a staff position at Self, and though writing about what crunches are most effective was not her dream job, the steady pay allowed Bushnell to continue socializing at night: she was frequently at Studio 54 and wrote about her experiences with the rich and famous. Despite her omnipresence in the social scene, Bushnell failed to make an editorial splash. In 1994, though, opportunity struck: the editor-in-chief of The New York Observer asked Bushnell to write a weekly column based on her experiences living and dating in Manhattan. After documenting her love life in her column and detailing her relationship with the real-life Mr. Big, GQ publisher, Ron Galotti, the "Sex in the City" column was anthologized in 1997.
Later that year, Darren Star, creator of Melrose Place, optioned the book and turned it into one of HBO's biggest hits. The show, which introduced HBO viewers to Manolo Blahnick and NYC's trendiest restaurants, ran for six seasons. Following the success of SATC, Bushnell's 2005 novel, Lipstick Jungle, was adapted for TV but was canned after 20 episodes. In 2008, Bushnell was contracted to write The Carrie Diaries, a YA series based on Carrie Bradshaw's high school years. In 2012, The CW, TV's most intellectually stimulating channel, ordered a pilot of The Carrie Diaries with Bushnell as one of the executive producers.
Bushnell was married for 9 years to Charles Askegard, a principal dancer for the New York City Ballet; in 2011 she filed for divorce, claiming that Askegard was having an affair with a fellow dancer. [Image via AP]