Paul McCartney was the heartthrob of The Beatles not only because of his good looks, but because he was the last of the Fab Four to get married. Even so, the legions of hopefuls out there had to contend with Paul's long-time girlfriend, Jane Asher.

Jane was an actress who dated Paul from 1963 to 1968. A redhead who appeared blonde in the black-and-white photography of the day, Jane first met The Beatles at the Royal Albert Hall, having been assigned by the Radio Times to do a photo shoot with the band.

Before dating Paul, Jane was perhaps best known for the TV show Juke Box Jury. She didn't milk her Beatle connection for fame; in fact, Paul comments in The Beatles Anthology that he feels bad talking about their relationship, given that Jane wasn't one to blab to the media herself (to this day, she doesn't talk about it).

Jane was born in 1946 and first appeared on film at age five. Her father Richard was a psychiatrist; her mother, Margaret Augusta Eliot, was an oboe player and taught classical music at the Guildhall School of Drama and Music. (Beatle trivia time: Among Margaret's pupils was George Martin, who would go on to be the Beatles' producer.)

Paul seems to have gotten along well with Jane's family. He lived with Jane and her parents for a time, and he gave some of his castaway songs to Jane's brother Peter, half of the duo Peter and Gordon. Paul's song, "A World Without Love," became their biggest hit.

Contrary to everyone's expectations, Paul and Jane did not marry. They did get engaged, but it was called off in 1968. Paul had always fooled around on the side, but a fling with writer Francie Schwartz ended things with Jane, possibly because it was so brazen (apparently, Francie had even moved into Paul and Jane's house). Paul's availability was short-lived: He had already begun dating Linda Eastman and would marry her on March 12, 1969.

In 1981, Jane married animator Gerald Scarfe, who was an assistant director for the movie Pink Floyd: The Wall. The couple had three children.

Jane has continued her acting career, both on screen and on the stage, but she's also become an author, writing a series of lifestyle-fluff books called Good Living, as well as a couple of novels. In 1990 she started her own company, Jane Asher Party Cakes, a bakery for fancy custom cakes. The company also sells cake mixes, cake decorations, and icings.

Jane received an honorary law degree from the University of Bristol in 2001.

Sources:
-- The Beatles Anthology (Chronicle Books, 2000)
Groupie Central: http://www.groupiecentral.com/gwljane.html
Jane's own site! : http://www.jane-asher.co.uk/
The ubiquitous IMDb

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